Information about GTA Online heists has been even more illusive than the San Andreas Bigfoot, but as the 2015 release window looms closer we are finally getting somewhere. Along with a trailer that, let’s be honest, doesn’t give any new details about the heists that we don’t already know, IGN also had an in-depth interview with GTA V’s producer and lead mission designer, Imran Sarwar.
When heists finally launch sometime in 2015 it will do so with five “strands,” leading into 20 missions, which Imran estimates will add around 20 hours of gameplay into GTA Online. Entering a heist will require four players ranked 12 or higher, with one of them being designated the “heist leader,” similar to the role that players take in the single-player game.
Also similar to the single-player heists, Lester will be dishing out the quests when players want them in GTA Online. The heist leader in each instance will be given the responsibility to “invite players into the crew, assign, positions, pick outfits, and allocate each player’s cut.” The downside to being the leader of the bunch is that you must up-front the cost of the heist. Screw up mission assigning or pick a clashing wardrobe as the heist leader? You’ll be out a lot of virtual money. Crew members also get paid upfront, while the leader will only receive payment when the heist is complete, further drilling home the point that the leader bares the most responsibility.
Honestly, if hammering this out to make it work (and it does end up working) is a big part of what Rockstar has been working on for so long, then I’m on board. The biggest issue with a lot of asymmetrical multiplayer games is that there is really no major downside to being the leader, so everyone wants to be it and will likely not follow orders otherwise. Incentivising the leader in this way will force them to really take charge, and it may even lead to more people being perfectly fine in supporting roles where their risk in the event of failure is so much lower.
Check out the full interview over with Imran (along with a boatload of images and information on how heists will work) over at IGN.