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Will Hei$t be able to draw people away from GTAIV?

The Pretender

Take one quick look at Codemaster’s new free roamer, Hei$t, and you may be forgiven for looking suspiciously at the monochrome hues of it’s city and being reminded of a very recent, very big, game that just came out.

Yes, Hei$t is one of the first few post-Grand Theft Auto IV free roamers to come out, meaning it will have to try and best the highest scoring game of all time, which received a commendable 9 out of 10 from us here at Hooked Gamers. But with GTAIV getting such universal acclaim, what can Hei$t hope to do to top it, or even to come close to it’s glory?

Summer of '69

Well, it can set itself in a completely different era. The year is 1969, the setting is San Francisco, and love is very much in the air. But our hero, the plainly named Johnny Sutton, is just enjoying his first day out of jail. He was busted trying to pull of a small time robbery, in a weak attempt to follow in his family’s criminal footsteps. But now he’s out, is he ready to give it up and apply for a job at Wal-Mart? Well, not exactly. Johnny still feels the pull of robbery, and this time he decides not to do it alone. This is the neat, albeit slightly generic, justification for your inevitably illegal actions in Hei$t.

You’d think that an open world ‘crime-‘em-up’ would either be completely ridiculous or completely awesome, but so far Hei$t doesn’t really look either. You can’t just walk into a restaurant, point a gun at the cashier, and demand that he hand you the notes in a brown bag with a dollar sign on it. No, you’re gonna have to plan a lot before you pull off even your first, small-time gig. And this is where your squad come into play.

Sutton’s Eleven?

In much the same vein as any big crime flicks you can think of, Johnny will employ a crew of fellow law breakers, who each have their own diverse and obscure speciality. For instance, we were shown Uncle Sal; very much the planning type. He can supply you with blueprints of banks, complete with security camera locations, and anything you could possibly need to rob a well guarded bank.

After you’ve sufficiently researched your target, it’s time to set the ball rolling. Johnny and company take a now-vintage ride across the city, which we’ll get to in a minute, and arrive at the bank. Johnny walks in, happy band behind him, and announces his intentions loudly to everybody in the bank, the effect increased by the fact that he’s now pulled out a pistol and is waving it at everybody in sight, telling them to get down. But now, as in any free roamer, the cops are on their way. Unless you’ve rounded up every single person in the area as you pull your gun, which looks unlikely judging from the amount of people on-screen we saw, the boys on blue are going to have been alerted by at least one customer, which means it’s now a race against time to grab the loot and get out.