Payday 2 is the sequel to Payday: The Heist brought to you by Overkill Software. It’s a first person shooter set around 4 different bank robbers, and how each robbery goes down is up to you. Personally, I find the best way to explain Payday 2 is by comparing it to Left 4 Dead but with banks. Four bank robbers coming together to rob banks, art museums, jewellery stores and mansions, all with the hopes of getting in and out without alerting the police.
Payday 2 has a nice look about it, everything is smooth and vibrant. Each map has a distinct feel to it, but will never play the same each go through. Every play through will be different thanks to randomly generated guard patrols and camera positions. Stalking through an art gallery is completely different to a smash and grab style jewel heist. There are small glitches like player model clipping, but that’s an easily fixed problem. There’s even a rumoured years worth of DLC and free content to come with the first called “Armored Transport” being free to those who preordered it.
But the best thing about the presentation of the game is their choice of music. Depending on how you’re going through your heist, the music plays accordingly. The longer you stay in the clear the music will be subtle and almost non-existent, but as soon as the action steps up the music quickens. Bass drops blast with every incoming assault and you’re returning fire with this hard hitting techno music that fuels your desire for money.
Picking up the controller and playing through my first mission is where the bug caught me. The controls are very familiar for anyone who’s played COD or any other FPS really. But the shoulder buttons instead are used to shout, interact with your environment and deploy your gadget. Your gadget is your class specific item, enforcer has ammo bags, mastermind has med packs, etc.
When you start playing you’re level one and have no perks, but as you level up and gain more cash you can decide what class you want to be and upgrade their perks. Deciding what class you’re going to pick is a big player in how you should best tackle every heist. But if you happen to not like your current skill tree, you can always respec and you’ll get all your points and money back! So, for example; a technician can fix drills faster or even blow safes where your mastermind is the guy out front controlling the crowd Which leads into my next point: Teamwork.
You can run in and start gunning everyone in your path down if you want the police to show up, but the best way to play through the game is with teamwork and I love that. Every heist must be planned beforehand with everyone knowing their role for the job. The game doesn’t force you to play together, but it encourages it.
But more then likely, your teamwork will somehow fail and the police will show up. With the familiar controls, fighting off police is that little bit more fun. The game goes from a strategic team based game to an all out in your face FPS. Ducking behind cover will trying to keep your drill going can get quite overwhelming unless you’re prepared and what FPS is complete without a vast array of guns and attachments? Payday 2 has enough guns to cater to every crim’s needs, shotguns, assault rifles, SMGs, all with their own attachments. And to keep your identity secret, why not make your own mask? There are supposedly over 15,000 different mask combinations so go wild!
Once you’ve made it back to getaway vehicle, you’ll see how much money you’ve been paid. Every mission or heist has a star rating, with the possible extra 1 to 3 yellow stars. These missions payout a lot more and will earn you more experience, but you’ll be up against more police, swat teams and more.
Following the money, you’ll gain experience. You get XP points for teamwork, everyone finishing the mission alive, loot you grab, and you can level up pretty quickly if you play the game properly. Finally after the XP screen, you’ll get your ‘payday’. You see three cards and you have to pick one, this is how you unlock masks, gun attachments, mask colours and patterns. This was really the only feature I didn’t like, I thought the ‘payday’ would be better used for rare items or money/XP bonuses.
Honestly, I’ve rarely put this game down since I bought it. I’ve got my friends and family in on it, and they all love it as well. It’s exciting and fun to play! Every job feels like a blockbuster movie made by my team as we steal everything in sight. Besides the clipping and somewhat frustrating unlock system, I love this game. I even bought the soundtrack too I like it that much.