GTA 6 having Vice City as its primary location would be a tremendous benefit to its overall gameplay experience.
Vice City is a nostalgic location that some fans adore. Its inclusion in GTA Vice City and Vice City Stories is what most fans fondly remember, as the vibrant colors and the 80s motif helped these titles stand out. While not much is officially known about GTA 6, this article can still focus on some hypotheticals.
Nonetheless, it's also a matter of subjective taste. There are some valid reasons for invoking past nostalgia, which is crucial to contributing to a discussion like this one. There is no way to know what a new Vice City might look like, but there are still general points of reference that can be taken from the past and be reapplied for the future.
How GTA 6 can benefit from including Vice City
With no official announcement or confirmation regarding GTA 6, it's currently not known where the game will be featured in. While there are arguments for the game taking place in a new location, there are some significant benefits to GTA 6 being set in Vice City that are worth considering.
First, it is vital to discuss what Vice City is and what it's based on.
Origin of Vice City
The original Vice City was seen in GTA 1 and was more geographically similar to Miami than later depictions. Unsurprisingly, the game's limited hardware meant it could never quite show off the nostalgic Vice City feel fans would later associate with GTA Vice City.
Still, the topic of Miami is also equally important to discuss.
Miami ranks only behind New York City in terms of tourism in the United States (and is subsequently referred to as the "Cruise Capital of the World").
New York City is also depicted in GTA as Liberty City, whereas Vice City is based on Miami. While the latter made Vice City feel alive, there were still some Miami elements missing. A prime example of this would be the city's fine arts and sports scenes, both of which have limited representation in that game.
If GTA 6 took place in Vice City, its advanced technology could better represent Miami's liveliness. Of course, it doesn't have to be a carbon copy, yet there are still some fascinating ideas regarding the geography to take inspiration from.
The nostalgia of Vice City
Naturally, a conversation involving Vice City and GTA 6 has to mention nostalgia. The phrase "absence makes the heart grow fonder" couldn't be more true for a city like Vice City.
In fact, the city hasn't been explorable since Vice City Stories came out in 2006. It's been over a decade since the game was last seen, while other locations such as Liberty City and San Andreas have been seen since then.
There's also the topic of what time period GTA 6 might take place in. If it's in a modern era, it would be interesting to see Vice City differently. If it's still in the 80s, then it's still a fantastic option as Vice City was made for 80s nostalgia. Either way, a returning Vice City would be a fascinating sight in GTA 6.
Liberty City and San Andreas have already been seen in high-profile games
GTA San Andreas, GTA 5, and GTA Online are some of the most memorable GTA titles in the franchise. All three feature a form of San Andreas, so that location has already been featured heavily in a high-profile fashion.
By comparison, Liberty City has been seen the most often in the GTA series, most recently in GTA 4 and its episodes.
Vice City has primarily been seen in GTA Vice City and Vice City Stories. Technically, it was seen in GTA 1 as well, but San Andreas and Liberty City (along with the seldom-seen New Guernsey State) were featured there as well.
Considering Vice City Stories felt more like an expansion pack to some fans, it feels less important (especially since it lacks a crucial port to PC).
As a result, GTA 6 taking place in Vice City would feel fresher than a retread of San Andreas (considering most players are aware of GTA Online, given it was the only GTA title being updated for nearly eight years).
It would also help make the next game feel unique if it's set in another location.
Vice City lifestyle
As a predominantly beach city, Vice City could easily differentiate itself from other GTA locations. Other than gratuitous fan service, there could be criminal activities, including drug trafficking, which would be more robust in GTA 6 than in other games.
GTA 6 could expand everything in GTA Vice City and Vice City Stories and make it better than ever.
New gameplay would be a massive benefit for GTA 6. GTA 5 is already a fantastic game, so GTA 6 would have to introduce something new to stand out yet not completely overshadow GTA Online.
It's a fine line to walk, but using Vice City as a location could inspire new activities that won't make a gamer game feel objectively inferior to the other.