Rockstar’s game are often called “open-world crime simulators,” but you could just as easily call Grand Theft Auto V “virtual tourism.”
A new video compares a few of the locales in GTA V’s Californian facsimile to the real world using the Google Earth app, and the results reveal a game setting that feels close to reality. YouTube channel Millennium (which probably has nothing to do with Lisbeth Salander), uploaded the video today that compares the Hollywood sign to GTA’s Vinewood and the San Andreas river to the L.A. river.
We’ve always known that Rockstar strives for authenticity in its reconstructions of reality. In fact, this is something that goes back to the PlayStation 2-era games. For example, Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas — the third PS2 game — once helped a lost Hamilton creator Lin-Manuel Miranda find his way out of Los Angeles.
In an appearance on Jimmy Kimmel’s late show, Miranda explained that he found himself in South Central L.A. once, but he was able to find his way out because of Rockstar’s game.
“If you’ve played Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas, you have a mental map of Los Angeles already, you don’t have to actually come here,” Miranda explained. “I was like, ‘oh, yeah — me and Smokey started a gang on this corner.'”
Now, if Miranda has played Grand Theft Auto V, he’ll likely never get lost in California in the first place.