When it comes to flying in GTA Online, I’m only good at heading in one direction –down. I’d consider it an achievement to land a plane without overshooting the runway, or set down a helicopter without catching the rotors in the world geometry and turning the vehicle into a giant frag grenade.
So I was blown away by reddit user Boltrax’s short yet scintillating compilation of flying GTA Online’s ‘Havok’ helicopter through the game’s least helicopter-friendly areas. Posted under the title ‘Going where I’m not supposed to with the havok’, the video sees Boltrax threading the needle under terrifyingly low bridges and through ridiculously narrow tunnels.
It may only be short, exactly one minute long, but it’s possibly the most thrilling film I’ve seen all year. At one point, Boltrax swoops beneath a road-bridge so low that the Havok’s rotors scrape the underside of the bridge. The last ten seconds of the video, meanwhile, see Boltrax whipping through a railway tunnel which, as pointed out by another user further down the thread, visually resembles the trench-run at the end of Star Wars.
Boltrax isn’t the only Havok ace to appear in the thread either. Another user, NoRagrets4Me, links to several of their own videos piloting the Havok through entirely unsuitable areas, including a canal and a construction site. His clips aren’t as propulsive as Boltrax’s 60 second action-movie, but it’s some impressively controlled flying nonetheless.
GTA Online has a well-established community of virtual stuntpeople, Joe Donnelly explored the game’s daredevil subculture a few years back, while the game itself provided more official support for stunts in the form of a TrackMania-esque stunt-racing mode around the same time. Given GTA V is almost ten-years-old now, it’s amazing how much players can still squeeze out of Los Santos.