Publisher: 505 Games
Platform: Nintendo Switch, PC (Reviewed), PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, Xbox 360, Xbox One
Release Date: 13th August 2013
Note: This review is using an older format that I have since enhanced and iterated on.
PAYDAY 2 is a cooperative first person shooter developed by OVERKILL and published by the mercenary publisher 505 Games. The game is in the same vein as Left 4 Dead 2 and Killing Floor but on a larger, more consistent and collected scale.
PAYDAY 2 is a game all about heists, how you pull them off is mostly up to you and the other players in your crew. Stealth is an option for a considerable amount of available missions but is difficult to pull off without communication and planning. I found that the stealth in the game isn’t as fun as an assault which are a lot more fun and engaging. My preferred way to start a heist was to run into a jewellery store, fire my gun into the air and tell everyone to hit the floor.
The game features a massive arsenal of weapons, armour, tools and masks for you to unlock, collect and buy. Some are locked behind post launch DLC and others are unlocked via gameplay. When you level up you unlock skill points which can be spent on equipment unlocks such as medic and ammo bags or abilities that allow you to throw your loot further, revive from a bleedout with a pistol kill and the ability to bribe policemen into fighting for you.
There is a lot of content in this game and the replay value is incredibly high, no two heists will ever be the same and the players that you meet will always vary in skill, attitude and play style. The single player mode in the game is a good way to mess around with your new weapons and abilities but not to play seriously, your AI companions cannot accomplish any act of stealth and they love to sponge up bullets.
Shooting in the game has a strong kick to it, every time you fire your weapon you can see the impact with your eyes and feel it in your gut. The game does suffer from some annoying invisible barriers on objects that you wouldn’t expect such as trees and bushes but these invisible barriers also affect enemy weapons fire by preventing their projectiles from hitting you and your team mates. Explosives have an extremely large radius and can kill civilians on the other side of a street so it is advised to never use them indoors when there are hostages. Killing civilians will fine you cleaner costs and the higher the job pay-out and the difficulty the higher these costs become.
The objective based gameplay work incredibly well when playing with experienced or patient players, objectives range from drilling a vault door to smashing everything in sight in a mall for protection money. Objective locations vary every time the heist is replayed.
Bottom Line: The game is a very competent FPS with a lot of potential replayability due to the ever changing way that players will influence the way you play and the content you access. The game is above average in terms of visuals with some objects looking like they were rendered on a last gen console.
Buy if you like: Left 4 Dead, Killing Floor and Grand Theft Auto 5
Ignore if you prefer: Singleplayer Experiences and Interesting Art Styles.