Payday 2 Review
In this review I plan to get straight to it and tell all of you why I really like the game and why I hate it with a fiery passion. I have never played “Payday: The Heist” but I have always heard great things about it, so I figured I would give its sequel a shot.
Let me be clear: “Payday 2” is supposed to be played with actual humans as a four player co-op, so when you get a good team together missions can be challenging and action packed. Missions like Four Stores and bank jobs are chosen from Crime.net’s interactive map. Here you will also be partnered will other gamers. Bank vaults, cameras, and guards are all randomized. I found this out the hard way when restarting a mission because I didn’t like how it was going, only to go run in the same way I originally did and finding out the bank vault was moved to an area that I could gain access to without alerting any guards. The way to avoid all trouble of a botched mission is to case the joint: When your mission first loads you are dropped in as a civilian so you can wander around and case your targets. Try not to do anything suspicious or you will alert the guards and cause people to set off the alarms.
Here is my first issue with the game: the A.I. As I said above, the game is meant to be played by four human players. That said, what if none of your friends have the game (like me) and you really have no desire to play with randoms (again like me)? You’re going to go to Crime.net offline where you can play solo, and that’s where the problems start. Your A.I. compatriots are awful. I mean really bad, and I have plenty of examples to choose from. Let’s start with how they are never where they need to be. I am manning a drill managing the hostages and fighting off cops while they are randomly running around shooting at cops – Not killing them, just shooting at them. There are also all of the times I single-handedly completed the objectives of the mission while having to give up hostages in exchange for one of my fellow robbers, and then when it’s time to head to the extraction point they are still running around shooting at cops instead of following me. It isn’t as if these are isolated incidents. It happens in the mall, while destroying property in the four stores missions, and while grabbing loot bags and bringing them to the truck. This wouldn’t be such an issue if you could just let them die with out being penalized, but that is not the case.
After a couple of hours of complete failures involving the offline mode I decided to jump online and do some co-op. I don’t have any friends that play the game, nor do I like playing with randoms, but game with them I did and it wasn’t that bad. As a matter of fact, it made the game really enjoyable having a squad of people that actually know what to do…and do it! Granted, anyone not controlled by a player was just your standard A.I., but we would just let them get killed. Enemy A.I. on the other hand was quite impressive and worked like a well oiled machine.
The exterior environments were beautiful, but walk into a building and everything was just flat. Stepping inside hostages will happen a lot, and I wasn’t really a fan of the guns due mainly to the fact that cops would be so far away that you could barely see them but they could still see you and had perfect marksmanship. Sound design is amazing; the sounds of bullets leaving the chamber tearing through the environment sounds almost perfect.
Money as well as experience points are used to level your character up through the four skill trees. Experience and money is also used to buy new weapons and armor. A little feature I like is the fact that the loot bag actually has weight, and because of the weight it will tilt the camera.
Final Verdict for Payday 2: