After more than a year of promises, Heists are finally coming to GTA V.
Having held off on releasing the highly-anticipated component of the GTA Online world, Rockstar has felt the wrath of its more diehard fans, many of whom have dedicated hundreds if not thousands of hours to the virtual online world.
With the intention of building on the single-player’s heist missions, Rockstar has set high expectations. The hope is that the Heists mode is able to translate the tension and explosiveness of the single-player to the cooperative world.
Unlike Grand Theft Auto IV, much of the post-release attention has been focused firmly on this multiplayer mode, with talk of new story episodic content essentially non-existent, but certainly not out of mind of GTA fans.
Of course, episodic single-player content is inevitable: we got two add-ons for GTA IV, and Undead Nightmare for Red Dead Redemption. The difference here, however, is the time between the game’s initial release and the launch of Heists, some 16 months. We didn’t wait that long for story-based content for GTA IV and Red Dead Redemption, but neither of those games had as committed an online world as GTA V does.
It’s no surprise that we haven’t received any new story missions: Rockstar has been focused on bringing GTA V to Xbox One, PS4 and PC, and on top of wanting to make Heists fit within very high gamer expectations, the studio clearly hasn’t had the flexibility to release single-player content.
Of course, no one expected GTA V to still be supported in this capacity well over a year since its release. Heists isn’t just a small new matchmaking mode being added: it was one of the core pillars of GTA Online’s marketing campaign when it was first revealed, and promises to be a cooperative offering the scatter-gun GTA Online experience desperately needs.
It’s been frustrating, sure, that we’ve had to wait this long. But we also got two upgrades for new consoles, including a completely new, amazing first-person perspective, not to mention a PC version that will inevitably ignite an exciting modding community.
There is word of a monumental return to Trevor, Michael and Franklin’s story, but do gamers even care enough anymore to return to those iconic characters?
Turns out they do: gamers snapped-up the PS4 and Xbox One versions of the game, while the PC version is the most popular pre-order on the platform. It’s also still the fourth-most popular game in Australia.
Enough people still care about GTA V to justify bringing the game to new platforms, adding expansive new multiplayer modes, and servicing a PC community crying out for new GTA modding opportunities.
We should expect story-based content, not because it’s what Rockstar’s always done in the past, but because the traditional, single-player GTA experience needs to be returned to. Heists add a similarly anarchic experience that is particularly GTA-esque, but it still lacks the personable, powerful narrative that defines the GTA franchise. No matter how you dress it up, it’ll still be a mode hellbent on expanding the game’s cooperative offering, while those clamoring to meet new Los Santos characters have to wait a little longer.
Heists’ March release isn’t the only good news. Its forthcoming release should herald in a new focus for Rockstar, and that will hopefully be a rebirth of Los Santos’ titular trio of chaos.