The much-anticipated Heists for Grand Theft Auto Online are set to arrive in “early 2015” according to publisher Rockstar Games.
Unsurprisingly, while Rockstar has confirmed the addition of Heists and its $0 cost, the all-important question of exactly when remains elusive. What we do have, is a pretty sweet teaser trailer.
“To be honest, they just turned out to be a lot more difficult than we originally thought,” said lead mission designer Imran Sarwar in an interview with IGN. “Our initial attempts at Heists turned out to be a lot of fun for one or two players while other players were getting left on the sidelines.”
The overall idea was to craft missions that would foster teamwork and cooperation in a way that was different from the standard idea of ‘co-op’ in today’s multiplayer online world. Perhaps the biggest challenge was making sure that every player felt central to the action, from the get-away driver, to the hostage taker, to the safe-opener, to the guy holding the money bags.
Heists will require four players all at rank 12 or higher, with one player designated as the heist leader. Being a heist leader requires a high-end apartment from which you can accept missions and begin the prep work needed. While on the one hand it’s always good to be the leader, you will be the one to have to front the set-up costs of bringing in your 3 other players, getting outfits, vehicles, and any other supply required. The missions themselves are multi-tiered and will require several set up phases before players can get their hands on the goods.
At launch (whenever that is), there will be five different heist “strands,” that involve over 20 missions totaling around 20 hours of additional game play. They will be replayable and offer different rewards for completing them in different ways.
Imran noted that development took so long because they were continually re-evaluating how to put a heist together in order to bring about the exact experience players are hoping for, and said quite a bit has changed since the initial announcement of heists. It’s possible that Rockstar isn’t releasing an official date yet because they are still tweaking things, and don’t want to lock themselves into a specific date in case they end up needing to push back the launch (Witcher 3, anyone?), so we’ll all just have to be patient and hope “early 2015” doesn’t mean turn into “Holiday season”.
Grand Theft Auto V originally launched late last year on PS3 and Xbox 360, but it recently saw a current-gen re-release on Xbox One, PS4 and PC. Dale Morgan rather liked it. “Grand Theft Auto V is a triumph,” he wrote in his Grand Theft Auto V review. “Amazing with just how much scope and detail Rockstar North has crammed into it and acting as much a celebration of the past as a glimpse forward into the future of both the series and the genre, it is a fitting swansong to this generation.”