Rockstar Games finally unleashed heists in Grand Theft Auto Online upon the world (except for PC users who will have their chance on April 14th). They were definitely worth the wait. Aside from all the connectivity and matchmaking problems, not to mention the odd glitch or three, we all had a blast busting Rashkovsky out of jail, raiding the Humane Labs, protecting Trevor from every single gang in Los Santos and of course, liberating Pacific Standard of $1.25 million.
The question, as always, remains: What next? What could Rockstar possibly incorporate as another heist (or set of heists) to keep us interested? What do we want to see? And how can the heist formula be expanded?
We thought about the five heists we want to see most and hopefully, they can provide some general direction on the kinds of heists we’ll get in the future. There’s no telling whether Grand Theft Auto Online will ever receive these epic missions but some day, we hope it does.
If you do a quick search for Grand Theft Auto Online videos and Let’s Plays, you’ll find a number of players teaming up and just running into Fort Zancudo to survive as long as possible. Fort Zancudo, for those unaware, is the military base in the world of GTA 5 and entering it – whether through the front gate, parachuting or jumping the fence – earns you an immediate four star wanted level. Infiltrating the base is also the only way to access the game’s fighter jet, the Lazer, although leaving with it is an even more daunting task.
We’ve already had one heist wherein we had to infiltrate an aircraft carrier to steal the VTOL-esque Hydra. Why not feature a heist or set-up mission which requires us to enter Fort Zancudo?
If we’re going full-on heist, then it could be a mission to recover some important (and expensive) military technology, followed by a few waves of survival and then extraction. Heck, you could have three players enter the base – one running distraction, the other two entering into said facility to recover the military tech – while the fourth readies the extraction helicopter. This could then lead to a high-speed escape of sorts with enemy Lazers in pursuit.
For all the challenges we’ve faced in heists with Merryweather and N.O.O.S.E., we’ve never really had the chance to fight the military (aside from the single-player campaign). And that’s a real shame since they often carry some of the coolest toys to blow up.
On top of all that, this heist would finally give some impetus to all those Let’s Players to enter into Fort Zancudo and cause havoc. Heck, add an objective that grants bonus cash if you opt to stay and survive for a longer time. As it stands, the military base is just too appealing of a heist option to pass up.
Remember when you snuck into the secret laboratory in story mode via an underwater submarine? We want that again. Well, sort of.
Really, what we want is a heist – or any extensive online mission – that makes use of the underwater aspect of Grand Theft Auto 5/Online. Perhaps there could be secret underwater ruins in the Los Santos waters. Set-up missions could include staking out the waters, perhaps playing some fishing mini-games in between, or even hijacking a luxury cruise ship (disposing of security, of course) in order to get close enough.
After this – and once the proper equipment is procured – players could head underwater to find the ruins and recover whatever ancient artifact lies beneath. Naturally, you could have rival organizations enter in – perhaps the FIB, Merryweather and assorted treasure hunters – and attempt to stop you. If it doesn’t result in completely clunky fights, have underwater battles with knives and such. Give us chases in submarines which require us to reach the surface and properly escape.
You could even implement a nifty Indiana Jones-style escape where the ruins collapse and players have to escape within a set time limit. Have two players enter these ruins and the other two stay above water, fending off various enemies and perhaps releasing explosive charges underwater to cover their friends. A little Battleship-esque mechanic could be implemented where the players underwater have to call out locations for the players above water to drop explosive charges to open a path.
So there are plenty of ideas for heists involving two teams or players taking on multiple roles and escaping into the sunset. How about something truly unique?
Kidnapped (and Rescue)
Imagine this: A player on your team has been kidnapped. It could be an old enemy. It could be Merryweather paying you back for messing with them one too many times (and which would make sense, since you have an account with them and they can easily find you as a result). It could even be Trevor being Trevor. Regardless, a member of your team is kidnapped. Three players have to find out where the fourth has gone and how to get him/her back.
There will be various set-up missions to this effect but in the meantime, the fourth player will be involved in trying to escape their confinement (a situation where the captors are constantly looking for them could also be created). In this way, you have two different missions playing out. They could also be entwined in the finale with the other three players shutting off the power and drawing the captors away to allow the fourth to make it through the last few hurdles unscathed. A daring rescue would then be staged after which all four players would seekk revenge against the captors.
To make this even more interesting, design the heist in such a way that up to three members of your crew can be kidnapped and a single player has to get them out alive. This could open up new mechanics in terms of how the three will escape and how the lone player will try to rescue them. Stealth would be as essential as explosives in this case and it would be amazing.
But enough about escapes and military bases and whatnot. How about a heist that’s straight-up weird?
Your crew is sitting around in your apartment and unfortunately, some bad material is inhaled. This causes a mass hallucination wherein all four of you must defend Los Santos from an impending alien invasion. The initial set-up mission could include fortifying various structures, convincing authorities and various characters to help you out, and planning out your defense.
The actual invasion will take up the remaining set-up mission segments. The first could be like Atari Missile Command as players have to shoot down various projectiles and ships out of the sky before shifting to ground-based combat. Two players could take command of Lazers or Hydras during the missile defense segment while two others try to aid them without shooting them out of the sky. The ground segments could then see players take command of various vehicles and also rush to different buildings to ward off the aliens (like the hospital and such).
The finale sees you successfully repel the invasion and make a beeline to the mother ship in order to stop the aliens once and for all. All four players will make it through the ship and proceed to take down the big bad boss: Carl Johnson (aka C.J. from San Andreas)! Okay, not really, but the whole point is that this is a hallucination so anything goes.
That is, until all four players awaken from the trip with tons of cash and various alien vehicles and weaponry unlocked. Was it really all a dream? That’s part of the appeal (bonus points if Rockstar can tie this in with the stone tablets and hints of UFOs scattered throughout GTA 5).
Outlandish? Sure but all of the heists are and it was certainly odd to see aliens, drug-induced or otherwise, in the single-player campaign to begin with. Without going full-on Saints Row IV, this is a great way to incorporate that into a heist-like mission. Above all, it would be fun and that’s what these are all about, right?
Storm the Castle
Of all the different heists introduced in the recent DLC, there’s one specific game type we wanted to see, one that blends PvE with PvP. Hence, we have a heist wherein crews must compete against each other to successfully storm a castle. Where is this castle and what does it hold? That’s for Rockstar to figure out.
This particular heist could function as a live instance of sorts which only pops up every now and then. Rockstar could fix a specific few days for when it’s held and accommodate up to three crews for a single run. The various crews will go straight to the castle in question and complete various rooms and challenges to make it to the finale. Think Legends of the Hidden Temple challenges meets Destiny’s raid mechanics. You’ll need to figure out what to do while you’re doing it to succeed.
Of course each crew is rewarded for their participation but the crew which can complete it the fastest reaps the biggest cash rewards. Rockstar could also have Mario Party-style prizes – along with an overall winning crew, there could be awards for crews on the basis of who kills the most enemies, which takes the least amount of damage and so on. Special challenges could also figure into this and the crew which completes the most is also rewarded more.
“Storm the Castle” could be the one heist that keeps players coming back, especially with the different difficulty tiers and rewards. The only disadvantage to having this type of heist is that it outright forces players to have teams that understand the mechanics through and through. It requires you to have trusted team-mates and pre-made teams rather than relying on matchmaking. But last we checked that hasn’t been panning out so badly for games like Destiny.
What kind of heists would you like to see next in Grand Theft Auto Online? Let us know in the comments below.