Free Guy: 10 Biggest Grand Theft Auto References

Free Guy is based in Free City, a video game that is an amalgamation of many games such as Grand Theft Auto and Fortnite. The main character, Guy, does a Pacifist Run of Free City, doing good deeds to level up and impress the girl of his dreams, despite Free City being a dangerous and lawless place.

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Free Guy‘s Free City takes a lot of inspiration from Grand Theft Auto, from its various locations to its quests that players must complete to level up. GTA‘s mission-based gameplay and anti-hero characters are definitely reminiscent of Free City’s wild players, who shoot and steal to gain Brutality Points and enjoy the violence inherent in the game.


10 Bank Robbery

a view through Guy's glasses in Free Guy, a blue hologram saying Bank Heist

The most blatant of the references to GTA, Free Guy features several bank robberies at Guy’s place of work, where armed robbers enter and order everyone to get on the ground. The robberies happen so often that Guy and Buddy lie down casually as if it’s just part of their routine, chatting about their day and whatever’s on their mind. The Rock also cameos as one of the robbers.

Among others, GTA IV features the Three Clover Heist, which targets the Bank of Liberty, and GTA V features the Paleto Heist, raiding the bank in Paleto Bay. Pretty much every GTA game features some sort of organized crime, including gangs that operate outside of the player’s perspective, and it’s fun to see these parodied in the movie.

9 Store Robbery

a store owner is thrown out of a window in Free Guy while Ryan Reynolds gasps in shock

Robbing stores in GTA is a way to earn money and rewards, for example, robbing all 15 stores in GTA Vice City will earn the player 100 percent completion, unlocking the rewards 200 max health and 200 max body armor, among other incentives. In Free Guy, robbing stores earns players points, although Guy later breaks the system by preventing robberies to earn points.

While robbing a store in GTA, the player usually points a weapon at the clerk to get them to hand over whatever money is in the register, and intimidating the clerk will get them to move faster. However, intimidating an Ammu-Nation clerk is ill-advised, as the clerk owns an automatic shotgun and may shoot the player as they try to escape.

8 Vehicle Storage

Jodie Comer and Ryan Reynolds in Free Guy

There are several types of garages in the GTA universe, but the most common is personal vehicle storage that is often connected to the player’s safehouse. Several characters in Free Guy have personal garages, including Guy, Molotov Girl, and Revengjamin Buttons, the character played by Channing Tatum/Matty Cardarople.

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In GTA, depending on the game, there are also vehicle repair shops and customization shops that allow the player to customize the vehicle to their tastes. In addition, vehicles can be bought when needed and stolen vehicles can be sold for a profit.

7 First Aid Kits

Ryan Reynolds finds a red medpack on the floor in Free Guy

GTA 2 was the first game to give a real indication of a player’s health via the health bar, and the subsequent games included health icons that would float on the ground, allowing the player to heal themselves and restore their HP. Ambulances also restore 20 percent of a player’s health, and eating food can also replenish health. From GTA V onwards, health icons were replaced with green first aid kits.

In Free Guy, a red med-pack floats on the ground in front of Guy when he puts on his glasses for the first time. The med-pack allows him to restore his health and heal his wounds. Guy’s wide-eyed wonder at seeing the floating med pack is adorable, making him one of the best and most relatable characters in the film.

6 Level Grinding

Free City covered in holograms and signposts in Free Guy

GTA Online features leveling – also known as ranking – by accumulating Reputation Points, but many GTA games do not have this feature. The player can rank up by taking jobs, participating in races, deathmatches, missions, stealing cars, robbing stores, and more. Ranking up allows the player to unlock more weapons and customization options. Free Guy calls its points “Brutality Points.”

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Free Guy blends lots of video games, so it is not unnatural that a scriptwriter used the level systems present in other games to provide a fun sequence for the audience to watch. However, being a good guy in GTA won’t help the player since the game is built for villains and anti-heroes, and the player needs to steal cars and shoot people to achieve their goals.

5 Skins And Mods

Mouser and Keys dressed as a pink rabbit and a policeman in Free Guy

GTA players often mod skins onto their avatars, for example, popular streamers have used Spider-Man, Hitman, and the Joker to play the game. However, the most common form of customization in the GTA games is to buy clothing from various stores around the map, such as masks, shirts, suits, and shoes.

Free Guy is also heavily inspired by Fortnite, which allows more freedom for players to equip various skins for their character, such as Samus Aran from the Metroid franchise, Peacemaker from The Suicide Squad, and characters from Rick and Morty. Keys and Mouser in Free Guy use a mustachioed police officer and a pink bunny rabbit as their skins, and they try to investigate who is using Guy’s skin, only to end up confusing him, providing some of the best quotes in Free Guy.

4 Glitches And Bugs

Keys, Antwan, and Mouser standing in an office surrounded by computers in Free Guy

Most video games, especially straight after release without patches, contain glitches and bugs, and GTA is no exception. Some of the most famous glitches include disappearing vehicles, invincible police officers, and Blue Hell, where the player is suddenly dragged under the map and returns to the surface after a short time.

Free Guy is an intentionally buggy mess, however, since Antwan is hiding another layer of code underneath Free City and constantly harasses his already over-worked team. Arguably the smartest character in Free Guy, Keys is tasked with fixing some of the bugs and responding to customer complaints. However, the writers cleverly include references to other video games within the bugs, such as a player jumping repeatedly at a wall and suddenly glitching out.

3 Open World Sandbox

Ryan Reynolds stares at a masked man shooting a rifle in Free Guy

A sandbox environment is one where the player can move freely around the map and choose how they want to play the game, such as using a non-linear narrative. GTA players usually unlock areas of a city as they clear objectives or use multiplayer to dive straight into a free-roaming world.

Free Guy takes advantage of its open world and creates a great reference to its gaming predecessors, making Free City a truly wild and dangerous place. Players can engage in various activities, such as stealing tanks, parachuting into sports cars, and even sex work, which of course is another staple of the GTA games.

2 Weapons Swapping

Jodie Comer and Ryan Reynolds on a motorbike in Free Guy, Comer uses two pistols

Dual-wielding pistols only exist within a few GTA games, although some NPCs in later games are shown holding two guns at a time. Weapons are a big part of every GTA game, though, ranging from melee weapons, such as broken bottles, to heavy weapons, such as rocket launchers.

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Free Guy also shows Guy swapping out his weapons and items during his final fight with Dude, using a lightsaber and Captain America’s shield, which are weapons found more in Fortnite than in GTA. However, the movie does show many weapons used in GTA, for example, at one point, Guy catches a grenade thrown by a player and throws it away, only to have it bounce off a truck back into his hand.

1 Crazy Stunts

Ryan Reynolds and Jodie Comer jump out of a window on a motorbike in Free Guy

GTA’s open world allows players to do all kinds of stunts, such as hijacking airplanes and parachuting from them, jumping motorbikes off roofs, and picking up tanks with military Cargobobs. Guy and Molotov Girl perform many epic stunts on various vehicles, such as jumping out of a window on a motorbike while Molotov Girl dual-wields Guy’s Glocks.

Free Guy is, unfortunately, missing one of GTA‘s standard stunt vehicles — the boat — since Antwan has created a barrier between the city and the sea. Boats and jet skis are a staple of the GTA franchise, as well as a submersible that was introduced in GTA V.

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Free Guy: 10 Biggest Grand Theft Auto References