Imagine if you could raid the classic car dealership in Palm Springs, then flee from the police the wrong way on Palm Canyon Drive, weaving a stolen hot rod between the legs of the Marilyn Monroe statue.
Starting in September, maybe you can.
Grand Theft Auto 5, commonly known as GTA V, the latest installment of one the world’s most popular video game series, is set for release on Sept. 17. The game is set in Los Santos, a parody of Los Angeles, but will also include some of the surrounding countryside in the fictional region of San Andreas.
The countryside may include Palm Springs, based on analysis of photos and video clips released by Rockstar North, the company behind the GTA series.
The above trailer of GTA V includes a quick shot of a desert landscape scattered with windmills (:29, if you are interested.) The scene closely resembles the windmills scattered along Interstate 10, immediately north of Palm Springs.
Another Rockstar photo shows a small plane weaving between the windmills, which – for lack of better term — super awesome.
IGN, a popular website that covers video game news, reports on its GTA V wiki that the game may include Palm Springs, “in relation to the windmills.”
Here are some more screen shots that show the windmills:
Rockstar North did not immediately respond to a request for comment on if Palm Springs is featured in the upcoming game.
Even if Palm Springs is in GTA V, it probably wouldn’t be called Palm Springs. GTA games often mirror real locations, but they almost always change the names. Prior GTA games have featured parody versions of New York (“Liberty City,”) Miami (“Vice City,”) San Francisco (“San Fierro”) and Las Vegas (“Las Venturas.”) Even Los Santos, the mock version of Los Angeles, even includes parallel neighborhoods, swapping Rodeo for Beverly Hills, Ganton for Compton and Vinewood for Hollywood.
The recent GTAV trailers have already shown one rural, desert town called “Sandy Shores.” It doesn’t look much like Palm Springs, but it shows an eerie similarity to a sign near the Salton Sea.
Grand Theft Auto games are known for open-world game play, which means players are provided a vast landscape and encouraged to do whatever they want. The game series has prompted controversy for glorifying violence, drug culture and even prostitution, but the series remains immensely popular. Grand Theft Auto V is widely anticipated to be one of the largest video game releases of 2013.
Have you found any more evidence that Palm Springs is in GTA V?
Education reporter Brett Kelman is also a shameless fan of video games. He can be reached on the phone at (760) 778-4642, through email at firstname.lastname@example.org and through Twitter @TDSbrettkelman.