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GTA Heists: Friend or foe?

March 19th, 2015 by Neil Cochrane Comments

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The wait was excruciating. Not unlike the anticipation of the release of GTA: V itself. Until the GTA Heists update the most enjoyable aspect of GTA online was the smug “thug life” style feeling of “smoking a foo” when he least expected it and having a wry smile at yourself afterwards, all the while carefully monitoring your map for signs of redemption from your bewildered victim who no doubt respawned nearby with a loaded SMG.

21st century gaming has a huge advantage over its 90s predecessors in that games can now evolve in their current format while new games are developed. Gone are the days when you would complete a game and then shelve it while you waited for the sequel. With online updates, developers can offer something new, giving gamers amazing value for their money. GTA is perhaps the greatest example of this. An interactive world like Los Santos is so easy to develop. The source material is a handy combination of real life and Hollywood, so new ideas are easy to come by.

Personally, I would love to be able to go to a local post office and dispense with the long queue, using my sticky bombs. My personal mental state is a separate issue though.

I, like many others, eagerly awaited the heists update primarily to expand on the flexibility of the online world, bringing it a little closer to the excitement and tension of story mode, while hopefully making a great deal of money in the process. War is an expensive business. Without money, you’re left with the futile task of bringing down your global enemies with harsh language.

I’ve tried that. Pure fail.

So has the heists update lived up to all glorious expectations? In a word, yes. The more appropriate description for this update would be “expansion”. It was not simply a case of adding group robberies to the repertoire of criminal activities. The various planning stages of the heists gave it a more credible approach.

• Assemble your team
• Plan & develop your heist
• Prepare for the final job
• Get it done

The more layers the better as far as I’m concerned. This expansion definitely keeps me interested. So what’s the downside? Well it’s a pretty big one.


Call me old fashioned but sometimes I just wanna rip through the city tearing players a new one with my new found wealth, fast car and multiple expensive weapons. Surely the point in completing heists is to take your money and put it to good use? I want war and death on the streets of Los Santos but it seems the heist update was orchestrated by the Los Santos P.D because since it landed, crime in the city has dropped to a record low. So many players are too occupied to face me in urban combat, and I kind of miss them.

Insert sulky emoticon. (continues after, em, sulky emoticon)


So I find most of the action these days is contained within the heist missions. Is this necessarily a bad thing? I don’t believe so. Since you’ll easily find new players to undertake the missions with regularly, then you essentially have unending variety in your gameplay. Does this have a drawback? Well yes, actually.

If you’re stuck with three guys who don’t have headsets, you might as well kiss your ass goodbye as soon as you leave the apartment. Co-ordination is key to a successful raid in the majority of cases. The missions I’ve completed were the ones in which at least three of the players were able to communicate. Of course you can’t discriminate against players with no audio. Sometimes it just isn’t possible, like when my fiancé bursts into the living room to once again enquire as to why I didn’t wash the dishes and I swiftly pull the plug on my microphone so my team don’t hear me beg forgiveness. Just to paint the picture for you, my PS4 usually sits on the floor, three feet away from where she is standing. Capiche?

Anyway, I digress.

Communication is important (in a heist AND in a relationship, if you’re lucky enough to have one while maintaining an online gaming presence). Gamers have found it frustrating not to be able to talk to their teammates, which has also led to individuals leaving midway through the mission.


Sigh. It’s almost too realistic. I guess that’s almost a good thing. In reality you’re unlikely to pull off a string of successful armed robberies or prison breaks with the same bunch of people.

Gamers will be gamers though. We demand full and unfaltering co-operation from our fellow players. Don’t expect me to remain calm when my 14-year-old driver has to leave suddenly because daddy says it’s bedtime. That’s a surefire way to become dead to me.

So, heists. Yay or nay? Clearly we’re much happier now that we have them, despite the obvious frustrations, particularly between experienced and inexperienced players, but where there are mass online participants there will always be disagreements and impatience, so I guess we take it for what it is for now, an expansive and interactive experience like no other. My final question would be, WHERE’S THE DAMN CASIN?

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"Mum, Dad, I have something to tell you. I can't hide who I am anymore. I hope you'll continue to love and respect me. I'm a nerd" - Me 1992 While other kids were more interested in Biker Grove and Saved By The Bell, I was really worried about how they were gonna get Captain Picard back from the Borg. I've loved sci-fi all my life, particularly Star Trek & Stargate. I have always been a keen performer too having participated in numerous amateur dramatics and a few small televised roles. Sean Bean once moved out of my way in a corridor. I also sing for a kick ass band and enjoy fictional genocide on my PS4

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