Dev: Overkill + Starbreeze
Publisher: 505 Games
Release Date: Aug 13, 2013
Reviewer: Zechariah Gerthung
Robbing banks, stealing cars, and smuggling cocaine and meth while gunning down hundreds of cops with your friends in masks. This is what Payday 2 has to offer for you. This game is the bad guy simulator. Between robbing, stealing, and just fire fights, you play a heister of the Payday crew, 4 men who wear bizarre masks and commit insane crimes, either by themselves or all 4 together.
What recently brought me back to this game is that it had an update which removed micro transactions from the game, as well as adding a whole bunch of new, and crazy heists and characters, and some brand new mechanics that fans have been asking for. This big update brought my crew of 3 back together to bring terror back to the payday world.
So you might be wondering what the plot of this game is. Well the basic plot of the game is that a man known as bain gets into contact with 3 of the original Payday crew, Dallas, Wolf, and Chains. They also gain a new member, Dallas’ brother Huston, who for a while was known as Hoxton, as old Hoxton was MIA. However as time goes on, heists are done, it is discovered that old Hoxton is stuck in a federal prison. The Gang then goes on a massive crime spree through Washington meeting a whole slew of new faces while they set up to break Hoxton out of Jail, and find out how he got caught in the first place.
The mechanics of the game are nothing overly complex, but they do take some getting used to. The shooting works like most FPS, you have aim down sights, and hip fire, however there is no reticle on hip fire and you only have your sights to rely on. As well as that your characters have a system of armor that is available to them. All the way up to a Improved combined tactical vest(Only available to the Enforcer). You also have a health mechanic to pay attention to, if your health hits 0 your character is dropped to the ground and a timer begins, if that timer hits 0 your character is arrested, this mechanic is called bleedout. However if you’re arrested if your crew has hostages, or manages to turn a cop into a hostage, you can be brought back into the fight with full ammo and health from custody, but beware your character can only get put into bleedout 4 times, on the fifth time you are instantly arrested and must have a hostage traded for you to return. Outside of that your characters have access to multiple types of equipment with different uses and abilities. Speaking of Abilities there are a ton in this game, between the 5 classes of Mastermind, Enforcer, Ghost, Technician, and Fugitive.
Most of the classes are self-explanatory:
Mastermind is based around controlling what’s going on, and helping your team in every way manageable, from causing a cop to surrender and get on their knees, to twisting their mind and having they fight alongside you. Their accuracy and skill with single shot weapons is fantastic as well. The Mastermind will keep things under control no matter how crazy things get for the crew.
Enforcer is about shotguns, big bulky armor, and a massive power saw. You’re role is to take damage, and dish it back out, cutting a way through swarms of cops, and whatever else they’ll try to throw your crews way. You’re also the Heavy lifter, being able to move swiftly with big heavy items as well as throwing them farther than anyone else. The Enforcer will take down anyone standing in the crew’s way, and make sure the loot gets where it needs safely
Ghost is exactly what you assume. They’re the stealth, the shadow during a heist, the one who sneaks in and out without a word or them ever knowing they were there. Between being able to Jam communications to gun down guards swiftly, or quietly and efficiently cracking a safe open to steal valuables, the Ghost can do it, and they’ll never know it happened. The Ghost will get the crew in and out quietly without every raising an alarm.
The Technician is another class that your assumption is probably close to reality. These guys are based around suppression, drilling and sawing, and using a sentry gun to its full potential. They’re arguably the backbone and hands of a heist group, they make sure the drill and saws work quickly and efficiently, they can use explosives to strong arm your way through doors, and they’re experts with fully automatic weaponry. In a pinch where the crew has to sit and hold out, their sentry guns are a godsend, being able to create choke points and kill zones that prevent the cops from ever getting through. If the Crew runs into a problem, the Technician can probably solve it.
The Fugitive is a newer class, and one that will probably need some explaining. This class was added with the Hoxton Break Out Heist. This class revolves around being a pistol wielding badass. Between dual wielding two dessert eagles and being able to be a monster with a melee weapon, ducking in and out of hails of bullets, the Fugitive is the fast dodging and quick draw character. If the crew needs someone to get their fast and kill efficiently, the Fugitive can do it.
So those are the 5 tree’s to choose from, and the best part is that you’re not locked into any one tree, you can mix and match skills however you want so long as you’ve got the points to do so. However you should be aware, that you will need every single one of the skills, and try to utilize everything at your disposal to make it through heists that require your crew to go all out with a gunfight against the cops, because it won’t just be normal cops all the time.
When you select a heist you have one of 6 difficulties to choose from. Easy, normal, hard, very hard, Overkill, and Death Wish. Each of these difficulties has its reasons to try, and one day you’ll probably being doing Death Wish missions constantly. However understand that with each increase in difficulty, the variety, and brutality, of the cops also increases and it stacks slowly building in its terrifying nature. Starting at Hard cops with shields and Tasers start appearing, one being able to block all incoming bullets and the other stunning and forcing your character to fire their gun in random directions draining your magazine and putting you onto the ground to be arrested. With Very Hard you’re introduced to the Bulldozer, someone who wears a bomb disposal and super heavy flak armor with a face place, helmet, and massive shotgun. They’re monsters and take many bullets into the face to deal with. As you advance to Overkill They become very prevalent and common, but they also invite their friend known as the Cloaker to the party. These are not hard to kill, but if you see one kill it as fast as possible. The Cloaker will hide and wait around corners, under cars, or somewhere you’d not check, if they get an opening then let out a war cry, charging your character, forcing your camera to turn to them, and if they’re not killed the jump and roundhouse kick your character, instantly knocking your character to the ground and placing you in what’s known as bleed out mode. The occasional enemy who is arguably unkillable, known as the swat car also arrives. This enemy has more health than is humanly deal able with. They’re literally the swat car and then send out a hail of bullets that can and will down your heister in seconds.
Finally comes le grand honker. Deathwish. This difficulty brings cops who are arguably more suited to be called army men. Cloakers are here in force as well, Tasers are everywhere along with shield cops. However our old friend the swat car is also more than likely to be present. On top of regular bulldozers the addition of the Deathwish bulldozer is also here. These monsters have twice the health of a bulldozer, and even more armor, and it takes longer to break through their head armor to kill them. The worst part is, not only is the missions where you have to go in guns blazing effected by the difficulty, so are the missions where you have to be quiet and sneaky.
Once you hit Overkill difficulty in sneaky missions, things can get hectic. Most of the time there are camera’s all over, and a large number of guards, more than you can manage to deal with without raising alarms.
Yet when Deathwish difficulty is activated for a quiet sneaky mission, things become truly challenging. At this point Guards will now respawn, if you kill too many, a new group will come to take their place. Cameras are replaced with solid steal and bulletproof surveillance cameras that are indestructible.
So it’s safe to say that there isn’t a lack of variety in missions especially if you change up the difficulty.
So time for the Pro’s and Con’s Of Payday 2
- It is a fantastic multiplayer game, the ability to join random people online to do heists, as well as just getting your friends together to go and terrorize the payday world is always a blast
- On top of that even if you’re not big into Multiplayer you also have the ability to play offline and by yourself.
- The Gun variety is spectacular. There are all types and all kinds of people, your favorite gun may very well be here in the selection
- The Heists are all compelling, and not to complex.
- The variety that is introduced as you raise the difficulty is phenomenal and can add spice to a mission you’ve gotten far to use to.
- The base characters are all fun and quirky and pretty enjoyable to deal with.
- The AI isn’t too bad either, especially with the recent feature of them being able to trade a hostage to bring you back into the game if you’re playing alone.
- While the multiplayer is fun, it is certainly not without its lag. I have had experiences in the game where I was a full 4-5 seconds behind what the host and other players where seeing.
- While this did not cause me issues in the fact that I would die or anything like that, it became hard to communicate with the crewmembers as I had to do a lot of guess work
- Offline mode can get very repetitive as some of the missions that require guns blazing can be difficult to do solo on higher difficulties.
- Finally the biggest issue with this game is it’s number of DLC’s.
- While this game can be played, and enjoyed quite a lot without any DLC, a player misses such a vast and massive collection of amazing, and interesting heists, characters, and weaponry. It is honestly probably the biggest issue this game has when it comes to trying to bring in new players.
- Another topic of concern is that the game can have its occasional bug or glitch, however most are not game breaking, and often they’re just very humors little things.
To seal this review off, Do I recommend the game?
The answer to that is a strong and resounding Yes. While the number of DLC is intimidating and you may hate the very idea of a company pumping out so many, they do not create solely new dlc, there are many times where the game has updated and the community has gotten free characters, heists, and guns. Not to mention almost all of the Payday 2 dlc is cheap, and affordable, and while you certainly couldn’t get it all at once, the GOTY edition offers some of the best heists and weapon packs that has come out since the games release. Overkill studio’s is constantly updating this game and trying to improve it, so to do that they need money so give them a break with DLC and just buy ones you want. Otherwise stick to the base game it’s plenty of fun and has many hours for you to enjoy, especially with friends!
The game is avalible on PC, Xbox 360, and PS3
It has an ESRB rating of M for mature
It has a PEGI rating of 18+