The first Payday broke into the industry and stole the spotlight, but now the second Payday has the whole industry in the back off Bain’s van, sort of.
The same game style and characters (Chains, Dallas, Hoxton, and Wolf) have been brought back for a sequel to the original Payday: The Heist, which was different from the norm at that time. Even though from face-value Payday 2 looks like the same game, a lot of changes have been made to make a good game better. Some of the new features include the ability to stealth most missions, a new CRIMENET network for mission contracts, better game mechanics, and more customization of masks and weapons. Generally speaking, the series has expanded upon the valuable content to it to keep players around.
For those who may not have delved into either Payday, expect a very Left for Dead-ish like mechanic meets gun customization of Ghost Recon or Battlefield 3 all with a twist of heisting stores and stealing for money. Every character has their own backstory and own reasons to stick it to the man. It’s a unique mix, which in-part helped draw so much attention to this series.
Aside from the first introductory mission, you’ll want to choose your crew wisely. This isn’t exactly a game you run solo-dolo in. In the event you temporarily find yourself friendless, the second string A.I teammates play exactly like that. Don’t expect Hoxton (or any of the other guys) to lift a finger when you have a heavy bag of gold from a bank slung over your shoulder with more across the street, or even grab a few ingredients as you cook“pure poison” in the mission Rats. At the end of the day, the bots could use a total overhaul to where you can give them commands. The ability to stand in a general area (such as your flank) and guard, or the ability to help carry items would be game changing.
A.I ingenuity nor problems stop there, unfortunately. Civilians passing by a building being heisting with gunfire galore may go from outside to being inside and huddling in a corner. As illogical as that is, civilians also happen to stand up in the middle of a blazing firefight that they are caught in between. To make matters worse, it’s will always be your bullets that kill a civ, not the police. Lord forbid the police unjustly kill a civilian who just happens to be at the wrong place at the wrong time…
One of the flagship features is the amount of customization you have, such as the type of magazine on the gun down to the material your mask is made of. There are loads and loads of different pre-designed patterns, materials, and other miscellaneous things to combine to have an undoubtedly unique mask among the people on your team. It’s the one thing the game revolves around and it’s highlighted before you even start a contract. Starbreeze put a lot of humor and whimsical fun into the mask designs from a ball-gag mask to a goat-like mask that can be made of denim. That’s the stuff I do like.
While I boast the customization of Payday 2 to be high, the downfall to the customization is simple. Once a pattern or color or mask is used, that’s it. Everything is one-time use only for masks, and crafting and attaching weapon mods cost a bit. In a gist, it takes a lot of dirty money and card farming to make some decent combinations, thus making these implementations near impossible to take full advantage of. The only way to unlock customization items is by doing missions and picking a random card that may happen to have something you like. I feel like all the time you invest in getting these awesome masks should be unlocked forever so you can come back and tweak it once you unlock more. The weapon mod scenario is partially understandable, you unlock a part and it costs some money to obtain and I guess have professionally attached. But a basic scope costing $52k is pretty ridiculous. At that point, the scope should be redirecting bullets around half suicidal civilians to avoid penalties!
If you and a group of up to 3 friends are looking for an action packed (after the stealth goes through the window) first person shooter with a mix of strategy, I recommend giving it a try. No single mission ever gets dull for long with level designs and key characters/items being in random locations each time. Outside of some minor inconveniences, Payday 2 has a lot of replay value to reach max level, get achievements, and get all sorts of sick attachments for your favorite weapon. There’s a play-style for just about everyone with the mix of brute force, stealth, brain-over-brawn, and electronic guru like classes that can be mixed and matched to come together for the perfect team with some friends.