Just last week, Rockstar Games announced another delay for the PC version of its highly acclaimed action crime game Grand Theft Auto V, but it was a note included with the announcement about the Heists DLC coming to GTA Online that has many console fans excited.
"Online Heists for consoles will be launching in the coming weeks ahead of the PC launch," the announcement said as almost an afterthought. But the fact that GTA V players have been waiting so long for this anticipated group feature for the game means that it's certainly going to be a popular mechanic that Rockstar wants to get right.
In December, the developer released a ton of new info on Heists, including a new trailer and more details on what players can expect.
"GTA Online Heists are coming early in 2015," the blog post at the Rockstar Newswire stated. "Check out the new trailer for the four-player co-op mode for Grand Theft Auto Online that allows players to plan, prepare and execute multi-tiered Heists across Los Santos and Blaine County. These will require tight communication and coordination, with players taking on specified roles at each point to accomplish multiple objectives on the way to each Heist's epic finale. Featuring new gameplay, new vehicles, new weapons, new clothing and much more."
An in-depth interview was released at IGN to coincide with the info drop in December, and in it, we get word of how the heists work, the reason for the delay, and how many heists we can expect on launch day.
"To be honest, they just turned out to be a lot more difficult than we originally thought," GTA Online producer and lead mission designer Imran Sarwar responded when asked about the delay. Players have been waiting over a year for the online team-based feature.
"As it turns out, creating missions of that complexity for multiple players at the same time was much more difficult than we anticipated and every time we thought we were close, something would send us back to square one," Sarwar continued. "Having already let players know of our intentions with Heists, every setback only increased the pressure to make sure we got them right."
But if you haven't heard of Heists and how they work, Sarwar briefly describes the feature in the interview. "Each heist requires 4 players all at rank 12 or above, with one player as the designated heist leader," he said. "Leading a heist requires owning a high-end apartment so that you have a room available to set up the planning board. From there you'll be able to launch missions as the leader, starting with the prep work and building up to the score itself."
Sarwar goes on to describe the types of missions you can expect with Heists. "Some missions have all players working as one unit, some require players to take on specific tasks like hacking or crowd control, while others require players to split into smaller teams to complete separate high value objectives."
There will be five unique heist "strands" that will contain a total of 20 missions racking up about 20 hours of additional gameplay. And running heist mission is more than simply knocking over banks. "We have several rewards for players as well, such as for playing all five heists in order with the same set of players and another bonus for playing all of them in first-person [mode] on PS4, Xbox One, or PC, as well as Elite Bonus Challenges, which are essentially a big cash reward if you complete each part of a heist while meeting certain criteria, such as time to complete, damage taken, accuracy etc," Sarwar adds.
Be sure to check out the entire interview at IGN for more detailed information, and look for Heists DLC to drop very soon for the Xbox One and PlayStation 4, while waiting for it to come to the PC in March.