Looking at Rockstar’s cultural short-cuts
As Rockstar’s company HQ is in New York, it’s obviously a place they know and love. But New York has been an inspiration for many artists and filmmakers through the years which will obviously influence the look, feel and events of the game. Also there’s the Eastern European angle - Niko is a character who could have come from many Hollywood productions featuring the Russian Mafia. A few come to mind.
Behind Enemy Lines
Niko looks a lot like Sasha, the Serbian sniper played by Vladimir Mashkov, in this Owen Wilson action film. Is Niko ex-military?