Grand Theft Auto 5: When will it be set?

GTA 5 Los Angeles

While there has been a lot of discussion about the locale of GTA V, not much has been said of the decade it will be set. It’s easy to assume that it will be present day – that would make sense based on GTA IV’s time frame – but there’s something about that single GTA V asset that we just can’t stop obsessing over.

It’s that bloody ‘V’.

You see, Rockstar didn’t *have* to make the 5 look like that. They could have just used a normal V. But instead they chose to use a V from an 1899 US five dollar bill. Now is this just because it looks cool? Or is it a subtle hint at something bigger?

The GTA 5 'V' alongside the US 1899 five dollar bill.

Let’s press the big red button marked ‘speculation’,

Multiple time frames?

That’s what we’re going to put out there. How about Rockstar’s big trick for GTA V is that the game will be set over multiple time frames, beginning in 1899 and ending up in the present day?

If we’re to assume that the location is 85% certain to be Los Angeles, then that works; Red Dead Redemption (Wild West) and L.A. Noire (Los Angeles) both involved lustrous depictions of period California and the developer’s art teams will already have spent years poring over historical images from this time.

Bugsy Siegel, well known Los Angeles crime lord - possible GTA V influence?

So if we are to speculate that the story begins in 1899, what other decades might be included?

Probably the more interesting ones. Certainly the prohibition era 1920-1933, possibly the racial tensions of the 1960s and almost certainly the rise of gangs in the 1970s and 1980s. Present day L.A. would definitely play a large part, as it is so rich in cultural references that the Rockstar script writers so love to pillory.

Multiple story lines?

We’ve also heard from various sources (none verified) that GTA V will feature ‘custom story lines’. Well consider this: what if decisions/directions you took in the past directly affected your future? Cryptic? Here’s a simple example – what if during the first part of the game you were a poor gold rush worker who wanted to live the American dream.

Maybe you turn to crime, and perhaps in an early mission you kill someone from a rival gang of criminals. BLAM. Straight away that affects the future – you are now an enemy to that particular ‘family; and that could be followed through the game and open up different story lines and missions.