hot  /  reviews  /  videos  /  cblogs  /  qposts

PAYDAY

Steam Summer Sale, an embarrassment of riches

Jun 24 // Nic Rowen
Wolfenstein: The New Order Embarrassment factor: A Neville Chamberlain ass-tattoo From the moment I first laid eyes on Wolfenstein: The New Order I thought “that looks like a great game!” followed almost immediately with a second thought “I'll wait for a Steam Sale.” And so it was. Yes, I know, I'm the kind of scumbag that disincentivizes publishers from backing games like Wolfenstein, and I feel bad about that, really. But I know in my heart of hearts that between work and every other game tugging at my arm, I will probably never find the time to run through a single player shooter, no matter how much fun the nazi-murder spree looks. At least it's there for me now if I ever re-watch Jin-Roh and feel compelled to dump a belt-fed machine gun into a human wall of Wehrmacht. Long Live the Queen Embarrassment factor: Mortified monocle dropping Look, sometimes I buy games because I think they might be fun to play with my girlfriend. Stop judging me. Also, the trailer was cute, and it was $2.00, and sometimes I like nice things, and you're going to stop judging me right now or I will cut off your head and parade it around court on the end of a pike. Iron Brigade Embarrassment factor: Serving with pride I don't think I need to make excuses for wanting to ride atop a glorious mobile trench/mecha, obliterate endless waves of lethal cathode ray enemies with ridiculously oversized cannons, and sport a splendid hat while doing so. If you don't understand the self-evident joy of such things, we're just never going to see eye-to-eye. Sunless Sea Embarrassment factor: Muttering about mutiny Sunless Sea looks like Darkest Dungeon, but on the water, so it's bound to be a delightful time. The embarrassment factor isn't too high here because I'm sure I'll get some play out of this one and I love to support indie devs like Failbetter Games. Besides, any game recommended by our very own Ben Davis has to be worth a look. Borderlands 2: GOTY Embarrassment factor: C:/My Documents/DankMemes Ever hear of the sunk cost fallacy? Well this is it. I loved Borderlands 2, played through the main campaign with my brother, did a bunch of co-op and challenge stuff with Dtoid's StriderHoang, and bought the big dumb fancy DLC pack. Problem was, I did most of that playing during the first three weeks of the game's launch and never quite got back to all that expensive DLC. This is why you never buy the season pass folks. It's always loomed over me and I'd like to revisit those characters and see all that content I missed, but most of my 360 friends have moved on to other consoles and it's not like I'm going to solo another character through the game, that's not how I get down with Borderlands. But, the Steam sale gave me and my brother a chance to grab the game on the cheap on our PCs, so we can delude ourselves all over again that somehow we'll find 30 hours of mutually schedule-friendly time to plunder, raid, and explode all over Pandora again. Look forward to next year when I tell you all about how I picked up the Pre-Sequel Definitive Edition on the cheap and will toootally play through it.. Sometime. Westerado: Double Barreled Embarrassment factor: I aim to misbehave No embarrassment here. Everything I hear about Westerado makes it sound like a hell of a game. Rustlin' cattle, solving mysteries, and laying down the law by whipping out a gun mid-dialog scene, these are all things I can stare at over the horizon and give a knowing nod. Gravity Ghost Embarrassment factor: WHEEEEEE! Mea culpa. I did not do the research before I bought this game and I just assumed that you played as the deer wearing socks that you always see in the screenshots. 100% of my purchasing thought process was based on loving the idea of a deer wearing socks. Sadly, you do not play as a deer wearing socks. On the plus side, it's a beautiful, charming, and magical experience and all that... Sigh, I really wanted to play as a deer wearing socks. The Fall Embarrassment factor: File not found The only embarrassment here is that I didn't pick up The Fall sooner. Seriously, this is a gorgeous indie game about a possibly malfunctioning robot-suit trying to save his unconscious pilot while stranded on a planet populated by insane drones and fascist super-computers. Just saying that last sentence out loud activates my saliva glands. Payday 2 DLC: Clover Character pack, Alesso Heist, and the Butcher's BBQ pack Embarrassment factor: A poster of Waingro in the family room I picked up Payday 2 during last summer's Steam Sale and it was a gift that kept on giving. Surprisingly fun co-op heisting with months of content patches and bug fixes behind it, and I picked it up for a song. I ended up playing it for months before my attention drifted and I don't think I ever spent more than $15 or $20 on it all told. With that in mind, even though I'm living on the straight and narrow now, I thought it might be a good idea to pick up some of the cooler looking DLC bits I've missed just in case the bastards ever pull me back in. See, smooth over the truth enough and you can justify something as dumb as buying DLC for a game you don't even have installed any more. That's the kind of moral flexibility the Payday crew can respect. Metal Gear Solid V: Ground Zeroes Embarrassment factor: Listening to “Love Deterrence” by Paz Oretga on loop It's Metal Gear for like $5.00, how could I not? I know, buying Ground Zeroes is essentially paying for the privilege to play a demo of The Phantom Pain (which is not too far away from coming out itself now), but you know what? The demo from Metal Gear Solid back on the PS1 was dope as hell and I ended up playing it over and over again FOR HOURS. That demo was basically a loading dock and the front yard of Shadow Moses, so imagine the kind of fun I can wring out of an entire military base. Again, I miss demo discs. The Vanishing of Ethan Carter Embarrassment factor: Mistaking a shadow for a ghost and making a little yelping noise The Vanishing of Ethan Carter looks like a positively beautiful mystery/horror game that will sit in my Steam backlog with pride. I'll be glad it's there, and think of playing it often. “Maybe around Halloween” I'll say. But then the month will come and some big name title will drop hoping to get a jump on the November rush, or Team Fortress 2 will do some adorable ghost themed event and I'll end up plugging hours into an eight year old game again, and poor Ethan Carter will be forgotten. Left to haunt my backlog forever. More like The Vanishing of my Free Time, am I right? Wait, no, that doesn't make much sense. I'll show myself out. Alien: Isolation Embarrassment factor: Closing your eyes in the theater and hoping no one notices Oh man, I hope I don't lose this one to the backlog, because so far it's pretty great. Alien: Isolation is one of those games I was really interested in at launch, but just couldn't bring myself to cough up $60 for it. Now that I've had a chance to play it, I'd say it probably would have been worth the full sticker price (but I'm much happier paying the $10 or so it ended up costing me). The best part of the game so far has just been noodling around the station, checking out all the little touches and messing with the retro-future computers and technology. It's a lot like Gone Home, only instead of being “a little spooky” it's a full-on assault on the nerves that ratchets up the tension until finally skewering you on the end of a Xenomorph's spiked tail. I'm still holding out hope that Amanda will just find some nice girl to elope with and get out of the station. Marine Sharpshooter 2 Embarrassment factor: Marine Sharpshooter 2 I didn't buy this one. A friend “gifted” me a copy, and oh what a gift. Marine Sharpshooter 2 apparently came out in 2004, but after five minutes in it's muddy, jagged jungles, you'll swear it was 1999 all over again. With what I would describe as a “generous” Metacritic score of 52, it doesn't have many upsides. So of course I immediately installed it instead of any of the other many fine games I spent actual money on. In the clinical world, this is what they call “self hate.”
Steam Sale haul photo
We all have our vices
I still firmly believe that one of the greatest upsides of being a PC gamer are the twice annual fire-sales hosted by Steam. Those sales, alongside the multitude of other deals and bargains that can be scooped up from Humble ...

Payday 2: Crimewave Edition is yet another competent port

Jun 12 // Mike Cosimano
[embed]293774:58944:0[/embed] Payday 2: Crimewave Edition (Xbox One [reviewed], PS4)Developer: Overkill SoftwarePublisher: 505 GamesReleased: June 12, 2015 MSRP: $49.99 In Payday 2, you're a gang of criminals in Washington, D.C, intimately familiar with the ins and outs of crime and crime-related activities. You and three friends (or AI partners if that's how you roll) apply this skillset liberally, transforming places where once there was no crime into a veritable haven of villainy. In some ways, you could say the Payday Pals are some kind of wave...of crime. These dirty deeds range from bank robbery, to jewelry store robbery, to museum robbery, to art gallery robbery, to murder. To be fair, unless your team is quite good, each mission ends with a sizable body count, so there's murder to be found in just about every mission. This is a sticking point with Payday 2 -- it's very difficult to pull off a controlled heist. Even if you're rolling with a team of people you know and everybody's using microphones, there are still a lot of unknown factors and most of the best stealth gear is locked behind dozens of hours worth of progress. Since the core shooting is tight and responsive, stealth attempts quickly transitioning into explosive gunfights was never a genuine problem. At first blush, locking different approaches behind progression is at the very least disingenuous, but if you're going to be playing the game for that long anyway, rewarding time spent with variety is a smart play. But in this case, appreciating design must take a backseat to player enjoyment. Pistol suppressors -- a crucial tool for stealth missions -- are either the luck of the draw or hidden behind some labyrinth of menus. It's impossible to tell which. Although there's a limited pool of missions, I never saw them all in my 16 hours with the game. This is partially because I spent time grinding out shorter, easier missions for cash and experience, but there's still a fairly respectable amount of content available. Since Crimewave Edition comes with all the DLC released up to that point, there's a lot even beyond the missions. There's more guns, a new character class, and even new characters (including a female member of the Payday Pals, and the boogeyman himself: John Wick). Something also has to be said for the game's atmosphere. When the relentless, driving soundtrack kicks in right as a fresh wave of pigs rush your crew, it's hard to not get swept up in the moment. I'll always choose stealth over action, but I never felt the need to restart a heist in Payday 2 because I had grown accustomed to the combat -- it had become a regular part of life in this fictional capital. Maybe there's something there about the normalization of violence, about how the endless war of attrition between the law and those who operate outside it only serves to perpetuate a culture of death -- when the authorities perform a show of force, perhaps they are creating the very criminals they seek to apprehend. Look, there are a lot of re-releases in stores right now, and even more coming this year. More often than not, they are slight, if competent, upgrades from the last batch of consoles. They've got nothing on the PC versions, but not everyone can afford a monster rig. Payday 2 is reasonably engaging, and the Crimewave Edition works as advertised. The framerate is solid, which is a nice bonus. But this is still a slightly new wrapper on a two-year-old game. Know this, at the very least: if you choose to skip this game in the hopes of drawing a line in the sand regarding split-gen ports, there are worse titles to pass over.
Payday 2: Crimewave photo
Yeah, I'm thinking I'm back
Much like the president from Resident Evil 6, the last generation of games has risen from the dead to feast on the living. We’ve seen so many remasters, remaster collections, and straight ports in the past year that it ...

Payday 2 photo
Payday 2

Payday 2's next heist takes on Vegas


Insert some pun ending in Jailhouse Rock
Jun 12
// Joe Parlock
Don’t blink, or you might just miss Overkill release some new content for Payday 2. Whoops, there goes another... and another... Sod it, let’s just look at this newest one: The Golden Grin Casino. With swanky as ...
Payday 2 photo
Payday 2

Payday 2 goes on a current-gen crime spree in June


Masks for days
Apr 07
// Brett Makedonski
Payday 2 developer Overkill has had long-standing plans to take the game's bank-robbing ways to current-gen consoles. This new trailer serves as confirmation that those ambitions are finally coming to fruition sometime ...

Payday 2 Jacket DLC photo
Payday 2 Jacket DLC

Payday 2 welcomes Jacket from Hotline Miami to the crew


This can only end well
Feb 26
// Nic Rowen
You might not know this, but murderers love cross-brand synergy. That's why hot on the heels of some John Wick co-marketing, Payday 2 is getting a rash of neon-soaked DLC to celebrate the release of Hotline Miami 2. Remorsel...
Payday photo
Payday

Payday doesn't have much to be thankful for in its Christmas carol


That drill
Dec 02
// Brett Makedonski
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...
Payday 2 photo
Payday 2

Keanu Reeves is playable in Payday 2


Whoa!
Oct 22
// Chris Carter
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...
Free Payday photo
Free Payday

Payday: The Heist is free on Steam today


It'll be nice to have more people playing this
Oct 16
// Jordan Devore
We told you way in advance that Payday: The Heist would be free to download (and keep!) on Steam for 24 hours, but the original date has since been moved up to ... today! Claim your free copy here. You know what this game is ...
Payday 2 photo
Payday 2

Hotline Miami's masks are a great fit for Payday 2


I'm holding out for Tony
Sep 29
// Jordan Devore
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...
Payday x Hotline Miami photo
Payday x Hotline Miami

Killer collaboration: Payday 2 is getting Hotline Miami DLC


Releasing September 30
Sep 11
// Jordan Devore
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 ...
The Walking Dead photo
The Walking Dead

Overkill is making a co-op shooter based on The Walking Dead


'In 2016 Washington will fall -- what will you do?'
Aug 13
// Jordan Devore
Payday creator Overkill Software is the next developer to try its hand at adapting The Walking Dead for videogames. The studio is currently working on a cooperative first-person shooter planned for release in 2016 called Over...
Freebies photo
Freebies

Heads up: Payday will be free on Steam in October


How's that for advanced notice?
Jul 28
// Jordan Devore
It feels silly to tell you about a game that's going to be free months from now, but maybe, just this once, it'll prevent someone from buying said game right before the promotion begins. With that in mind, Payday: The Heist w...
Gage Shotgun Pack photo
Gage Shotgun Pack

Payday 2 DLC adds more shotguns and monkey masks


Gage Shotgun Pack
Jul 07
// Steven Hansen
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.
Impressions: Payday 2 DLC photo
Impressions: Payday 2 DLC

Payday 2's Big Bank is a throwback to the first game


The biggest job yet
Jun 27
// Steven Hansen
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...
Payday photo
Payday

Overkill is bringing Payday 2 to PS4 and Xbox One


This year, presumably
Jun 12
// Jordan Devore
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 ...
 photo

Payday 2's Big Bank DLC features the game's largest heist yet


Play it at E3, even if you don't have a badge!
Jun 07
// Hamza CTZ Aziz
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...
Payday 2 photo
Payday 2

Breaking Bad's Gus plays The Dentist in new Payday 2 DLC


Watch you gold fillings
Jun 03
// Brett Makedonski
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...
Payday 2 photo
Payday 2

PS3 players of Payday 2 get free Sweet Tooth mask DLC


Because there weren't enough clown faces in one place already
Jan 08
// Conrad Zimmerman
Another creepy clown visage is now available in the PlayStation 3 version of Payday 2, and one fans of Sony should be well familiar with. Sweet Tooth, the lovably psychotic burning clown thing from the Twisted Metal ...
 photo

Become President Obama in the new Payday 2 DLC


Plus President Bush, Clinton, and Nixon masks too
Nov 13
// Hamza CTZ Aziz
The Armored Transport downloadable content for Payday 2 comes to PC tomorrow for $6.99. In it you'll get new armored car and train heist jobs playable across the game's six maps. Plus expect three new weapons, four new mask ...
Payday photo
Payday

Payday 2 has sold 1.58 million copies


80 percent of which happened through digital distribution
Sep 13
// Jordan Devore
Payday 2 is doing very well for itself. At retail, it broke into the NPD's top 10 for August 2013 but, here's the thing about that: the game's 1.58 million copies sold, according to Starbreeze, were 80 percent digital. Intere...

Jimquisition: Time To Get Paid

Aug 26 // Jim Sterling
 photo
Jimquisition happens every Monday!
Payday 2 is a success, because the people making and publishing it weren't completely stupid. What sorcery is this? Yes, it's one of those episodes where we celebrate one game getting it right and not stuffing everything up. Speaking of stuffing, Jim at last unveils the Dragon Dildo ... and does things with it. Terrible things.

Review: PAYDAY 2

Aug 19 // Jim Sterling
PAYDAY 2 (PC [reviewed], PlayStation 3, Xbox 360)Developer: Overkill SoftwarePublisher: 505 GamesReleased: August 13, 2013 (NA), August 16, 2013 (EU)MSRP: $29.99  Dallas, Chains, Hoxton, and Wolf are reunited for a second string of amoral moneymaking, propelled by a variety of missions involving breaking and entering, classic bank robbery, and even simple property damage across a range of maps that, while often recycled, feature randomized elements to keep things interesting. Yet again, success hinges on teamwork as four players strategize, watch backs, and hold off waves of progressively deadly police forces.  This time around, missions are picked up by accessing Crime.net, a virtual map that locates and displays all active online missions. There is an offline mode too, but the allied A.I. is so utterly useless as to render it an endeavor without meaning. Suffice it to say, you're going to need to go online if you've any hope of making out like a bandit. Missions appear and disappear in real-time as they become available, and range from simple one-stage jobs to longer, story-based crimes that take place over several days and are broken up into anywhere from two to seven stages. Missions are also graded by difficulty, allowing you to hop right into an easy job or ramp things up by tackling an Overkill mission. The harder the difficulty, the greater the enemy resistance, and the more likely an appearance of vicious special enemies, such as the annoying Shield or terrifying Heavy.  Each mission is impressively paced, and far more varied than last time. In one stage, you'll be tasked with entering a mall and doing $50,000 worth of damage for a protection racketeer. Another involves robbing three stores at once and making out with the goods. One multipart stage involves robbing an art gallery, holding a position from cops after the escape van crashes, and finally executing a shady trade of goods before the police invariably show up. Oh, and yes, there is a mission where you have to break bad and cook up some meth.  A good number of missions can be played either stealthily or noisily. If you go in, all guns blazing, take hostages and decide to smash-and-grab, you'll end up defending your location against timed police assaults before fighting your way out with your earnings. A quiet approach involves sneaking past cameras, knocking out opponents, pretending to be guards over a pager system (which is always amusing), and hoping to Hermes you don't get anybody too suspicious. It's more difficult to pull off a stealth win, requiring both practice and a mastery of special skills, but it's possible. I've not seen it done personally, but it's possible! Players level up and earn spending money after each successful job, which can in turn be used to gain new skills, unlock guns, and customize masks. There are four skill trees to choose from -- Mastermind, which involves dominating enemies while supporting allies; Engineer, which uses vault drills more efficiently and can use mines or turrets; Enforcer, which is all about combat and shotgun efficiency; and Ghost, the handy stealth class that can sneak in and evade detection.  Guns are all of the standard variety -- pistols, assault rifles, shotguns, etc. -- but there's a heck of a lot of them, and all can be customized with parts randomly won at the end of a job. Masks are also a big deal this time around, the usual clown varieties added to with mummies, demons, and other ghoulish fun. Masks are also acquired as random "drops" and can be further customized with material skins, logos, and colors. With the skills, weapons, and masks combined, there's plenty of scope to create your perfect master criminal, and the encouragement to progress is there in spades.  Everything costs money, though, and while you'll be earning buckets of cash at the end of each stage, it can disappear quickly. Unlocking skills takes both unlockable skill points and an injection of hot cash, with the dollar toll rising to hundreds of thousands in no time. This isn't usually a problem, but if you tend to respec a lot, as I did in the early goings, you'll find yourself playing catch-up as you don't get all your money back.  Each heist is nicely designed, with a terrific sense of escalation, especially when the plan gets chaotic and things start to go wrong. The idea of risk and reward adds an extra level of dynamism to each job, as you have to weigh going back for extra valuables against the army of SWAT specialists now standing between your escape van and goods you've left behind. You can also unlock assets (if you're hosting the game) that add extra benefits during the game, such as a hidden ammo cache or an inside man.  PAYDAY 2 is just as fun, and measurably more involving, than the first game, but some issues get in the way of the amusement. Matchmaking could stand to be more efficient, as joining an existing game holds the match up for everybody, while the lack of any sort of host migration -- which shouldn't even be a consideration these days -- is a real pain in the ass. There are also a number of glitches and bugs that can occur, and the way stages simply end -- as well as a number of missing features such as safehouse customization -- lead to a title that feels somewhat unfinished.  Despite some of these flaws being quite egregious, Overkill has still provided a massive laugh of a game, and it says a lot about the quality of what's there that potentially dealbreaking issues don't really manage to kill the overwhelming enjoyment I've been having with the thing. Matches are tense and the fantastic music keeps the blood pumping, while finally getting to within hopping distance of the escape van provides a sense of exhilaration rarely found in similar shooters these days.  PAYDAY 2 is undeniably rough and needs a couple of updates to fill in a few blanks, but the thrill of robbing banks, smashing jewel cases, and cooking meth is too great for the asking price not be returned to the player in spades. If you're willing to work with a team and get involved in some delightfully chaotic situations, the world of poorly made drills and unnecessary amounts of violence is one well worth investing in. 
PAYDAY 2 reviewed photo
Stands and delivers
Nobody could ever claim PAYDAY: The Heist wasn't a good idea. Tapping into every human's secret desire to be part of a beautifully orchestrated, flamboyantly daring theft of grand proportions was a masterstroke, and while the...

Payday photo
Payday

Expect five DLC packs for Payday 2 this year


Some free, some paid
Aug 16
// Jordan Devore
Clarifying what exactly "a year of DLC" for Payday 2 looks like, game director David Goldfarb told Joystiq that there are five DLC packs planned "for the coming year." As expected, the content itself will be a mix of premium ...

PAYDAY 2 - Now Bloody Playing

Aug 14 // Jim Sterling
PAYDAY photo
Put on your mummy mask!
Hello! Your old pal Jim Sterling is back again, and this time he's an immoral criminal mummy! Yep, we're playing us some PAYDAY 2, and I'll be taking you on a little trip to the bank for some mad cash, yo.  We will, of course, have a full review coming. In the meantime, enjoy the immorality of it all.

Payday photo
Payday

Overkill is looking at a 'year of DLC' for Payday 2


Including possibly adding a female playable character
Aug 13
// Jordan Devore
Overkill Software is in a good spot with Payday 2. The just-released co-op heist shooter is already profitable -- it was even before launch, if you can believe that -- and game director tells OXM "There's like a year of DLC p...
Payday photo
Payday

Payday 2 is profitable and it's not even out yet


Owners of original game now have beta access
Aug 08
// Jordan Devore
Despite the fact that it hasn't even launched yet, Payday 2 is profitable. The cooperative heist game, which is currently playable in beta, hits Steam on Tuesday. "Starbreeze today has once again demonstrated that our strateg...
 photo

PayDay 2 launching August 13 on Steam


August 16 for Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3
Aug 07
// Hamza CTZ Aziz
It's time to pull off the ultimate heist as PayDay 2 arrives next week. It'll be out first on August 13 for Steam on PC, then August 16 for Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3. To go along with that announcement is the latest trailer and batch of screens. Spoilers: In it we see people committing crimes. Whoa!
 photo

There's a little Hotline Miami in Payday 2


Plus here have a new trailer
Jul 31
// Hamza CTZ Aziz
There's a special homage to Hotline Miami in Payday 2! You can purchase a pig mask called "The Hog" and it has some familiar sounding text associated with it too. Yeah that's about it. Just a neat little thing. Anyway, we're...
Payday photo
Payday

Payday 2 Collector's Edition comes with a real mask


Here's what you need to know going in
Jul 09
// Jordan Devore
The North American collector's edition for Payday 2 is notable in that it's priced at a reasonable $59.99. That, and it includes a wearable mask, which is a pretty good bonus as far as these things tend to go. There's also a...

Payday 2 blew away my expectations, stole my heart

Jun 12 // Steven Hansen
Payday 2 (PC [previewed], PlayStation 3, Xbox 360) Developer: Overkill Software Publisher: 505 Games Release: August 2013One 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 preview photo
Exponentially expanded and improved heisting
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-perso...


Auto-loading more stories ... un momento, corazón ...