We re-visited the ultimate asshole simulator to play the Doomsday Heist. It's insanely good - if you can afford to unlock it or have the patience of a saint.
I can honestly say that I know Los Santos better than I know my own town. I don't need my GPS to get to most places these days. There's Del Perro Pier with the ferris wheel and the rollercoaster. Drive up the road a bit from there and you get to Del Perro Heights, where most of my German heist mates live, because it's the cheapest safehouse you can get as a base of operations for heists. They're not really active anymore these days, but back then we completed all of the heists together several times. I remember spamming C4 all over the parking lot to nuke my friends the moment they'd come out with their cars. Sometimes we'd troll each other with attack helicopters and dick around with them right in front of the windows of the Del Perro apartments. Good times.
|You kinda had to be there.|
Up north from there you'll come to the Eclipse Towers, where I've got my place with its original interior, before they made it all customizable. You can get to Vinewood Hills from there, which is where Claire lives in what's probably the nicest house you can currently get in the game. I'll always be jealous of that, but I'm not buying any other homes unless they suddenly decide to start selling one of those fakey Malibu Beach houses.
Every corner of this virtual city has some happy memories attached to it, whether we were trying to catapult each other onto the rooftops of random buildings, dropped each other's cars in random swimming pools with cargobobs or crash-landed airplanes right on top of each other in the middle of a busy road. GTA Online has this ridiculously massive assortment of tools, which allow you to be an absolute cunt to all of your online friends, enemies and the virtual citizens of Los Santos. I absolutely love it.
Of course the main reason why we're back on there right now isn't the happy memories or even the joyous torture of friends and loved ones. It's the new Doomsday Heist. Well... by 'new' I mean it was added last year, but we haven't touched it until recently, because gaining access is stupidly expensive and getting to the actual heist content requires even more money or forced online play in public lobbies. So unless you're part of a very active heist team that piles up millions and millions of GTA Dollars, chances are, you're gonna be spending so much money on Shark Cards in order to unlock the new content, you might as well be buying a brand new AAA game. It took me a €45 Megalodon Shark Card to get to all of the good stuff (and skip the annoying public shit). So for all the praise Rockstar get for their "free content updates", they really aren't free at all for anyone but the most dedicated players out there. Because with the ~15k you make in an average mission, you'll be spending the rest of your life grinding out the cash required to unlock all this.
|Check out my free new airplane from the free hangar update, which only costs about 40 real life Dollars to unlock!|
It's frustrating enough when you're supposed to move a vehicle from one location to another when today's version of GTA has explosive sniper and shotgun ammo, which nukes pretty much anything in a single shot. When you get people constantly caging you, dropping airplanes on your character and remote-nuking you with mod menus, a frustrating, brutally unfair prep mission becomes impossible. The good news is that you can skip all the forced public session crap, if you don't want to put up with this nonsense. The bad news is that doing so costs even more money, meaning the setup to any of these heist scenarios can set you back a million GTA Dollars, meaning you'll earn absolutely fuck all at the end of it. I wasn't joking when I said you'd be spending AAA-game money just to have a chance to play this "free" new content.
|All right! So far, 100% of the stuff I've done this update is pay for things. Let's see if it's fun to play.|
Each of the three heist scenarios comes with its own selection of set-up missions and an actual heist finale, so there's an easy ten or so hours of content here for a first playthrough - more, if you're brave enough to attempt the public free mode prep work. The whole thing is also a bit more flexible than the original heists. Rather than locking you into teams of exactly 4 players (or 2 in case of the Fleeca practice heist), each and every Doomsday mission can be played with 2-4 people. Claire and I did the whole thing as a duo at level 160, which was extremely challenging in places, but doable.
|Yay for references from James Bond to Back to the Future!|
Once that's done, your next set of targets is on the water. That's where you get to activate the DeLuxo's hover mode and glide across the waves as you chase after your next set of targets. The mission ultimately takes you to Los Santos Airport, where the DeLuxo's flight mode gets activated. Now you're hacking an airliner with your flying car whilst battling attack helicopters. It looks even more insane than it sounds and it's easily some of the coolest shit I've ever done on there.
|At this point I'm not even mad I had to pay for this.|
There's one mission in particular, which requires you to hack four servers in the largest, most maze-like server room I've ever seen in any game, ever. Infinite enemies spawn everywhere around you, which makes things incredibly fun when you attempt this mission with only two players like we did.
Once you're done with this bit, you get to escape the server room. Players start on opposite ends of the room and fight their way through towards a central staircase, which is absolutely crawling with enemies. They're surrounding the stairs, they're ON the stairs, they're doing a circle-jerk around the very top of the stairs, shooting you from every direction the moment you make it up there. Once you make it out there, you're faced with a dozen or so cop-cars, a swat team and a bunch of helicopters attacking from every single direction. You get one spare life shared between the team. Lose it and if anybody dies at any point during the escape bit, you'll be sent all the way back to the server room.
|The server room of doom|
It doesn't help that enemy spawns have always been crap in this game. Sometimes you will simply trigger a spawn, causing bad guys to appear literally behind you, who will immediately begin to shoot you before you can react. There's nothing more frustrating than almost completing a mission on the 20th attempt, only to get fucked over by some jerkwad, who magically materialized out of thin air right behind you.
|Cutscenes in Doomsday are top-notch.|
If you still have friends you play GTA with and you've got what it takes to tackle some of the game's toughest content, then the Doomsday Heist is absolutely worth it, even if you'll likely me forced to shell out a whole bunch of cash just to access it. There's also the fact that, if you complete the heist missions as the leader, you'll get massive discounts on all the new vehicles and toys.
Still, remember the good old days where the most expensive thing you could get was a Zentorno for around 700k and where the entrance fee to a heist was a 200k apartment? Having to spend millions and millions for every little bit of new content simply isn't fun. Sure, people pay for it, myself included, which is why Rockstar are still raking in stupid amounts of cash with this game almost a half decade after release. But I remember when staying up to date with an online game required a cheap subscription and the occasional expansion pack. Keeping up in GTA means spending AAA money with every update these days and I don't like that. If only it wasn't so damn fun!