It’s been months since Rockstar, the developers of the Grand Theft Auto franchise revealed that Heists were coming to the Grand Theft Auto Online multiplayer mode that came with GTA 5. Officially, Heists won’t be available until 2015, but a trailer and interview out today revealed how they will work when they do arrive.
First, the trailer. In itself, it doesn’t contain a lot of details about how GTA 5 Heists will work. Instead, it’s nearly a minute of solid cut scenes as players team up inside the game world of Los Santos to pull off big jobs for tons of in-game cash. It does indicate that players participating in GTA 5 Heists will need to do smaller missions that prep for a big finale. That makes sense as that’s how Heists work in Grand Theft Auto 5’s single player story.
The GTA 5 Heists interview over at IGN sheds some light on the entire process, from how heists work to why it’s taken so long to get them running. According to Imran Sawar, who works as a producer and lead mission designer for GTA Online, the troubled release came down to scope and ambition. “One of the challenges is that unlike a Heist in Story Mode, every player needs to feel central to the action at all times, and that’s much more challenging than it appears, ” Sawar says.
Whereas Heists in the story mode let players cut between different parts of the operation to stay relevant, every person participating in a GTA Online Heist needs to feel essential. That turned out to be more work.
Every GTA Online Heist will require 4 players to participate and each one will need to have ranked their in-game character to level 12 or higher. Any lower, and heists aren’t yet unlocked. Players will also require owning a high-end apartment in Grand Theft Auto Online’s huge world since they’ll need some place to plan their missions and set-up for the Heist. Each Heist will have a leader that personally pays for the expenses incurred by the crew and leads the entire operation. Outfits and mission selection are up to the Heist leader. The Heist leader won’t get paid until a heist is completed, but everyone else will get monetary rewards for completing missions as they happen. Again, Heists will consist of multiple missions. Some players will be tasked with hacking while others will be in charge of collecting supplies and a get-away car. Rockstar’s hope is that Heists will offer players a lot to do and make them want to come back and play them over and over again.
When GTA 5 Heists launches there will be around 5 to choose from, according to Sawar. On average they’ll take about 20 hours to complete. Each Heist is broken down into small individual missions.
Unfortunately, even now Rockstar isn’t ready to talk about a specific launch date for heists beyond “Early 2015.” That’s a shame, users have been waiting for them for months. If Rockstar is finally ready to show Heists on video and provide mission details then they can’t be too far off. It’s possible that Rockstar is aiming for early January.
Last year, GTA 5 was gaming’s best-selling title. It smashed records, despite it not being available on the Xbox One and PS4 when they arrived. This past November, Rockstar rereleased Grand Theft Auto 5 for Xbox One and PS4. Besides launching with better graphics, each includes a first-person mode that allows users to pretty much become their character during the game’s story or online.
Grand Theft Auto 5 for the Xbox One, PS4, PS3 and Xbox 360 comes with access to GTA Online. The PC version of the game will too when it launches early in 2015.