GTA Online: Heists

The Aquamarine Ungulate says: GTA Online’s Heists are a tremendously fun addition to the genre, each providing at least a few hours of play, and all delivered free of charge to people who own the game. Each player gets a job, and each has to do their job to allow the Heist to come off. Verdict: Let’s get HEISTING!

So, Rockstar Games recently released the Heists Update for GTA Online, promising teamplay for major crimes. The DLC dropped about a year after it was expected, making an impressive entry in the Furthest Slipped Release Date award for this year; Rockstar said that they wanted to make sure that the game would be exciting, challenging, and worth the wait.

They DELIVERED (SPOILERS BELOW).

Craig, Chris, Ken, and I all played our way through the Setup and Finale of the intro Heist, “The Fleeca Job”, after a certain amount of glitchiness. It was worth playing through the glitches, because the Heist was a good introduction.

But the real meat started when we did the Setup jobs for the Prison Break job, the first of the four-person missions. First a plane to be stolen from a smuggling gang, then a car and a timetable to be stolen from two different places at the same time. Next a prison bus taken from the police, followed by a pair of simultaneous assassinations on different sides of the city.

That came over a period of two nights’ play, and tonight we got to the Finale: breaking a high-value inmate out of the Bolingbroke Penitentiary. The plan called for a pilot (to man the getaway plane), a demolitions expert (to stop the regular prison transfer bus, then torch it and cover the plane with a Buzzard armed copter), and a prison officer and prisoner for the Han Solo/Chewbacca Gambit.

It took us four tries – two ended by glitches, despite being within moments of completion each time – and one ended by the ground team being eliminated. The fourth attempt saw us working beautifully as a team, coordinating each step. Our pilot figured out a way to nullify the jets hunting for him, which freed me in the demolitions spot/Buzzard to do some hairy flying and air support for the ground team. I say hairy because each time I missed a guard on the ground, someone else would pop up and loose a homing missile at me. Yikes! Three times in the final mission, I got to haul the collective back to nothing, and drop the chopper like a stone to avoid a homer. I was sweating, I’ll admit it. I didn’t want to be the one to lose the Heist for us. But the air support helped, the ground team said, and that felt pretty good.

Finally we got the prisoner and team out on the aircraft, landed just long enough to get them on while I blasted onrushing police cars with the chopper. Escape the five-star wanted level, and I got to see the three of them bail out of the plane, leaving the prisoner to flee the country. Off we fly to Los Santos, having lost the heat, and it’s celebration time!

And we felt like celebrating, for sure. It was a hard but doable mission, and worth (IMO) every month of waiting. If you enjoy tight teamwork, and tense, difficult but accomplishable missions, GTA V’s Online Heists provide the real deal, and we’d be happy to have more reliable folk to join us on PS3 (Crew GTBL, The Gamers’ Table after Craig’s Youtube show).

The kicker? My neck is stiff, after playing for three hours tonight. I was tense enough that I was stiff with it, and I’m paying the price now, but again: worth it.

To be clear, Rockstar provided me nothing for this review; it’s spontaneous, after having played tonight. Wouldn’t want to fall afoul of any concerns about ethics in gaming journalism. 😉

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