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My Experience Playing The Cayo Perico Heist

It’s hard to believe that GTA V and GTA Online have been around for more than seven years, and still, Rockstar Games continually drops new downloadable content (DLC). Though some DLCs only add cars and clothes, the newest DLC – “The Cayo Perico Heist” – is set to change heists moving forward.

So, is “The Cayo Perico Heist’‘ DLC a game-changer? Simply put: yes. 

Cayo Perico Heist
Courtesy of Rockstar Games

Before, players had to do heists with four players. As more heists were released, that number decreased to two and, with the Cayo Perico Heist, players can solo the entire heist. As a solo player, this was music to my ears. Oftentimes, it’s difficult to gather a few friends to finish heists – because we’re all busy adults – and playing with randoms is almost always out of the question (they aren’t great, to put it lightly.)

So, when the option to play the heist solo was announced, I was ecstatic. That feeling of elation didn’t last long because almost immediately, I was reminded of how expensive everything is in GTA Online. 

The submarine required for the heist, the Kosatka, costs anywhere from $2.2 million (completely bare bones) to almost $9.1 million (with all upgrades.) Admittedly, I hadn’t played GTA Online in a few months, but I had a few million dollars leftover so I bought a submarine with just the bare essentials, totalling about $3 million.

My very own submarine. I couldn’t afford to make it yellow. Screenshot courtesy of Rockstar Games.

To my surprise, though the exterior is new, the interior was shockingly similar to all the other submarines featured in-game. 

Sure, there may be homing rockets, torpedoes and the fact that the submarine is fully driveable, but that wasn’t all it was hyped up to be. Also, the submarine is shockingly weak: I was driving my submarine above water and a player with an Oppressor Mk II destroyed my submarine with a few rockets, killing me. 

It’s also slow, though that’s expected, since it is a submarine. Nonetheless, I stopped caring about the submarine and the other extremely expensive additions and began focusing on the substance of the DLC: the heist. 

Full disclosure, I played on the base Xbox One and so the framerate was extremely inconsistent, often dipping in the teens during cutscenes. For example, during a cutscene with Dr. Dre and Jimmy Iovine, the subtitles lagged so far behind the action that I had no idea what was going on. 

(Side note: Scott Storch is also on the island, but the frame rate was so bad that I didn’t know what the “plot” was or why he was there.)

Meet Pavel. He’s your new sidekick. Screenshot courtesy of Rockstar Games.

Frame rate dips also spilled onto actual gameplay. After the player meets Pavel – the players’ sidekick during the heist – they are told to go to Cayo Perico. Once there, the player drives to a party, where they can sneak off and explore the island. 

For me personally, once the game handed me control of my character, the game was so laggy. Once I got to the gate to leave the party and explore the island, my character kept phasing in and out of reality until the game fully loaded the rest of the island. 

Regarding the island, it’s packed with patrolling guards and security cameras. That’s expected since the owner of the island is a drug lord, but what wasn’t expected is how incredibly sharp the guards are. I can’t count the amount of times a guard saw me when I was behind a building and away from their vision. 

For context, guards and security cameras have a cone of vision on the map showing where they’re looking, in theory anyway. When I was scoping out the island and its various points of interest as well as the compounds’ entry points, the guards often spotted me, even though I was supposed to be hidden. Case and point, the building example above.

This is what my planning board looked like. Depending on how well you scope, payouts could be different. Screenshot courtesy of Rockstar Games.

Additionally, you can’t go to the island except for when you’re scoping it out or for the actual heist, which is disappointing. The payout is also somewhat low but it all depends on how much loot you can carry, how many players are joining you and what you ultimately get. 

Personally, I chose to get money along with the files, bringing my total up to $1.6 million. Speaking of which, the heist itself is somewhat of a letdown. In the trailers, it seemed like the different ways to loot El Rubio’s – the bad guy – compound would amount to a different style of play. 

For me, it didn’t really do anything except infuriate me because of the aforementioned guards seeing me when they shouldn’t and the fact that they endlessly spawned behind me. It was so infuriating that I had to stop the heist and go back to the planning board because the approach I chose wasn’t working and it wasn’t because of anything I did. 

Instead, I kept digging and found other entry points making the heist much easier. After grabbing all the necessary and secondary loot that I could, I raced toward the exfil where I was greeted by a mass of enemies, shooting me. Mind you, I played stealthily this runthrough. 

After dying and having to fight my way out, I finally completed the heist after hours of frustration and irritation. Once I saw all the screens saying I finished the heist flash by, I was greeted to an all-too-familiar sight:

The only thing you want to see after a long heist. Screenshot courtesy of Rockstar Games.

Thankfully, after waiting more than three minutes to boot up GTA Online, the funds had been deposited into my account. It wasn’t long after that I was killed by a strafing jet, a sniper, a flying bike and explosives within a five minute span. I soon turned off GTA Online to play something else.

Overall, I enjoyed my time playing “The Cayo Perico Heist.” Sure, the guards screwed me over numerous times, the frame rate was absolutely horrendous and the somewhat-low loot stained my experience. But it was still fun. 

Roaming and exploring the island, seeing all the different ways to approach the heist and the bevy of content – even if they are extremely expensive – is a nice addition. I’ll definitely be back a few more times, with friends and by myself, to take on “The Cayo Perico Heist” yet again.

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