Quantcast
Payday 2 blew away my expectations, stole my heart - Destructoid




Game database:   #ABCDEFGHIJKLMNOPQRSTUVWXYZ         ALL     Xbox One     PS4     360     PS3     WiiU     Wii     PC     3DS     DS     PS Vita     PSP     iOS     Android


Payday 2  



Payday 2 blew away my expectations, stole my heart


7:30 PM on 06.12.2013
Payday 2 previewPayday 2 blew away my expectations, stole my heart photo



Payday 2 feels like one of the most ambitious sequels in recent memory. I was a fan of Payday: The Heist, which in and of itself is high praise. Normally I can't be bothered to play online multiplayer and I've had first-person shooter fatigue for years, but Payday clicked with me. The focus on carefully orchestrated cooperation combined with the game's sometimes vicious level of challenge against near overwhelming odds is exhilarating. 

We knew Payday 2 was going to be much improved, given that it's receiving a retail release in addition to digital, and we knew that new elements were going to be added, like stealth possibilities. Still, I wasn't prepared for how much has improved. Talking to director David Goldfarb and then playing for myself left me pleasantly surprised and wanting to play more.



Payday 2
(PC [previewed], PlayStation 3, Xbox 360)

Developer: Overkill Software
Publisher: 505 Games
Release: August 2013

One of the big pieces of Payday 2's revamp is that heist jobs can be segmented into multiple days and tasks. Essentially, there is a focus on the lead up to jobs that feel more holistic. This way, the team could build, "long, complex heists without having to build five hour maps," Goldfarb explained. 

There is also a focus on making the natural economy useful and fruitful. Only portions of your take after heists can be spent immediately, much of it being funneled through off-shore accounts and other realistic feats of thievery. You can also use your wealth to purchase assets before jobs, like blueprints, and even sniper support. Talk about turned tables -- I have so many recollections of tons of sniper sights flitting around in Payday: The Heist, sights trained directly on me and my crew.

There is also a mind bogglingly extensive upgrade, customization, and class system. The Mastermind, Technician, Enforcer, and Ghost all have huge skill trees full of some wild perks, like the ability to recruit law enforcement to your side, or a "Stockholm syndrome" perk that makes civilians see that maybe you're actually a pretty cool guy and that the cops are jerks. There's even a "Kilmer" perk, one of many nods to Michael Mann's Heat. Goldfarb noted that the Mastermind is essentially based on DeNiro's character in Heat.

Beyond that, I saw a ridiculous collection of weapons and other customizables. There are a load of new unlockable masks and masks can be decorated, colored, painted, and textured. Given that everything appears visibly on your character in-game, the customization stands out even more.  

Stealth is another cool possibility. In the bank heist I played, we were able to run around back and slip in through a lock picked back door, despite being a somewhat uncoordinated and unacquainted bunch. The latter did hurt us when someone -- if anyone tells you it was me, I assure you they lie -- accidentally fired a shot and ruined the entire thing. "Stealth will be difficult in pickup games," Goldfarb explained, noting that most peoples' attempts at stealth thus far had gone even more horribly wrong than ours (and usually more quickly).

According to Goldfarb, some jobs are practically impossible to stealth -- though I'm sure that won't stop people from trying. If you're skilled enough, you can apparently push the stealth element surprisingly far into most jobs, though the game will be just as taut and enjoyable when things go horribly wrong, as capers are apt to do. 

All told, the game has 30 missions. Add in difficulty levels and certain elements of randomization -- if you botch jobs badly enough, you can trigger various, randomized escape segments, for example -- and you're bound to get a lot of play out of Payday 2.

Goldfarb noted that Dark Souls is a huge influence on the game, going as far as to call Payday 2 something of an homage. Anyone who has played the original on its highest difficulty -- or, hell, even on the "normal" difficulty -- can attest to that. Maybe that's why I love it. The game wants to beat you into the earth and has the means to do so. When you play long enough, after level 50, the game offers professional missions in which you have to successfully complete each part of multi-day jobs in sequence or be sent back to the very beginning.

Devious. Let's not forget Payday: The Heist's ridiculous secret room.

Beyond adding new features, the game itself is much improved over the original. Guns have been entirely retooled to feel different and the visuals have been ratcheted up. During the heist I played, we had the ability to plank up windows, which is one of many neat additions to the game. Far and away, my favorite touch was that picking up a money-filled duffel bag actually tilts the camera sideways as if the bag were on your shoulder, weighing you down. It's a fabulous little touch that immediately made me feel like I was in the climax of Heat, watching Tom Sizemore ineffectually trying to heft duffel bags through vacated streets.

Payday 2 can't come soon enough.

Payday 2 blew away my expectations, stole my heart photo
Payday 2 blew away my expectations, stole my heart photo
Payday 2 blew away my expectations, stole my heart photo
Payday 2 blew away my expectations, stole my heart photo
Payday 2 blew away my expectations, stole my heart photo







Comments not appearing? Anti-virus apps like Avast or some browser extensions can cause this.
Easy fix: Add   [*].disqus.com   to your software's white list. Tada! Happy comments time again.

Did you know? You can now get daily or weekly email notifications when humans reply to your comments.






timeline following:
Payday 2



5:00 PM on 12.02.2014
Payday doesn't have much to be thankful for in its Christmas carol

Crime doesn't have a slow season. You strike when opportunity presents itself. If that means getting your ass out of bed on Christmas morning and proverbially crossing the Delaware River, you do it. But, all that doesn't mea...more



9:00 AM on 10.22.2014
Keanu Reeves is playable in Payday 2

Later today you'll find a surprise waiting in Payday 2 -- Keanu Reeves. To promote Reeves' newest film, John Wick, Lionsgate has partnered up with Starbreeze to release a John Wick character as free DLC on Steam. He'll c...more



2:00 PM on 09.29.2014
Hotline Miami's masks are a great fit for Payday 2

Overkill Software has teamed up with Dennaton Games for Hotline Miami-themed DLC for Payday 2, which releases tomorrow on Steam for $6.99. Here's more info in the mean time. Besides the screenshot above, there's a mini websit...more



4:30 PM on 09.11.2014
Killer collaboration: Payday 2 is getting Hotline Miami DLC

Overkill Software and Dennaton Games are teaming up for Payday 2 DLC based on Hotline Miami. It's unclear what all is included here beyond a heist -- they can get away with offering the slimmest of details and we'll still be ...more



5:15 PM on 07.14.2014
Payday 2 director leaves Overkill Software

Payday 2 game director David Goldfarb, formerly of DICE, has left Overkill Software to start a studio of his own, reports Polygon. It's here he'll be able to escape big-team, AAA development at long last. "It doesn't matter w...more



4:30 PM on 07.07.2014
Payday 2 DLC adds more shotguns and monkey masks

Payday 2 has its seventh bit of DLC, the Gage Shotgun Pack. In it you'll find four masks, patterns, materials, melee weapons, and shotguns. Twelve achievements, too.  Call me old school, but I don't feel compelled to drop five bucks on a few new guns, patterns, masks, and melee weapons. Not when the existing ones work just fine. Adding new heists is one thing. This? Not a fan.more



12:00 PM on 06.27.2014
Payday 2's Big Bank is a throwback to the first game

Payday 2's heists are much shorter than the first game's or broken up into multi-day sections that allow for some reprieve. I've played levels in the first Payday with equally unskilled, low-level friends for close to an hour...more



1:15 PM on 06.12.2014
Overkill is bringing Payday 2 to PS4 and Xbox One

Payday 2: Crimewave Edition will appear on Xbox One and PlayStation 4 at some point, Overkill Software and publisher 505 Games announced today. Details for these ports of the co-op heist title were unusually sparse, although ...more



10:00 AM on 06.07.2014
Payday 2's Big Bank DLC features the game's largest heist yet

Payday 2's Big Bank downloadable content will hit Steam players on June 17 for $6.99. This is the game's largest heist to date. Players will be taking down the Benevolent Bank, dealing with better guards, rewards, and a brand...more



10:00 PM on 06.03.2014
Breaking Bad's Gus plays The Dentist in new Payday 2 DLC

When Payday 2's Big Bank Heist is available for download on June 17, there will be a new mission contact in the mix. While he may be fresh to Payday players, he's a well-known and calculated voice in the crime worl...more




First-person shooter

7:01 AM on 12.18.2014
Evolve launches open beta for Xbox One on January 15

The first quarter of 2015 looks to be an exciting period for games. But one such title is looking to keep players satiated all the way till its release. After a successful closed alpha period, Evolve is gearing up for another...more



7:00 AM on 12.18.2014
Evolve offers a refreshingly robust and devious co-op experience

There's been a lot of buzz surrounding Evolve, the new co-op shooter from Turtle Rock Studios. Helmed by the same developers of the original Left 4 Dead, fans have certainly been chomping at the bit for more information. Afte...more



5:00 PM on 12.12.2014
I never played Strife, but the remaster looks cool

Night Dive Studios brings old games to Steam, from The 7th Guest to System Shock 2 to Putt-Putt Goes to the Moon. I've heard of most of them, having either been around when they were new or discovering them in the years sinc...more



View all First-person shooter






Back to Top




All content is yours to recycle through our Creative Commons License permitting non-commercial sharing requiring attribution. Our communities are obsessed with videoGames, movies, anime, and toys.

Living the dream since March 16, 2006

Advertising on destructoid is available: Please contact them to learn more