5. Minneapolis, Minnesota
One word: Fargo.
From the Pacific Northwest to the periphery of the Midwest, it might seem a very curious choice indeed to shift the action to a region where everyone is stereotypically amiable and pleasant. But it’s all the more fascinating/morbidly hilarious if your criminal allies are perpetually cheerful even when committing all manner of heinous deeds. And any future instalment has the aforementioned cult classic to liberally take inspiration from.
‘But wait,’ you cry, ‘Minneapolis is landlocked!’ Indeed it is, but it straddles both banks of the Mississippi and is home to twelve large lakes, so the watercraft-based deviancy and/or recreation we’ve come to expect would still be entirely feasible, just different. Better yet, the lakes tend to freeze over in winter, which could lead to some potentially interesting action in a parallel parody.
In fact, the primary reason I considered this location was the weather; all too often the franchise ventures to locales like Vice City that would make a pasty European like me uncomfortable if I were to stay for an extended period. Minneapolis’s position in the northern reaches of the U.S. would provide for an interesting alternative environment, one that all the Scandinavian immigrants that settled there evidently liked, as their descendants comprise approximately one-fifth of the population.
In recent decades, the city has been marred by crime in some districts, and in 2011 there were some 962 violent crimes per 100,000 people.
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This article was first posted on March 22, 2013