Payday 2 (Video Game Review)

Payday 2 is the new sequel to the hit first-person shooter Payday: The Heist. The popular shooter is already available for PC on Steam and is coming soon to consoles. Players will once again join up with three other criminals to participate in a variety of high stakes robberies, drug deals and more while working their way towards one large Payday. The new release introduces additional features never seen in the series including more weapons, customization options and other items. Fans of the original release will want to pick up Payday 2 as soon as possible, and of course, a cooperative title such as this is always better when there are some friends along for the ride.

Payday 2 is more of the same when it comes to the game's storyline. The Payday crew is back and ready to make some money. In the game, players receive missions from independent contractors over the digital service known as Crimenet. There are many different jobs available to the player from a variety of different contractors, who each have their own motives and reasons for hiring the group. Each mission typically features a pre-mission cinematic and briefing that instructs players on the mission at hand, and there is also chatter in missions to keep players on track and inform of changes to the environment. There are enough missions in the game to give many hours of fresh gameplay, but player will want to keep coming back for the cooperative action, rather than the mediocre storyline. The narrative in Payday 2 isn't the best, but it doesn't really matter much, since players wouldn't pay attention to the game's storyline when playing with three friends anyhow.

The core gameplay featured in Payday 2 hasn't changed much since the first game's release. Each mission features four characters working together to steal money or goods, fight off the inevitable arrival of the police and make it safely to a getaway vehicle in one piece. Missions typically come in multiple parts with the largest amount of money coming on the final day of the mission. Though there is a great variety of missions for each job in the game, many of the multi-stage jobs can change depending on how players perform in prior missions. For example, one job will have players breaking into a local crack house to cook meth before getting out safely, but if the players fail the mission by placing the wrong products in the concoction, the next mission will begin with the team making a drug deal to get meth in a different way instead. This flexibility in missions gives the game great replay value in addition to the many missions already included in the game.

Once a mission has been completed, players gain experience points and a large amount of in-game currency as well. Leveling adds additional unlocks to the game for that specific player, and money can be used to purchase more weapons and upgrades before the next mission. There are penalties in the game for teammates that are taken into custody, not reaching specific mission objectives and more, so cooperation is a must to obtain the highest rewards. A cool mini-game has also been added to Payday 2 where players choose and flip matching cards to earn a prize that ranges from additional colors when customizing loadouts to additional weapon upgrades. It's a fun system that awards players based on luck and chance in the fairest way possible.

Many of the basics included in the original release show up in Payday 2's presentation as well. Each of the four characters comes with a specific class with weapons and skills associated with their profession and style of play. Much of the original arsenal of weapons return here, though there are some new ones thrown in for good measure. Masks, equipment and loadouts can be customized by the player with additional options not seen in the previous release. Payday 2's graphics are improved as well, but players are still confined to the nearby mission area, and some buildings are simply inaccessible. The game does feature some great voice acting and music that helps to ratchet up the intensity of the most exciting moments of the game, whether tying up hostages, shooting pesky gang members or defusing a bomb before it explodes in your face. Payday 2 is a fine game and one that makes you feel like a total badass.

If you enjoyed the original Payday, you'll certainly love Payday 2. The game retains many of the core mechanics that makes up the gameplay in the series, but other aspects have been overhauled in an attempt to draw in a new audience. Players who purchase the game for Steam will have access to different game packs, DLC packages and other ways to purchase the game in the best way for each player. Payday 2 may be simple in concept, but the game relies on teamwork and cooperation to produce one of the most entertaining cooperative experiences since the Left 4 Dead series released on Xbox 360. If you and your buddies are looking for a great new shooter to play together, check out Payday 2 for Steam today!

Payday 2 is now available for PC via Steam and can be purchased for $29.99 and is coming soon to PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360. Payday 2 is rated M by the ESRB for Blood, Drug Reference, Intense Violence, Strong Language & Suggestive Themes. For more information on the game, check out the official Payday 2 website.

Game Features:
  • Online Multiplayer 1-4
  • Rob Banks with Friends
  • DLC Support
  • Steam Trading Cards
  • Trophy/Achievement Support

  • Game Information:
    Developer: Overkill
    Publisher: 505 Games
    Platforms: PlayStation 3, Xbox 360 & PC (reviewed)
    Release Date: August 13, 2013

    Score: 8 out of 10

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