If you have a video game system, you probably contributed to the record breaking one billion dollar success that is Grand Theft Auto V. The game is a crazy, car chasing, gun shooting, people hitting Rockstar masterpiece that everyone is obsessing over. It’s quite great and you will have easily noticed that the setting, the fictional Los Santos, is based on a very familiar place: Los Angeles! Imagine if you went crosseyed, folded an LA map, and then looked at it: that’s exactly what Los Santos’ idea of LA is. It’s a lot of LA landmarks and accurate-but-not depictions of the city that mashes together architecturally similar structures and hot spots and neighborhoods and more. It’s a really, really brilliant effort (They even made the LA city streets as bumpy as they are in real life!) that we had to stop and take a moment to share a few LA funny things that have popped up in the game. We’ve captured a ton but we can assure you that there is a lot more where this came from. (And, if you’ve found any that aren’t on here, Tweet/Facebook/email them to us and we’ll toss them onto the end of this post, too.)
Note: Please excuse some shitty phone photography and occasional blue tints because the only way to capture these was to take iPhone pictures of a television screen. Apologies!
As you can see above and in the featured image, the game comes with a map of the Los Santos universe which includes everything from Salton Sea to Santa Barbara-like towns to Angeles National Forest and more. This is the entire island that contains both Los Santos and Blaine Counties, which was a smart move because that keeps this (insane) universe contained and readily explorable.
Map detail that shows where their version of LAX is. The airport even includes those pink pillar lights and letters when you pull up to it!
Here is the “Alamo Sea” and “Sandy Shores” and “Grand Senora Desert,” AKA Salton Sea and Joshua Tree.
What’s that? A Metro map? Yes, there is a Metro. And Metro buses. And you can ride—but not steal—the trains and steal—but not ride—the buses.
Huh. Even a fake seal of LA is pretty lame. That reminds us: ENTER YOUR LA FLAG REBRANDS.
Onward to the game! Let’s cruise down the fake 7th Street Bridge to reach Downtown.
City Hall at night.
7th Street/Metro Center, which you cannot take a train from.
Of course the Westin Bonaventure is here.
Fashion District’s Santee Alley. You can walk or drive through it. You will kill people, though.
That one building with the three murals and that one car wash in front of it near LA Live.
Pershing Square. There are a lot of brightly colored blocks..
If both Dorothy Chandler Pavillion and the Mark Taper Forum had a baby, this would be it. (Also note that MOCA is nowhere in sight! Nor is the Walt Disney Concert Hall!!!!!)
This is technically in Hollywood but it’s Downtown in the game: underneath the 101 on Franklin between Argyle and Vine.
“Skid Row,” which is underneath a bridge.
This is a good one: the by-the-highway sign for the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum & Sports Arena. If you notice in the photo above, there is a stunt jump ramp near it.
Can anyone guess this place? I mean duh.
This was a nice inclusion: Moore Ruble Yudell’s LEED Santa Monica Civic Center Parking Structure. Not sure if you can park in it, though.
Sadly no skaters at the Venice Skate Park. You can’t skate either! It’s right next to Muscle Beach too. The Venice (Or whatever it’s called.) sign was nowhere to be found! The canals are also blocks away and something that might be Abbot Kinney is present, too.
Oh look! It’s the famous, iconic Del Perro Pier.
A look onto the pier. You can drive onto it and, if you are sadistic like me, you will drive into people and structures here and then get pulled over by cops in front of Not Shutters.
The Getty Center—Err—Kortz Center!! You can totally walk around here but can’t go into any galleries. If you go at night, you will be pursued by security. I killed many guards for this shot.
Obligatory LS view from the Kortz. Great at night! You just have to keep killing security guards.
Here are some crappy photos of the Westwood Village and Bruin theatres!
Here is the Rockford Hills Post Office, which I mistook for the Rockford Hills Library. Dang! They’re a part of the same complex. This is kind of a mashup of the two, maybe.
Church Of The Good Shepherd is looking good. It’s across from a Metro, too. As if! THIS IS ROCKFORD HILLS: WE HATE THE METRO. (Side note: maybe this is a subversive, mass transportation pushing note from Rockstar to BH?) The Rockford Hills sign is in the game too—we just couldn’t get a good photo.
At the end of Rodeo (which is decked out to be Rodeo) is that wild shopping center alley with the European buildings. Neat!
Music Hall + Cecchi Gori’s Fine Arts Theatre = Dorset (which is playing the hit film, WTF!).
Obviously this is Rockford Plaza.
Welcome to West Vinewood!
Soho House. Note that I had to shoot a B to get this photo. I Photoshopped out the one star cops-in-pursuit rating I had here.
XIV, which really feels generous that they get a shout out in this game. Has anyone actually ever been here?? (Truth be told, I visited once when I was eighteen in 2004 and was kicked out because I was too young…but I did get to see a very frail Brittany Murphy in the flesh!)
“The Gentry Manor Hotel” is a pretty weak renaming of the Chateau Marmont. That’s all they could come up with?! Looks great, though.
This has to be a favorite: The Standard Hotel in Hollywood! But, it isn’t called “The Standard.”
…it’s “The Generic!” BAHAHAHAHAHAHHAHA to all that.
This is a combination of both the Sunset Tower and The Body Shop, which are blocks away from each other. Now you get why it’s like someone squished together a map while crosseyed?
Capitol Records obviously had to make it in.
The Von Crastenburg Hotel and Clappers, two Los Santos institutions.
I mean, obviously.
Here is a funny moment on the Vinewood Walk Of Fame where I stole a motorcycle and a group of paparazzi swarmed around me. Unfortunately, the photographers don’t know they have a situation like this on their hands.
Bishop’s WTF was one of the best reimaginings of an LA something.
The Observatory is likely the most accurate build out of all the landmarks. Walk around it: it’s just like the real thing! Those always there tents for those waiting in line are even in the rear, too,
Another great find: Vinewood Bowl, which you can…
Go inside of! The VINEWOOD sign is behind it, too. We didn’t get a photo of it, though.
Anyone guess this cool beans spot? Also, PS: you guys forgot the wall!!
Maybe you can paddle boat around here?
Vinewood Bowl isn’t your thing? You should go to the Sisyphus Theatre.
Last thing: proof you can take the Metro. Even after you’ve been attacked by the cops! (In fact, this is the best escape from them.)
If you want more, check out this article. Moreover, if you have some places that we missed or that you want to share, send us your photos to firstname.lastname@example.org with the title “Los Santos.” Total Kudos to Rockstar’s producers and developers for doing an ace job on the game. They did their research—and then some!