Branded with crazy masks, we plot our way into a new feature for GTA V – Heists

In the sprawling, seemingly infinite environments crafted by Rockstar’s worldsmiths, it is of utmost importance to feel a sense of life existing there. As technology advances and the storytelling talents of our games’ creators grow on ever upwards, the nigh-tangible connection we are able to forge throughout the arc of a game’s plot is constantly becoming all the more complex. A comprehensively populated environment, that is surely of great importance – but just as necessary is a high level of diversity in the ways the player can interact with these worlds and characters.

Jamming a booster shot of adrenaline in this vein, Rockstar has delved a little deeper into the dirty barrel they’ve been swimming in for over fifteen years now and retrieved something more cerebral and potentially rewarding than any ‘bits on the side’ hitherto seen. As far as can be told at this point, these ‘Heists’ go far beyond the sideshow role played by non-story missions in past titles, posing an entire field of player exploration and innovation.

So let’s rob some banks, it’s time to fiddle the money men! Get ready to be the architect and executor of your own sticky-fingered schemes.

How will you make your getaway? Take to the skies…

It’s sounding like finally the swathes of budding, unrealised bedroom-kleptomaniacs laying dormant out there in the so-called real world will finally have be able to find an outlet for their urges, beyond half-inching the occasional freddo or pocketing their other half’s worn undergarments on the sly.

The fundamental elements of your standard heist movie appear to be all present and accounted for: putting together your team, planning your entry, exit points and of course the getaway. How fluid and dynamic this experience will be remains to be seen, however I rarely findthe Rockstar formula to be disappointing, so I’m staying hopeful that the team behind the dream can fully deliver on this ambitious premise.

The Planning

The planning phase of your heist offers such an unprecedented level of customisation for a GTA game, going beyond the aesthetic fiddlings with tattoos and apparel and deep into the bowels of how your game will feel to you. Different attitudes to your heist, such as the ‘loud’ or ‘smart’ approaches will directly affect whether the bankjob or jeweler-jacking sees your man bathing in bloodshed or sipping a martini riding the gravy train to riches and glory. This in effect offers a similar kind of pic’n’mix’n’match gameplay to that seen in dynamic RPGs, such as Skyrim, where the player can choose how they want the game to be through their actions, in the moment, not following a linear path dictated by earlier choices. It is these kinds of gameplay advances which intensify the level of immersion gamers will experience and that will brand a title on the mind of the player for long after their vice grip on the pad has been relinquished.

…or take no prisoners?

Your spectrum of psycho sidekicks offer a range of roles, from hacker, to wheelman, across to gunman if a more brute-force tactic fulfils your notion of getting the job done, but the financially motivated master criminal remain aware that the more hands on deck, the less cash leftover at the end of the day. The truly ruthless mastermind must follow President Truman’s famous mandate and ‘cut down on the cost of living’. I wonder if a carefully placed bullet in the back of one of your heist-mates might see an increase in your cut…The scene has truly been set for double-crossing on the left and the right.


How the online portion of this feature will pan out is a mystery, given that the majority of multiplayer dwellers, at least those perpetually mumbling down their undeserved mics, seem to be lacking in the basic qualities to be deemed anything more than sub-human, but with a team of serious friends, recreations of The Italian Job are far from impossible, though I’ve a feeling that blitzing the liquor store with a shotgun is far more likely to become de rigeur than elegantly executed masterpieces on a par with those we can see on the silver screen. Perhaps, though, this is just another baby step in elevating the realm of gaming to the dizzying heights of cinema. The technology is there – it’s just a need for innovations such as this that rests within the tightening gulf between them.

‘With enough red marker, we’ll never cock this up.’

As well as our countdown articles, we also have our usualscreenshotsandvideosfor Grand Theft Auto V, which you can view over on ourGrand Theft Auto V media hub pagefor the game.

View a full list ourCountdown to GTA V articles.

Sam Finch

Sam has been unable to peel his bloodshot eyes and RSI-ridden wrists from the world of gaming since he was first introduced to it, like all good junkies, by his Grandad. From those early days of MegaDrive sweetness, bashing through the throngs of enemies on Shining Force II, his love of all things games has extended upwards and outwards onto a variety of platforms. You can either believe that spiel, or get the real scoop and know that his spaceship actually crashed here some years ago and he is currently incognito as a games writer for Console Monster.

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