If there is one type of mission that the GTA series manages to nail each time, it’s the good old fashioned bank robbery. Since GTA III graced our PlayStation 2 consoles in 2001, bank robbery missions have gone from strength to strength. The latest game in the franchise, GTA V will be released this September, and it claims to have some of the most in depth robbery and heist missions that the GTA franchise has ever seen.
With that soon to look froward to, here is a list of what I think are the top heist missions that we have seen so far from GTA III, GTA Vice City, GTA San Andrease and GTA IV.
Spoiler alert: This post contains details of specific missions for the above mentioned classic GTA games. Don’t say we didn’t warn you.
Grand Theft Auto III
Mission 8: Van Heist
Mission For: Joey Leone (Leone Family Mafia)
This was one of the first ever heist missions to appear in a 3D GTA game, so it’s understandable that this isn’t the most in depth mission of the bunch. The mission is simple, track down a Securicar payroll van and smash it up until the driver bails and flees for his life. Once the driver has vacated the vehicle screaming all sorts of obscenities, it is then up to you to jack the pay roll van and drive it to a garage in Portland Docks with all of it’s bounty intact.
As early missions go I found this one pretty satisfying. Usually in any GTA game the early missions comprise of a list of mundane tasks which you are supposed to complete in order to prove yourself. These are usually pretty standard stuff such as driving a hooker to her next client or delivering a mystery exploding package to an unsuspecting mobster and then skipping away while said package turns its recipient into mince meat. This mission however gave your more of a purpose and was a good bench mark for heist missions in future games.
Grand Theft Auto Vice City.
Mission 44: The Job
Mission For: Tommy Vercetti (Yourself)
If I were to select a favourite mission from GTA Vice City’s repertoire it would have to be this one. ‘The Job’ is the point where heist missions in GTA really come into their own. What I really like about this mission was the build up. There are several pre-missions to complete before hand, both to recruit the right people for “The Job” and to generally prepare yourself for a full scale attack on the bank and its vaults.
This mission starts when you purchase the Malibu club. Once purchased our protagonist Tommy Vercetti and his corrupt Lawyer/best friend Ken Rosenburg come up with a plan to rob the bank in little Havana. Once Tommy has recruited his possess the pre-missions and has the plan nailed down, its time to rob the bank.
The aim of the mission is to work your way through the bank, picking off the security guards to get the vault. Not all goes smoothly however as the vault refuses to open and the vice city SWAT team arrive. Once you battle your way through the SWAT team it’s time to bundle yourself into the getaway car grabbing as much money as possible.
Maybe it’s the fact that the mission doesn’t go as smoothly as you would hope, or maybe its because you unlock an awesome costume for completing the mission, but ‘The Job’ has to be one of my favourite GTA missions so far. In my opinion it was not only a great mission in its own right but it also in turn paved the way for future GTA bank heists.
Grand Theft Auto San Andreas
Mission 91: Breaking The Bank At Caligula’s
For Wu Zi Mu (San Fierro Triads)
Possibly the most in depth heist mission in a GTA game to date Breaking The Bank At Caligula’s sees our protagonist CJ break working on behalf of the San Fierro Triads. His mission is to break into the vault of the Mafia owned casino ‘Caligula’s Palace’. Much like ‘The Job’ mission from GTA Vice City this mission sees CJ working as a part of a team to break into the vault and get away with some big bucks.
When it comes to game play variety this heist mission really comes into its own. You have to pose as a casino employee, knock out the guards with smoke grenades, navigate through rooms with night vision goggles and jack a fork lift in order to let a van into the banks service bay. This is all done in the space of four minuets while also trying to pick off as many security guards as possible. As to be expected not all goes smoothly and in true GTA fashion you have to battle your way through a load of Mafia in order to get away with your new found wealth.
If you want a full blow heist which crams in so much game play it may as well be the story line for Ocean’s 14, then you will be right at home here.
Grand Theft Auto IV
Mission 51: Three Leaf Clover
For: Patrick McReary (Your New Irish Friend)
Three Leaf Clover is probably one of the most popular missions in the GTA community. It’s appeal more than likely comes from the latter half of the mission where Niko Bellic and his band of Irish cronies have to escape the police on foot through the streets and subways of the Liberty City borough of Agonquin. This element of the mission alone really makes you feel as though you are fighting for your life and one of my favourite GTA gun fights yet.
From the time that the mission starts you can tell that this isn’t the best planned heist of the bunch. Pactrick (aka Packie) and his brother’s method of just running in to a busy bank , blowing up the vault, taking the money and then running away was never going to go very well. Ever seen the movie ‘Heat’ with Al Pachino and Robert Deniro? Remember the bank robbery scene with the epic shoot out with the police? This mission is more or less a direct clone of that movie. In fact even if you haven’t seen the move in question the mission is highly enjoyable as it is raw, brutal and it keeps the adrenaline pumping.
Some people may say that this bank robbery is a step back from the epicness that was San Adrease’s Breaking The Bank At Caligula’s. I feel that it was a smart move as the mission was mainly focused on keeping Niko and friends alive and it also shows you that not all bank heists have to be mission impossible.
What’s in store for GTA V?
Grand Theft Auto V will be taking heist missions to the next level with new game play elements. To start with you will be able to change between three characters on the fly, so you can attack each heist mission from more than one angle. I also expect these mission to have even more depth and variety than ever before. If you’re like me and love a good old fashioned Bank Robbery and you can’t wait until September, then why not go back through your GTA back catalogue and replay some of these classic GTA missions again.