Payday 2: 5 steps that teach you how to easily rob a bank...actually, it's just a good game :D
(Spoiler Warning!) *Gunshots* *Lots of screaming* "Alright, everybody listen up! Clearly, by the looks of it, you should know that this is a bank robbery! You like our masks? Oh, that's right! I don't care about your opinion, I just want your money! Now, all of you get on the ground and don't move a muscle! Nobody should even think about trying to be a hero! Just think of your loved ones and cooperate with u-" oh! Hehe...Hey, everybody! I was just practicing my lines for this BIG heist I'm pulling off with my friends tomorr-...I mean...I was practicing my lines for a movie scene that we're about to film. It involves a big heist...because it's a heist movie...hehe... Well then, everybody! Overkill Software has made a comeback in the Payday series with Payday 2, a direct sequel to Payday: The Heist. Payday is a series of first-person shooter, cooperative multiplayer games that task the player, along with either his team of A.I. or other random players, with a challenging campaign of heists and robberies. Payday 2 heavily improves on the features of its predecessor.
[caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="618"] *Cocks gun* Let's get to work...[/caption]
Really, there isn't much of a story for this game at all. Just work together with other players and get lots of money! Which isn't all that bad either. All that there is to know is that there are four default characters, and of course the awesome hacker named Bain, each with a brief background story. Via Payday 2 Wiki: first we have Wolf (far right in picture above), a 34 year-old Swedish psychopath. Earlier in his life, Wolf had a mental breakdown and began acting out various action movies. This has resulted in his criminal career. Next, we have Hoxton (second from the right), who could never hold a job even if his life would depend on it. His life style turned him to a life of cons and burglary. Then, we have Dallas (front), who worked for a Chicago mob when he was young. He later climbed the ladder and went from club bouncer to hitman. After ten years in hiding, due to a hit that was placed on his head, he decided to steal a shipment of weapons and try to find a criminal crew. Lastly, we have Chains (far left), who left the Navy and went into the world of merc troops, offering his military expertise to the highest bidder. On the open market, he was paired up with all the scum of the earth and sent on missions to all four corners of the world. Either doing robberies and kidnappings as a change from the fighting, or the other way around, Chains is always looking for a new adrenaline fix, which quickly swept him into this way of living. So, now that we're done with introductions, let's get the actual review started, shall we?
Let's start with the Heists. Payday 2's heists are much more tense, time-consuming, dangerous, breathtaking, and challenging. I'm telling you guys, I had SO much fun taking on these "suicide missions." Unlike its predecessor, Payday 2 puts a lot more importance on stealth, planning, and timing. It's important that you survey the place you're about to rob before you start the heist (via putting on your mask). After finding out as much as you can about the place by surveying, you can then either start the heist and bash in guns blazing, or you can start the heist and proceed with stealth (if possible). These heists are packed with intense action; you have to fight off tons of cops that pull off numerous assaults, maintain your amount of hostages and ammo, make a few trips when rushing sacks of money into the getaway truck, drill into bank vaults (takes waaay to long at a novice level), and look for extra valuables all at the SAME time! If you want a really good score and a bigger pay, you have to pull off all of this in a short amount of time. Now, isn't that something that will make you go crazy? Come on down and get your free nervous breakdowns!
Let's talk Weapons, people. That's right, I'm talkin' about these big guns! *Audience looks down at my pants* No! Not these big guns! Those big guns! *Audience looks at picture above* Thank you, *sigh*. As I was saying, in order to pull off these heists you're clearly going to need to pack the heat. Not only are guns crucial to pulling off these heists, but they are also very expensive. Which is why it's very important to save money in this game. When building your arsenal, it is important that you create an eclectic collection of cap-poppers; consisting of handguns, assault Rifles, sub-machine Guns, shotguns, and at one point a portable saw. The game's weapons look really good, especially when you view them up close. Every little detail of each gun is perfectly rendered to a point where every gun looks like a real life replica! Another job well done, Overkill :) They sound like real guns too, no cheesy sound effects or any other poor excuses for a gunshot; the real thing is what I like to hear. The weapons look and function way better than the ones in the last game as well, this is lots of good quality we're talking about here, people. Note that building an arsenal is crucial for advancing to more challenging heists. When it comes to choosing the right weapons, having a variety is key.
[caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="618"] Oh. My. God. These drills drive me insane...[/caption]
I hope you guys aren't starting to think that all you need for pulling off a heist is lots of guns! You need to have lots of other helpful supplies as well. So, let's talk about Equipment. Payday 2 offers a variety of gadgets, some of which are crucial for pulling off difficult heists at a fast pace. Your most important, yet at the same time very annoying >:(, piece of equipment is the drill. The drill is a basic need during a robbery. It's primarily used for drilling into bank vaults, safes, doors, and anything else that keeps a heist-man from his loot. They're helpful, and definitely more efficient than lock picking, but are very slow and get jammed up a lot in the very beginning of the game. Drills, at first, act up like this when you're a novice, so make sure you work your way up by buying and upgrading your perks. Doing so will give you the opportunity to decrease the time it takes for your drill to crack a safe and decrease the number of times your drill jams up. Another good piece of equipment is your ammo bag (you can unlock an extra one buy getting the Ammunition Specialist perk). Your ammo bag is useful in that is not only something that you can place on to the ground so that somebody may trip over it (Jk), but also a bag for you to receive more ammunition from!...and you've probably figured that out already :P It's really important that you use these. Although the average heist may seem to take about 8 to 15 minutes, the cops in Payday 2 are nothing but a bunch of relentless, hostage-freeing, heist-stopping, assaulting good guys (because we're the bad guys). Therefore, you will be running out of ammo...a lot! The next piece of equipment is the doctor bag...not much to say about this, but all you need to know is that it's very important that you upgrade this as well.
Health functions like ammo, you need to have enough medical supplies so that your teammates can heal you multiple times as well as vice versa. Next up is my personal favorite (still don't have it because I'm at such a low level), the ECM Jammer! After unlocking it through the "Ghost" skill tree, your ECM Jammer will be one of your most reliable tools for the rest of the game! The Electric Countermeasure (ECM) disables cameras, lets you open doors, prevents citizens from calling the police, and opens ATMs for a limited amount of time. As you upgrade this tool its abilities will advance as well. Traps are even more excellent pieces of equipment; the cops in this game are way to confident! Smash their pride by putting a brick wall in their path! Sentry Guns and Trip Mines will do the cop-stoppin' for you :) Sentry guns are amazing tools to have. While you focus on the objective and save your ammo, the sentries will automatically shoot enemies within the radius. Trip Mines?...They're exactly what they are: trip mines. Enemies (unfortunately, civilians as well) run past them, and they explode when they sense the motion. As you ascend to criminal power, you'll gain the ability to turn these mines into packs of C4 and use them to blow up safes and vaults...at the cost of being stealthy of course. Remember, everybody! Use this equipment with care and caution! Supply management means everything during a heist.
Overkill has definitely made an improvement on Graphics. Payday 2's output settings were so demanding, I actually had to go buy an HDMI cable just to play the game; it was worth it. Watching old gameplay videos from the first game has clearly shown me Payday's oblivious advancement in visuals (using an HDMI cable makes it look even better!). The game is so in-depth that it actually gives me that feeling of being sucked in just as adroitly as BioShock Infinite had done!
[caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="618"] Show 'em what you got![/caption]
Ever since the first Payday, Enemies have been empowered significantly. Unlike the enemies in the last game, enemies in Payday 2 express more intelligence, sensibility, and aggression. Even the small fry are capable doing that; although, in my opinion, the only enemies you can easily deal with are the guards, since they don't have a lot of health to begin with. But Payday 2 does stress a lot on planning and scouting (referred to as "Casing Mode"). When you're in stealth mode, you must cover you tracks. Enemies can now easily detect uncompressed gunfire, dead bodies, broken cameras, you, your drills, broken windows, open doors, and ECM Jammers. Going up the power scale, enemies include Gangsters, Guards, Metropolitan Police, SWAT Teams, FBI Hostage Rescue Units, FBI Heavy Response Units, and Special Ops Maximum Force Responders (the strongest). As you participate in bigger heists, stronger enemies appear. You will advance through the game up to the point where you'll encounter every kind of foe during every heist. Now then, for your pleasure and safety :) please note that enemies will be using tear gas, smoke bombs, tasers, shotguns, snipers, riot shields, and flash grenades, and any other kinds of guns. You have been warned :D
The last topic to be covered is the BEST part about this game: Multiplayer/Co-Op. The entire game was built solely around cooperative gameplay. If you want to play by yourself and use a team of A.I., you play offline in junction with the games story mode. But if you want to have some REAL fun, you play on CrimeNet, Payday 2's online multiplayer system! With over thousands of players online, you can most of the time just literally just drop in on a heist that picked out and help out other players with a heist (with the downside of being caught in the crossfire). I prefer to play on CrimeNet. Why? Because when you play in multiplayer mode it's easier to level up get lots more money! You can drop in to help extremely high level players doing pro million dollar heists, meaning that you can get easy big money just like that! I just love watching my character level up twice in one sitting every time I help out players that are 10 times my level. Another great thing about multiplayer is that, unlike the A.I. teammates you have when playing offline, everybody uses their common sense. Whenever I play offline and get support from the game's A.I., working alongside them really gets annoying; they're totally clueless! They never spread out to expand our range of fire, all they do is follow the leader: You! Think about it, if all the team members are in one place, who's going to take care of the advancing cops? Who's going to watch the hostages? Whereas when you play on CrimeNet, everybody knows what to do in order to help out. Now that is some real cooperative gameplay right there!
[caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="618"] No one cared who I was...[/caption]
As I finally wrap up another nicely crafted review, I'd like to say that this game definitely deserves all credit given. The main point of this game was to tend to the mistakes made in Payday: The Heist brought up by numerous customer complaints. Overkill certainly does an excellent job listening to its customers, a good trait all game developers should have. Redeeming itself after receiving multiple criticisms of The Heist, the Payday series is back and better than ever.
This concludes my Payday 2 Review. Thanks for reading!
Payday 2 was reviewed on a PS3 using a downloaded version of the game.
Payday 2 is now available for PS3, PC, and Xbox 360.