The long-awaited and much complained-about feature that Rockstar sold to fans from on the onset of GTA Online is finally coming to the multiplayer community over a year later. Four-player heists are launching on Grand Theft Auto V‘s ambitious multiplayer platform in early March.
Heists, which require various degrees of planning, prep and co-ordination, are arguably the most interesting element of GTA V‘s single-player campaign. The handful of large-scale robberies require players to find getaway vehicles, case joints and don costumes and masks before taking thousands of in-game dollars with either surgeon-like precision or blood-splattering mayhem. The feature accomplishes something that many games, previous GTA entries included, have struggled with for a very long time: creating a real sense of weight and impact in key story missions. Remember this is a game where a county-wide car chase involving helicopters and army tanks can be undertaken for absolutely no reason, on a whim. Making any part of the story feel larger and more important than that is a difficult task. The more extravagant heists in GTA V make any number of ridiculous side-missions and sidewalk slaughterhouse activities take a back seat. It’s one of the more exhilarating missions Rockstar has ever offered its consumers.
When Rockstar announced that heists would be a major part of GTA Online, they became even more tantalizing. In GTAO, heists follow the same stages of planning, preparation and execution, but this time your crew is made up of four real-life friends or back-stabbing soon-to-be enemies. In order to take on a heist, at least one of your crew members must have an apartment large enough to set up a planning board. Each person in your crew takes on a specific role (getaway driver, for example), and is responsible for ensuring their part of the heist goes smoothly. In addition, every heist requires a crew leader, who will have final control over the entire take, meaning after losing the heat and returning to a safe house, your leader can divvy the money up equally amongst your crew, play favorites, or even take the haul for him or herself and run for the hills. There’s a devilishly enticing balance of trust underlining every job you run together, something that every criminal underworld needs. It’s perfect for GTA.
The online heists will add a new dimension to the current GTA Online landscape. For the past year races, package drops, last team standing, team deathmatch and the like have kept thousands of fans busy, but it’s hard not to feel like something has been missing. GTAO is an incredible technical feat, and it’s staggering that all of Los Santos can be explored with the added chaos of up to sixteen players, but somehow participating in online jobs and putting bounties on the heads of other players has lost its luster. The ability to participate in more detailed, multi-tier heists holds promise for the many players bored with the slew of options available at the moment, and hopefully this is exactly what’s been missing from the game.
Before online play was even a twinkle in Rockstar’s metaphorical eye, the GTA series delivered stellar storylines starring the vocal talents of Ray Liotta, Burt Reynolds, Dennis Hopper and Samuel L. Jackson, among others. The multi-part raids and robberies will give online more of that focused narrative feel, with the added challenge that comes from planning, coordination and communication.
Rockstar says heists will also bring new accessories, such as weapons, vehicles and clothing into Los Santos.
While heists are finally launching for consoles on March 10th, PC was hit with another delay (I believe the third in all), meaning PC gamers will have to wait for GTA V – heists included – to launch on April 14th. As an apology to fans who pre-purchased the game, Rockstar is giving $200,000 in-game cash to PC players for use throughout April.
“We thank GTA players worldwide for their patience in awaiting these big game updates and we are excited to bring both Heists and GTAV for PC to you very soon. Please stay tuned for lots more information in the weeks ahead and for now, check out some new screens showing action from Heists.”
Do you have your heist crew assembled? Ready for some online mayhem? Let us know in the comments below or visit Grizzly Bomb’s Facebook page.