Grand Theft Auto Online: Heists

grand-theft-auto-online Rockstar obviously put a great deal of effort into its much-delayed “Heists” expansion for Grand Theft Auto Online. Aside from goodies (the usual additions to clothes, cars, and weapons; a new “Adversary Mode” which references bits from movies, GTA-style), the Heists are meticulously structured: gather your crew, perform setup missions where you attain key equipment or eliminate potential threats to the heist’s success, then move in on the latest score. Players perform various roles, sending them all over an AO, working separately together for a common goal. It’s a bit too meticulous, though. Unlike the GTAV heist missions, any moving part’s failure dooms the entire operation, even in the setups. A low-level, expendable gunman gets put down by cops or Merryweather Security? Mission failure. Restart. Where other GTA Online missions allow some wiggle room for player screwups–and thus dramatic tension–Heists have to go off exactly right or wrong.

There’s also a failure to account for the GTA player base: lobbies often take half-hours to fill, due to a strict 4-player structure and bored players leaving (sometimes even during the mission, causing failure. Restart. More waiting). Not to mention players deliberately fucking about, waiting outside a car everyone needs to pile into or leaping to their deaths or deliberately blowing a stealth segment. Mission failure. Restart. Reckon they’re giggling to themselves, denying everyone else any opportunity for fun (even if it’s at their own expense). Co-op storytelling is a noble experiment, but a little fluidity would go a long way.

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