Grand Theft Auto V was a great game and is easily one of my top titles of the year. I’m just getting that out of the way right now.
But something’s been bugging me since I finished it early last month. Michael, Franklin and Trevor are terrible heisters. Their degree of success throughout, considering their complete disregard for best rules for people in their trade, is incredible.
Of course, I’ve never robbed anyone, but I love heist books, heist movies and heist games, and there are some clear rules about how these things work. There are some things a heister should and shouldn’t do to be able to be successful in their line of work.
Mechanical and logistical limitations of the game sometimes shattered my suspended disbelief; stuff that sounds like common sense for a professional criminal doesn’t apply in Grand Theft Auto, a game about being a professional criminal.
1. Don’t work where you play. No good criminal robs places he drives by on his way to the bar. You work in another city, maybe another country. Once you’ve knocked a place over, you get the heck out of Dodge.
Instead, the three amigos do the opposite, playing harder and working harder in the same place.
2. Source your equipment from places off the grid. Why steal an exterminator van when you could just pay someone a paltry amount of money to paint the logo on? Any van will work. And then police won’t be on the lookout for an exterminator van.
3. Don’t go crazy with your new-found wealth. If someone emptied out a jewelry store, then the next day someone with no history of large purchases suddenly buys a bar and a supercar, they’d find the police on their doorstep.
4. Lay low. Like maybe after you commit one of the greatest heists in the history of the city, don’t drive down the sidewalk, mowing people down. Maybe stay at home for a few days before mowing hundreds of people down.
5. Don’t engage in insider trading. Sure, you can make a lot of money fast, but dumping a bunch of money into the stock market just before an assassination is going to attract a lot of undue attention that only the most extensive money laundering is going to fix with limited success.
It’s easy to see how Franklin might miss some of these rules; compared to his partners, he’s relatively naive. And Trevor might be an unhinged drug addict, but he’s lasted this long. So what about Michael? He’s supposed to be the professional; what’s his excuse? I wonder if having systems in place for some of these rules could’ve made Grand Theft Auto V even more mesmerizing. What other major heist rules did this trio break in Grand Theft Auto V?