Rockstar has major plans for GTA: Online with a new heist this December, focused on taking down the Diamond Casino. We take a look at everything known so far, and what players can expect in this new chapter of Grand Theft Auto.
When is the Diamond Casino Heist Release Date?
The Diamond Casino Heist is planned for release on December 12th, though whether we'll be able to download it in advance is still unspecified.
What is the Diamond Casino Heist?
According to Rockstar's own site, this is going to be the next of the game's many heists, focused on the in-game Diamond Casino and Resort. Players have actually been able to access the casino itself since July 2019, gambling, buying penthouses there, or playing various missions tied into the Diamond and its staff. However, until now all player activity was limited to working or playing with the casino - this is the first time we'll be able to rob it for our own gain.
What Will the Diamond Heist Include?
Rockstar have given some indications of what to expect already, referring to breaking the vault at the Diamond and getting revenge on the Duggan family, a criminal family of Texans who had previously attempted to gain control of the Casino and murder the owner, Tao Cheng. Last we saw, the evil Thornton Duggan had managed to buy the Diamond, so presumably our revenge will be directed against him, though whether we're hurting him just by robbing the place or whether it'll be more direct is left uncertain so far.
What Will Happen in the Diamond Casino Heist?
It seems almost certain that long-time criminal mastermind Lester Crest is going to be involved, owing to a new easter egg on the real-life Diamond Casino website. Those who enter the site see things as normal, before there's a brief moment of static and a familiar face appears…
So we can assume that there'll be some sort of technological aspect involved, reinforced by the claim that players will be able to practice hacking keypads and cracking vault doors, presumably skills we'll be using in the heist itself.
Interestingly, this heist also seems to emphasise increased player choice and control, a break from the typical GTA heist framework, wherein there was usually a fixed plan that players had to adhere to if they wanted to succeed. This time, Rockstar has promised: "a diverse range of opportunities for set-up and prep missions that shape your plan of attack, multiple paths of approach, constantly changing security measures and a dizzying array of choices once inside. Expect outcomes for you and your crew to change on the fly as you deal with each new situation, leading to more choices mid-mission." Whether the content actually lives up to that promise remains to be seen, but it seems like this one is trying to do something unique.
Likewise, there also seems to be a revamping of the standard heist lives system. Whereas before heist teams drew from a collective pool of extra lives that spelled failure if you ran out, here it seems to imply that players can keep going even afterwards, fighting down to the last man. Considering how much nobody likes the regular lives system, that definitely seems like a plus.
Will the Diamond Casino Heist Cost Money to Play?
Well, that's the tricky question isn't it? Rockstar have listed the news under "Content Updates," so we can presume that paying real money isn't mandatory if you want to get involved, but nearly all the other updates, heists and add-ons have required buying in-game buildings or vehicles to access, and this appears to be no exception. "In order to plan the biggest Heist ever perpetrated in Los Santos, Heist crew leaders will setup an unexpected new commercial venture as a front, a retro Arcade business property shrouding the nerve center within where Heist operations are staged and rehearsed."
How much does that arcade cost? We don't know and the developers haven't said anything yet, but it's hard to imagine it'll be cheap. One of the more recent content updates, Arena War, required players to shell out $995,000 in-game dollars for the bare minimum of playability. It's hard to imagine this time will be much different, but maybe Rockstar will surprise us.
Considering the Casino may not be around much longer, those who want to get the most out of it should check out our guide to raising your Casino status, or go here to see what you can get out of a VIP membership. Or if you want to find our full GTA 5 cheats page for the singleplayer, you can go right here.