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Grand Theft Auto 5: Online Heist DLC Review
Release Date: March 10, 2015
Available For: Xbox 360 (played on), Xbox One, PS3, PS4
ESRB Rating: M for Mature
Recommended Price Point: Free
Yes, it’s finally here. The GTA5 Online Heist content is out for free on all platforms (sorry –all except PC). Grand Theft Auto and unending hype go hand in hand, and the new Online Heist content has been hotly anticipated to say the least. In the past year, Rockstar have announced numerous release dates that have been met with equally numerous delays. But now, it’s time to tool up, team up, and hit Los Santos and Blaine County with the kind of kleptomaniacal vigour that would impress even the likes of Jesse James and John Dillinger.
For those not in the know, the Online Heists pack adds a load of new content for both online and singleplayer GTA5. The ‘intense multi-part heists, raids and robberies’ form the bulk of the DLC. In these 4-player coop missions, you’ll pick a role and make use of new weapons, vehicles and other gameplay additions to take the five-finger discount to the extreme in order to earn yourself some serious bucks. Rockstar have also added three new game modes called Siege Mentality, Hasta La Vista, and Come Out To Play, as well as Daily Objectives and new Free Roam Activities.
A number of new features are immediately evident. Owners of a high-end apartment will see that Lester has outfitted one of the rooms with a setup for planning the heist missions. There are a few other little bits and pieces, such as free roam activities for Trevor and Gerald where you destroy planes and cars, respectively, for cash rewards.
Head to the nearest Ammunation to get yourself a flare gun – lots of fun to be had setting pedestrians on fire with that one. Rockstar have added in some cool new vehicles to GTA as well, including the awesome HVY Insurgent, complete with mounted machine gun. Definitely as cool as it sounds. There are a few other cars, a couple of weapon-carrying helis and the Hydra jet from GTA: San Andreas. A whole load of new masks, clothes, and equipment are available for all your criminal needs. You can get balaclavas, night vision goggles, and more from the various shops about Los Santos. The balaclavas are awesome, perfect for carrying robberies out in style.
You will also notice the new Daily Objectives in the Interaction menu. These are neat little daily, weekly, and monthly objectives that you can complete to earn money and experience. Included are tasks such as ‘complete a Flight School mission’ or ‘take part in a Sea Race’. The Daily Objectives are a decent little touch that fill out the free roam side of GTA Online nicely. The new Versus game modes are quite fun, but they’re pretty much sidelined by the main heists.
In the Heist update, Rockstar have added in the options to have separate controls for drive-by aiming and shooting as well as being able to move while zooming in with a scope. Again, a nice little addition if you feel that the controls could do with a bit of a change. The separated drive-by buttons now make it even easier to get that high-speed tyre-bursting shot.
So, there’s a large amount of stuff to get your teeth into. It’s all pretty good, nothing particularly mind-blowing, but all the new content adds to the game whether in terms of character customisability or giving you more things to do in Online.
But now it’s time to talk about the part that everyone’s here for: the heists. Now I might as well mention the bad parts first of all. There are only 5 actual heists. This is a bit disappointing, but now that the framework is in place it’s reasonable to suggest that Rockstar can add more in the future. And in all fairness, the Heist DLC is free, so there’s only so much you can expect.
The most frustrating, and frankly inexcusable, part of the Heist DLC was a glitch in the Fleeca Bank Heist. In this heist, you make your getaway by driving away in an armoured vehicle which gets picked up by a helicopter with a large magnet beneath. Except, on the first two attempts the magnet literally was not there, rendering the mission impossible to complete successfully. This was really frustrating, but by the third attempt the magnet was there and the mission was finished. There’s always going to be glitches, but a mission-ruining glitch like that is just a poor effort from Rockstar.
Each heist has a number of setup missions. Similar to the single player heist setups, these include stealing vehicles, getting equipment, or scoping out locations in preparation for the main event. Sometimes your crew will be split up to take on different parts of the mission. In one, half the team head to the docks to get a classic sports car out of a shipping container while the other half dress up as cops to steal a patrol car. These are pretty similar to the other missions already in GTA Online, but it’s still nice to have some more missions to get stuck into.
The heists themselves are quite enjoyable. The payouts are large and you can set the percentage of you and your team’s take. Just as in single player, each member of the team fulfils a different role – one may be pacifying the crowd while the other takes the score. A bit of extra replay factor is welcome, considering the small amount of actual robberies given in the DLC. There’s a good amount of variability in the heists too, including bank robberies, prison breakouts, and one involving the Hydra jet.
As you would expect from a cooperative game, it’s best if you play with friends rather than chancing it with auto-invite. I was unlucky enough to have to sit in the car for five minutes waiting for the other player to carry out his hacking minigame before the actual action could take place. A mic is pretty useful in this sense too. GTA Online shines when you play together with your friends, and the Heist DLC certainly breathes some life into the experience.
It’s taken them long enough to release it, but Rockstar have finally brought out the GTA Online Heist DLC update. There isn’t anything that vastly transforms Online, but the amount of content is quite impressive. The extra game modes and features are certainly welcome, and the heists themselves bring a lot of fun to the game. They’ll fill out your character’s bank accounts too. If you have GTA 5, there is literally no reason why you shouldn’t get this update. First of all because it’s free, which is fantastic – Rockstar cannot be faulted for the amount of free content they’ve added to GTA 5. But also because I’ll take any opportunity to wreak havoc in Los Santos and Blaine County, and the amount additions in the Heist DLC gives me plenty of reasons to get back into GTA Online.