“Get Rashkosky into the plane! The Cops are right behind us!” I exclaimed to my Heist crew over my headset as we attempted to flee from the police in a 6 seater prop plane. My three teammates moved the prisoner into the back of the plane as bullets pinged off the wing and fuselage of my plane. I began to panic as the sirens grew louder, the propeller on the plane struggled to come to life as the wheels began to roll beneath the plane. However, after several hairsplitting seconds the plane was in the air and all 5 of us including our target were safely in the air.
That was a retelling of one of the many cinematic experiences I encountered in Grand Theft Auto: V’s Heist Update. After over a year’s worth of waiting the highly anticipated update came out last Tuesday on March 10, 2015. Over the weekend I was fortunate enough to have worked with a tight knit group of players that I frequently play with online, because of this we were able to beat all of the heists at least once and repeated several ones for the fun of it. The process of completing all of the Heists is a lengthy one, each one for the most part becomes more difficult and complicated. Yet, this is reflected in the increased rewards for the progressively difficult missions.
For those unaware, Grand Theft Auto Online has been out for quite some time, furthermore the deal making concept or gamemode of the online play, Heists, has been absent for the entirety of the game’s lifespan up until last Tuesday. This was the consequence of countless delays by the developer, Rockstar North, regarding issues for development and overall server strength required to run the Heists online. This combined with the fact that the developers were making these heists for both last gen and current gen consoles further increased the development process. But after a long period of waiting the Heists have arrived and are surprisingly well polished.
The shear amount of detail and lack of game breaking bugs (there are still bugs though, it isn’t bug free) for such a large and complicated process required to allow four players to cooperatively accomplish several Heists is astonishing to say the least. In a day and age of gaming when developers sloppily update their games and to an extent release completely broken ones (IE Assassins Creed Unity) the amount of debugging done by Rockstar North is impressive. The release for Heists could have been awful, bug filled and maybe even impossible to launch yet the developer took the time to optimize the gamemode and content.
The other positive aspect of the Heist update is the fact that it is completely FREE OF CHARGE. Content on this scale would absolutely cost money if it were in the hands of publishers such as Ubisoft or EA. This merely adds to the overall positive feeling and joy that comes from playing these missions. On top of this tons of costumes, cars, planes, and even a flare gun have been added for free as well. My personal favorite out of all of the content added is the Insurgent APC, an armored truck that has a .50 BMG machine gun on a swivel mount on top of it. The truck is simply a tank, capable of taking several rounds from RPGS and even a blast or two from a tank.
As a whole the entire Heist experience feels complete and well polished. The crew’s ability to change their attire to match their situation or on the other hand to match their psychotic nature. The planning and overall prep for the main Heists is tedious at times but it is worth it in the end during the finale. Other smalls aspects such as the ability to equip your mask on the go using the depad adds to the criminal and professional feel of being a crook in a Heist. The Heists open up to players once they reach level 12 if I am remembering it correctly, but they can be invited to them before they reach this level. The consequence is lower level characters are at a significant disadvantage since they lack the heavy hitting weapons that level the playing field when outnumbered by the entire Los Santos Police Department. Bullet proof tires and helicopter access also help make the process a lot easier, both of which are attained at higher levels.
In summary I highly suggest taking Grand Theft Auto V out of its case again in order to play this phenomenal addition to the sandbox game. The Heists add a degree of teamwork and have a decent reward for accomplishing the missions only if you are willing to do them.