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Payday 2

By MrJenssen01-08-2013
Bobfish (editor)
Bis18marck70 (editor)
Payday 2

The Defence

Overkill Software
505 Games
Release Date:

The Prosecution

Intel Core 2 Quad 2.3 GHz
AMD equivalent
Nvidia GeForce GTX 460
AMD Radeon HD 5850
3 GB
10 GB

Payday: The Heist was an ambitious attempt to merge the cooperative gameplay of Left 4 Dead with a fresh new theme of bank robbery. However, most agree that it was a distinct underachiever. The sound design felt flat, guns lacked ‘oomph’ and the overall gameplay suffered from being incredibly repetitive. The small amount of heists didn’t help. Developer Overkill promised more heists would be released post-launch, but it was a promise they didn’t keep. Now, the sequel is right around the corner, and I’ve tried the beta version extensively. Will Payday 2 be everything we hoped Payday: The Heist would be? Or is this strike two for Overkill?

Can't you pick this lock faster? We only have an army after us!

Can't you pick this lock faster? We only have an army after us!

For those unaware, the Payday games give you and up to three buddies the chance to live out your dream of robbing banks. Payday 2, as its predecessor, bears a striking resemblance to Valve’s Left 4 Dead series in many ways. It’s a four-player cooperative game, where you’ll need to manage your squad’s resources smartly while more and more cops charge in to kill you off. Teammates can place out med kits and ammo bags for others to use, there’re special enemies that use armour, shields or tazers, and objectives are outlined through walls to make public play easier. Every so often, the police will charge you as a horde, and your crew will be forced to bunker down. Take too much damage, and you fall to the ground. If you bleed out without any teammates coming to help you up, you’ll be out of the game for a few minutes.

You’ll notice right off the bat that Payday 2 has a lot more to offer than its predecessor. The safehouse acts as a good demonstration to show just how much attention the devs have put into the details. Walking into the shooting range, you’ll notice just how much better the weapons look and feel. They’re highly detailed, the recoil feels right and the sound is loud and sharp. Your arsenal is not only expanded in terms of firearms, but also the other tools at your disposal: drills, buzz saws, lockpicks, C4 charges, ECM jammers and so on.

These tools would seem rather arbitrary in Payday: The Heist, but they are essential in Payday 2. Though the beta only offers six different heists, two of which are only variations of each other, it’s still easy to see that the devs have gone the extra mile to make each mission feel unique. Some are just basic heists. You get in, drill the vault, take the cash and get out. Other missions might be completely different. They might have you and your crew starting off inside a van, pulled over by the police. They’re likely not going to just let you walk away with those bags of cocaine you have, so you need to get out, secure the cocaine and wait for escape to arrive.

So many jobs, so little time.

So many jobs, so little time.

Though Payday: The Heist always forced you to do the same - walk into the bank, put on the mask and start the robbery - Payday 2 gives you a lot more options. You can put on your masks and start the robbery guns blazing as before. But, if you are high enough level and work together just right, you might actually be able to rob stores without alerting the police at all. Knock down the guards, steal the key card to the security room from the manager, disable the cameras, keep hostages down and prevent outsiders from peeking in, and you might just get out with a fat lump of cash without a single bullet ever being fired. Though it’s rare that a stealthy attempt will succeed, the mere fact that it’s possible elevates the game to new heights all on its own.

There’re other additions across the whole board. In helping to keep the replayability up, maps change ever so slightly every time you play them. Sometimes, a door that was open the last time you played must now be lockpicked. Sometimes, alleys may be blocked off entirely. The locations of safes, guards, planks to board up windows, where the getaway vehicle shows up and so on alter every time. With this fact in mind, it seems that scouting out locations before putting on the masks is now a whole lot more important than before. Some bigger heists consist of multiple parts or “days”, and what you do during these days may change entirely each time you play.

The new skill trees for each class gives you further freedom to play exactly how you want. It’ll take time leveling a single class all the way up, though, so don’t expect to be able to stealthily take down a bank on your first attempt.



However there are a few things I’m not too impressed with. The friendly AI is useless. They’ll shoot enemies and help you up if you’re down, but will never carry cash bags or repair the drill if it jams. There’s no real system to order them around either. In other words, don’t buy Payday 2 if you are looking for a singleplayer experience. It’s a good thing then, that the game is designed in a manner that makes even public play quite viable. Having played different heists with different people, I can say that it’s a lot easier to stay alive with a crew of public players in Payday 2 than it ever was in the L4D games.

Though it is unlikely that the AI will recieve an overhaul, a lot of the other issues can definitely be improved and fixed before the game’s launch. Enemies can sometimes hit you through walls, civilians randomly stand up in the middle of a gunfight only to get shot, the game occasionally crashes, NPCs are often clones of each other, and the ghetto thugs seem to be way more lethal than the professionally trained SWAT teams. Still, these are mostly minor issues.

The replayability is certainly up, but most heists still boil down to the same. You move to a specific spot, perform an action, and hold off waves of cops while waiting for a door to open or a getaway vehicle to arrive. For the full release, I want to see more heists where you move through a level, and aren’t just sitting put in one place while a drill works its way through a vault door.

Stockholm Syndrome.

Stockholm Syndrome.

Over all Payday 2 is shaping up to be a lot of fun. It still has some bugs and features in need of improvement, but it’s still an enormous step up for the franchise. I can’t wait to test my crew’s mettle with the other heists offered in the full game.

Comments (7)
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Posts: 9

The game is alot of fun to a "low" price.
It has its problems..game braking ones for some players..which is to bad because if they deliver on the DLC promise this game can well be one of 2013`s favourite games for me along side BF4 when that comes out

Posts: 596


Posts: 3290

What doesn't kill you, only makes you...get a higher payout when you finish the level *sunglasses*

Posts: 596

What bus driver? *slam*

Posts: 3290

No. I kill the bus driver

Posts: 1317

Indeed, and I really feel like we get better as we play more. You aren't mastering a heist the first time you play it. And even when you're experienced - because everything changes slightly every time you play a heist - things might not go the way you had planned.

Posts: 1548

The game is actually quite fun. But ONLY if you play with real people!