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GTA Online's New Island Leaves Players Wanting More

Grand Theft Auto Online's latest update is out. Teased in November as the biggest update the game has ever had, the Cayo Perico Heist offers up a new island, a new nightclub, songs, weapons, and other new items. However, fans aren't happy about yesterday's release for one major reason: You can only access the island when you're on a heist. There's no way to get to it in Free Roam mode. 

Players have taken their disappointment to Twitter, after having believed that the rumors and recent reveal about the existence of a new map meant there would be more to explore in the usual GTA style. Twitter user @Buchmn said, "Can't believe Rockstar added a map expansion to GTA just to not allow people to actually play on it during free roam. Another miss." Others used gifs to express their frustration upon learning that the latest GTA Online changes would not allow free roaming on Cayo Perico. 

Rockstar Games updated its patch notes for update 1.52 to clarify the situation, noting that, "Upon completing the Heist as leader, players can return to the Cayo Perico beach party at their convenience and invite others along for the journey." This led some to believe that they could explore Cayo Perico after all, but they soon found this was not true — they can attend the party afterward, but they can't leave it.

The new heist requires players to go into the new nightclub, The Music Locker, under the casino in order to get the mission: stealing back some damaging documents about the Madrazo family that are located on the island. This requires the purchase of the Kosatka submarine, a bunch of prep missions, and what Kotaku calls "a giant slog and a pain in the ass." And that publication isn't the only one complaining about the new heist: YouTuber Pyre realm gaming said, "This is by far the worst heist in GTA Online."

Despite the negativity, however, the update does have some things going for it. For example, Dr. Dre makes a cameo coming off a plane. Additional new features include an extra DJ, new and updated radio stations, Hidden Cache collectibles, eight vehicles besides the Kosatka, and much more. Other general bug fixes and optimization improvements have also been put into place. Oh, and the Loch Ness monster apparently makes an appearance.

You can also get awards for completing the Cayo Perico Heist. Through Jan. 14, anyone who completes parts of it can get special clothing items, like a Rockstar Gray Pattern Tee for finishing any Prep Mission and a Panther Tour Jacket for completing the heist's finale. Community Heist Challenge rewards and discounts are available for GTA players this month as well.