PAYDAY 2, the sequel to PAYDAY: The Heist by Overkill Software is a game released all the way back in 2013. The series is four person co-op shooter revolving around playing as a criminal gang in the process of performing increasingly extravagant heists across Washington DC. From basic theft at a jewelry store, to attempting to steal nuclear warheads from a private military company, to heisting the White House in an attempt to steal pardons, PAYDAY 2 does not hold back with the stakes.
In PAYDAY 2 (PD2), you play as a character that you choose from an ensemble cast, equip yourself with weapons modified to your tastes and accessories to fit your teams needs and go off and perform a variety of different heists. These heists often vary in content and difficulty, some are simple and short while some are tests of endurance, skill, and teamwork. Some heists can also be done in stealth, where the team must focus on avoiding being spotted and raising the alarm. Most heists can be done both in stealth, or by going loud and instead doing it by brute force, so you are able to pick and choose what tactic you want to go with.
The game originally was released back in 2013, but it has received support in the form of downloadable content (DLC) packs since launch. Recently, the Buluc’s Mansion Heist DLC was released alongside the 200th update to the game, which also updated the endgame progression system along with it. From this it is very clear that the developers are still trying to their best to support their game, while also working on PAYDAY 3, the next game in the franchise. It is an admirable effort by the developers to have kept supporting their game for this long.
Ignoring the slight setbacks, PD2 still stands as an exhilarating co-op game to play with your friends when you’re in the mood to gun down a seemingly infinite amount of police offers. As mentioned, weapon customization is a key aspect of the game as well as character customization. Customizing your character consists of choosing skills and perk decks for them, with a large variety to create different mix and match builds to suit your own gameplay style. Being able to either support your team by providing resources, or going all out and picking abilities that increase your speed and damage, the build possibilities are endless. Perk decks offer specific passive abilities that are often build defining as well and come in a variety of flavours to fit your own needs and wants.
The gunplay is satisfying, the music can only be described as “an absolute banger”, and the overall fun I have had with the game over the last seven years was definitely worth the price of admission. There are some flaws in the game however, it’s extremely dated since it uses an engine that was not really designed for shooter games, as well as being seven years old so the graphics will make you think you’re playing a PS2 game half the time due to the engine being hot garbage to begin with. The amount of DLC can also be overwhelming, since more than half the content in the game is locked behind a paywall, but you can always pick and choose what DLC you want, or you can get the bundle to get all of it for relatively cheap. The game goes on sale often due to its age, so it’s definitely worth a buy if it does go on sale.
Publisher: 505 Games
Developers: Overkill Software, Starbreeze Studios
Platforms: PC, PS4, PS3, Nintendo Switch, Xbox 360, Linux
Genres: Co-operative first-person shooter
Pictures; screenshots taken by author in-game