More GTA Guides:
- 100% Completion Guide!
- How to Make Easy Money Everyday (Solo Guide).
- All Signal Jammers Locations (GTA Online / The Diamond Casino Heist).
- Mystery of the Los Santos Slasher / How to Unlock the Navy Revolver.
- How to Unlock Crew Member Patrick McReary (GTA Online).
- All Action Figures Locations (GTA Online).
- All Playing Cards Locations (GTA Online).
- All Peyote Locations (GTA Online).
- Quick Guide for the Oppressor.
- Cheat Codes.
Love 'm or hate 'm, R* sure knows how to surprise... the 23rd of April 2020 we suddenly got 6 new contact missions which are given to you by Gerald. Since contact missions are a favorite of mine I figured I'd look into it and share my findings.
With the latest update (time of writing obviously) R* gave us a nice surprise: 6 new contact missions to play! Of course this isn't the first time they did this, last year got us 8 new repo missions from Simeon and this time they gave Gerald some more attention.
Contact missions are an all time favorite of mine although I also play a lot of freeroam these days (those special cargo crates don't source themselves ;)). But seriously... back in my PS3 days I managed to get up to 16 million GTA$ just from playing contact missions.
Unfortunately I'm not a huge fan of the new series though (both the 'repo' jobs from Simeon and the 'last play' series which just got added) because they feel a bit cheap to me. For starters there are no cut scenes, no phone calls, nothing which you'd expect in a contact mission. Instead we get texted instructions and when you've completed the mission then that's it... you're done, end of mission, nothing more to see here.
Last Play Jobs - First Impressions
There's a new corona at Geralds place...
Just as with Simeon's repo missions there's now a huge icon (a big 'G') where you'll find the above corona. And just as before you can use the interaction menu if you want to hide it from the map. Once you enter you'll start the first mission ...or so I thought. Although you should play the missions in a certain sequence to get the most out of the story that's actually not what we get.. you simply start with a random job from the Last Play series and when you're done you can vote for the next job.
And I think that's a shame because there actually is a bit of a story here, shallow story for sure but even so... Gerald is now trying to eliminate his opposition before stealing more product from other deals happening in the city and eventually you'll be tasked with setting up the sale for him.
I like a bit more story telling to be honest. So for that reason I'm going to review the missions in order (hopefully the right one) and I'll stick to what made most sense to me.
Honestly you guys... some of these missions are plain out awesome I think, but others.. eeeeew.
Make Ends Meat
Maybe it's a bug or maybe by design, but for some reason this is the only contact mission which doesn't allow you to purchase ammo and armor before the mission. I'm assuming this to be a bug because this mission also pops up twice in my voting screen, even though I've successfully finished all the 'Last Play' missions at least once.
In this mission we're tasked with taking out some of Geralds competitors. In specific we're going after some of the Triads. That's right: the same gang led by Mr. Cheng as also seen in Story mode. In fact, Gerald directs us to the Raven slaughterhouse which is the exact same location where they held Michael in Story mode (and where Franklin eventually saved him)!
Each to their own but I really enjoy small details like this; events which help to tie GTAO into the events from Story mode, even if it is just a little bit. Once you've entered the slaughter house Gerald tells you to head to the safe so that you can steal some of the Chinese recipes.
Fortunately for us R* seems to have learned from the experiences in "Stocks and Scares" where you need to invade the Merryweather compound and crack their safe... problem being: while doing that Merryweather continues their assault which makes that mission difficult to complete if you're alone (but not impossible! The trick is to use smoke grenades and place some proximity mines).
In this mission however there are no assaulting enemies. Once you've cleared the area around the safe (I suggest taking out the enemy directly around the corner too) you're all set to go.
After you cracked the safe you're tasked to take out the gangs leader and well... this is a classic example of R* giving us an actually fun and good mission! See, there are 2 ways to finish it: smart and stealthy or using a more direct approach.
You can simply continue your way and kill the rest of the enemies that are between you and the gang boss. The only problem is that the boss will flee the scene so when you're done here you'll have to hop in your car and chase him down, during which you'll also get chased by some more henchmen coming after you.
So when I played this mission again I started to wonder.... what would happen if I were to retrace my steps back to the entrance? ;-)
Well, then you get the scene shown above... the first advantage is that you won't get any more enemy encounters in the slaughterhouse itself, which makes things a bit easier. This may also be a good way to pick up some dropped cash which you may have overlooked earlier.
The other advantage is that the boss will still try to make a run for it but unfortunately for him you're now in the way between him and his getaway car. Hasta la vista, baby!
After you took care of the gang boss Gerald will ask you to regroup at his place and once you end up there (to drop off the recipe) the mission ends. No cut scene no nothing which I really don't like. But alas, the mission itself is fun.
This mission gets the following 'Shell verdict': 4 out of 5.
- Ties into the events from Story mode.
- Is pretty easy to finish, even solo.
- Fun side task (cracking the safe).
- Using a bit of strategy can actually help make this mission easier.
On the down side... it's weird that we can't buy ammo & armor during the start.
Once again Gerald asks us to help him get rid of some competition. This time we're up against the Salva gang and it appears that they are a bit better organized than the Chinese triads we dealt with in the previous mission.
Gerald shows us 4 locations where the Salva's are holed up and it is up to us to take them out.
The first thing which I noticed was that the GPS is very easy to use in this mission, see the screenshot above. In some of the older missions you had to go through tons of options before you finally got the mission objective. Not here... open your interaction menu and the henchmen option is the first one in the list. Convenient.
Talk about a shady looking character....
Once you arrive at a location you'll quickly notice that there's more than one henchman to take out. At first I assumed we had to take out 4 henchmen but no... we have to deal with 4 groups of henchmen. Which I think makes sense considering that the mission is intended to be played with up to four players.
Now... even though I 'cheated' a little bit by using my new Kuruma (which is sold with a nice discount at the time of writing) I can still say that the firefights are very nice. Definitely doable on foot as well. And it actually seems that R* put some thought into this one too because....
... at some locations the enemies are dug in. So you can forget about grabbing a Buzzard or Deluxo or Mk2, because sometimes there's no other way to reach these guys than placing a good aimed shot (or maybe firing a missile into the right location of course).
Better yet, some locations actually force you to get out of the car and climb up so that you can kill the enemies there.
Some enemies can't be shot while in a car...
Fase 2: Kill the Salva Boss
And just when you thought you could be done a new task comes in. Because you started stirring things up for the Salva's their boss popped up on Gerald's radar. As it turns out he's hiding in a construction yard, so time for you to pay him a visit!
I've played this mission a few times and what I enjoy the most is that the enemies can actually be found in different locations. The first time I played this the enemies were at my left (so: in the other building) but now, as you can see, they pop up on my right.
And in case you haven't noticed: beware that weaponized vehicle on the radar. As far as I can tell this is one of the first times we get this kind of opposition, and I definitely enjoy a challenge!
First you need to clear out the enemies on the ground, then climb up and take out the enemies on that floor after which you should also be able to take care of the boss.
That lasergun is actually darn handy because you don't have to reload!
Once you killed the boss you need to take a picture and then simply leave the area for the mission to end. So basically you end up killing a lot of dudes after which you're done.
The 'Shell verdict' for this mission: 3 out of 5.
- 4 different locations to take care off, which means that if you're with 4 players everyone can get their own target (which could prevent one player doing everything while the other doesn't get to do a thing).
- All firefights are decent, also well doable without special weapons. However... some enemies are a bit too deeply in cover for my liking.
- The end fight is fun, but also a bit more of the same. A little more variation would have been nice.
On the down side this mission can get a bit tedious. All you do is shoot enemies and some can be in cover while they hardly take any shots at you which could leave you having to wait for what seems forever before you can finally find out where they are, after which it can take even longer before you can actually kill them.
But the reason my score went low here is because of the scenery.. in this mission you'll come across dumpsters and other stuff which seems to be glued to the ground; even though they have wheels you can't move them, not even while driving into them with a car! That's just sloppy game design. The reason they've done that is to prevent vehicles from entering an open area with enemies. I can understand why they did it, but... why not dump a pile of cement or stones there? Anything but a prop which looks like something you should be able to move away.
Gerald found a new operation for us to take care of. This time we're dealing with a professional gang who are using action figures to distribute their coke, and Gerald is noticeable impressed with the idea. He discovered that the crew uses a van to drop off their product so.... off to Little Seoul you go to try and locate the van.
This is another really cool setup because the van actually spawns in a few different areas (in the same location), which makes this mission a little more interesting. The firefight is a bit fierce, you definitely need to be careful (these guys even wear body armor I think) but it's doable. Once you located the van you need to hop in and back-track the route they took. Beware though: the van can only take a certain amount of damage, so you need to be careful!
The next part will either land you near the movie studios or around the Los Santos university where you'll have to go search for 7 impotent rage action figures. Careful though because there will be a few hostiles in the area.
Looking around the movie studio...
These figures are always at the same location and they're relatively easy to find. As soon as you see a crate somewhere it's time to climb it to see what you'll find. You'll also want to try and climb some ladders to head for the roof and get a better overview (which is where I am in the above screenshot).
Once you collected all the action figures Gerald will point your attention to another location: the Pink Cage motel. Here the whole thing basically repeats itself: enter the area, kill the hostiles and go find all the 7 action figures.
Some figures are hidden in plain sight ;)
This area is a little more difficult but not too much. However... during a replay (to collect some more screenshots) I noticed a glitch where one of the action figures was no where to be found. I'm positive that I didn't overlook anything because I've played this mission a few times and just as with the previous area the action figures are always in the same location. So.... yeah, weird stuff.
Once you grabbed all 7 action figures from the area Gerald tells you to head back and drop off the product.
Word of the wise though, don't bother trying to kill your pursuers...
If you kill the enemies that follow you then the game will simply spawn in a new batch right away, and again, and again, and again and so on. Somewhat comparable to the police... So unless you're dealing with a damaged van it's best to try and evade and/or ignore them.
The Shell verdict: 3.5 out of 5.
- This mission has a nice variety between some fierce firefights, shaking of pursuers and doing a bit of parkour to try and find the action figures.
- The van you're looking for isn't always in the same spot, which makes the mission a bit more challenging.
- The first area you're going to search is sometimes also different (though so far I only encountered the movie studio & LS University).
On the down side the 'spawners' (= enemies which come after you while you're driving the van) can get annoying because they keep spawning. And pretty close to you as well. I also didn't enjoy the glitch where one of the action figures went missing in the Pink Cage motel.
Deal with It
Houston, we have a problem! While Gerald was planning his next move the Ballas swooped in and stole some of his product! Fortunately Gerald always tries to think ahead so he put trackers with the product and that leads you to the harbor, apparently the Ballas are ready to ship the stuff so you need to head over there a.s.a.p. and get the stuff back!
Once here you'll need to search 4 crates, but be careful: the place is swarming with Ballas and not just that: while you're fighting them more will drive up to you in cars. So... this won't be easy, especially since some enemies are on high ledges; easy for you to overlook but easy for them to take some well aimed shots!
After you searched all crates you won't find any product and Gerald has a pretty good idea what went down: this was a setup. Fortunately he got word of a deal taking place right now, so he urges you to head out there and take a look.
Once you get near the location you'll have to search for the buyer, who once again can appear in a few random locations, which I think is pretty cool. Unfortunately though you'll soon discover that the LSPD got wind of things as well and they locked the place down.
This obviously upsets Gerald who fears that the police may track the whole thing back to him, so he see's no other option than for you to destroy all the product, "auch".
You'll have no choice but to kill several cops which will land you with a 3 star wanted level. Fortunately though it seems that they gave all helicopter pilots a day off, so you won't have to worry about those. But in Los Santos there's always bad news within good news; the cops on the ground will be literally swarming you. I've never seen so many cops come after you with only a 3 star wanted level!
After you destroyed the cargo Gerald will text you with 3 more locations to hit. Two will be stationary (like the first you hit) while the third is in an armored police van. Not to worry though: you can shoot the driver from the side and if you keep shooting you'll eventually even blow up the van. I've done this with a micro SMG out of all things....
No matter how many cops you kill you'll always stay at a 3 star wanted level...
Once you destroyed the rest of the product it's time to lose the cops after which the mission will end.
Shell verdict: 4 out of 5.
- The story makes sense. At first it confused me because I thought we were doing another ripdeal, but when I read the description it made sense.
- It can be tricky to deal with the police, but I think that this is something every player will have to learn how to deal with. It's part of the game...
- The fire fight with the Ballas is plain out brutal but still doable. I also enjoyed seeing the enemies actually move around... At one time someone on a ledge actually went down to try and chase me. It's a lot better than enemies who always stay where they are.
On the down side though the police chase can end up quite chaotic. Still... since you can use your own personal vehicle I don't really see how this should be much of a problem. You can always use an armored vehicle, or worse ;)
You know what a power vacuum is? Well, you and Gerald just created one in Los Santos: by removing some of the bigger players on the market others saw opportunities to step in and take over certain businesses. I am speaking of none other than the Lost who took control over 4 businesses in the city:
If you own MC businesses then these icons should look familiar...
That's right: the Lost now operate a cocaine lockup, a methlab, a weed farm and they have a nice cargo warehouse to store all their stuff. Obviously Gerald doesn't want any of this and so it is up to you to go visit these properties, shut them down by taking out their crews and of course you should also grab whatever product you can find.
And so off you go to pay the several properties a visit...
I really enjoyed playing this mission because it's quite fast, you get some good opposition which is decently easy to take care off, but most of all:
Recognize the cocaine lockup?
You actually enter the different properties, fight off the Lost in there after which you go take the product they left. Now how cool is that? See... if you operated MC businesses then I'm sure you've been raided at some point. But the fighting always took place outside (if any) and a raid never really felt like a real raid, at least not to me.
So here you are raiding the competition ;) The only con here is that you can't do rolls while you're inside buildings, but that's a detail I'm willing to overlook for now though I do hope R* is going to fix this sometime.
You can enter a building by stepping into the blue corona and pressing a key...
As with most missions you'll also come across enemies that spawn while you drive towards the different properties. And this had me laughing sooo hard, because the enemy who's going to give it all to try and and stop us is....
The Lost nomad? ;)
Seriously: one single Lost biker is coming after you at a time. If you kill him then another will immediately spawn somewhere, but once again only one. I thought it was darn funny... sometimes he managed to sneak up behind me so I shot him, he fell off and that was the end of that. Or he pops up in front of me yelling something about 'the Lost going to ♥ me up', right before I drove my car into him thus launching him in the air.. bye bye!
Raiding a meth lab...
After you raided all the properties you need to regroup at Geralds apartment after which the mission ends.
The Shell verdict: 5 out of 5 (!).
- This mission ties into the freeroam events & DLC (MC businesses & cargo warehouses) and it is the first time that these properties show up in a contact mission.
- The mission is very quick, yet still rewarding. Even if you're solo it's quite easy to finish (just be careful with the firefights).
- The firefights with the Lost are fun, there are always a few outside the different properties but you're not fighting whole armies.
- The 'spawner enemies' during this mission are just hilarious: one single biker? ;)
In my opinion this is arguably one of the best missions in the Last Play series. It's fast paced, still poses a nice challenge (firefights outside but also inside the properties) and we actually get to raid MC businesses and a warehouse which I think is seriously cool!
So now that Gerald got a good collection of product it's time to make the deal and sell the whole lot. You start near a Mule custom (which is a very slow vehicle) and you need to head to the location where the deal takes place. I noticed 2 different locations.
Once you're near the parking lot Gerald tells you to park the van and wait for the buyers to arrive. Well, you probably noticed my Kuruma up there and it's here for a very good reason, because all hell is about to break loose! But not in a very positive way...
The Ballas found out about the deal and are trying to put a stop to it. Unfortunately you're confined to just this area and the enemies will come at you from pretty much everywhere. They're on high ledges, there's a constant stream of cars driving in (with 3 - 4 Ballas inside) and as if you're playing a survival there are also ton's of Balla's swarming the area.
And they all have one thing in common: they're either firing at you or at the van. Not just some of them, all of them. Which makes this mission nearly impossible to finish because that darn van will eventually blow up almost every frickin' time, simply because there are way too many Balla's.
Oh, it gets worse... you haven't seen anything just yet... First the enemies keep coming and coming and coming. It's not a specific amount for you to kill, noooo, they just keep spawning endlessly. For "reasons" I guess.
What's also fun here is that if you're in a car then a lot of Ballas will target the van, if you're on foot they'll all swarm you. And of course there's simply no place for you to take cover somewhere because the enemies come from all directions. And as mentioned above: the stream of enemies is endless, they keep spawning over and over.
Don't worry.. there's still a lot more to "enjoy"!
Notice the location of my car in this screenshot?
"Fortunately" for us R* has build in a respawn option in this mission. So if you fail the mission then you can do a quick restart and you'll spawn in the parking area again. So far so good, at least we don't have to drive that slow van again... Just too bad that any vehicle you had with you (and which you're going to need big time) is now located somewhere outside the area. Meaning? You can't reach it anymore because as soon as you try to leave the area then you'll get a warning and eventually you drop dead for no reason at all.
Oh, there's more... because your enemies obviously don't suffer from this restriction and they get to attack you from places which you're not allowed to reach because... "reasons". Which is also why taking cover is nearly useless: because your enemies end up on high ledges where they can still target you.
Since when did a contact mission turn into a frickin' survival? And even a survival knows better than to let an endless stream of enemies go at you... I really wonder what R* have been smoking when they came up with this crap.
This part was played on easy.... go figure!
SO... if you do manage to survive the whole thing (which I think would be a bloody miracle!) then Gerald tells you to head off to the buyers real location, and of course you get to deal with enemies ("spawners") that come after you during the ride. So while you're driving in a slow ♥ van they attack you using fast sports cars, each have 2 Ballas onboard who can actually do a lot more damage to your van. Such a "fun" mission this is....
Oh, and before you think about parking the van and then killing off the enemies....
Don't bother. The only way to get rid of them is to reach the end area, then the spawners will suddenly disappear and you're off the hook. If you do take the fight to them you'll end up with an endless amount of enemies so you can't win, you'll only run out of ammo. Which you're going to need...
Please make it stop already.....
When you reach the location (which is always the same) you'll find the buyers under attack from another group of Ballas. Who, after they see you, will immediately turn their attention to you (obviously). Yay, more damage for your van to endure!
See, I got out of the car when this happened (to grab my Mk2 shotgun) and the enemies didn't bother to shoot at me. Naaah, that would have been too easy: they shot up the van some more! And the buyers you ask? They just stood there doing absolutely nothing.
Well, as you can see I did finish the mission, but that was more luck than skill, I'll tell you that.
The Shell verdict: 1 out of 5 (!), this was total garbage.
- This mission has more in common with a survival than a contact mission, what gives?!
- In a survival you get to deal with a finite amount of enemies but in here they spawn endlessly. Such "fun".
- While protecting the van all the enemies take a shot at it and since there are dozens of enemies... good luck trying to keep that thing intact.
- If you're in a car all enemies target the van, if you're on foot all enemies target you (even those on the high ledges which you can hardly reach yourself).
- During this "survival part" you can't leave the parking lot. Which also means that you can't find any decent cover either.
- Of course this restriction does not apply to the enemies, they get to attack you from well outside the area.
- Even during the trip to the real buyers you'll constantly get attacked and this time they will damage the van, quite severely too!
- If you even reach the buyers... don't expect them to help. Instead expect new enemies to damage your van some more.
This was by far one of the worst (if not the worst) contact missions I've ever played!
I'll be honest: I have very mixed feelings about the new 'Last Play' series.
Some missions are plain out solid. I really enjoyed doing "Fast Peddling" because you actually get to raid MC businesses, which has never been possible in the game. I also thought some of the others were quite decent but they will take some time to complete. Some of these missions (like 'Go Figure') you mostly do for the fun of it and not so much for the payout.
Unfortunately every series needs an ending but after having played the end mission of this one ("End Product") I feel like rage quitting and never to bother with this entire series ever again. That final mission was total garbage, plain & simple.
So... if I take a look at the entire series (so all the missions I described above) then my final Shell verdict would be a 3 out of 5. It's decent, barely, but in the end also nothing too special. Not to mention that my overal fun got obliterated once I played that final P.O.S. mission.
And there you have it! Thanks for reading, I hope you enjoyed.