Payday 2 is a recently released sequel to the popular Payday: The Heist, developed by Overkill Software and published by 505 Games. The game, since being released last week, has reached the top of the charts – an amazing achievement for the publisher, considering that the game would not have the same marketing funds available as an AAA title. Today, we have prepared our review for the new title, so, lets see how it fared…

As you may have guessed, Payday 2 focuses around a crew of thieves who perform heists. These heists range from banks, nightclubs and a variety of other locations; and each will test your skills at surviving for the duration of the heist, as you search for a key, or wait for a drill to open a door. The genre allows for high-paced, tense action and a lot of gunfire, making the game very fun to play. Of course, there is also an element of strategy, stealth and teamwork.

Payday 2 supports 4 player co-op, which can be played online with friends/strangers, or offline with 3 AI characters. Matches can be selected and created using an interactive map through “CRIME.NET”, in which players and paired in heists of varying difficulty and payout. The system works very well, and lets players play on a difficulty level that suits them – if they want to try a harder heist to get a big payout, it’s very easy to do so, and, if one fails, they can drop down, and join a game of the medium difficulty level.

One of the very fun features of the game is the fact that the heist doesn’t start as the players being criminals; they start as civilians. So, if you want to enter undetected as civilians and try to sneak around, carefully sending and receiving messages to and from your team, you can do that. The experience is very immersive, and really shows you what it would be like to be a part of a gang undertaking a heist. The developers did a great job of implementing the system.

In terms of sound, the game does a fantastic job of bringing the atmosphere alive. While the soundtrack isn’t anything amazingly memorable, and sound effects, narration and dynamic comments from your teammates (if AI) and the cops. While some heists will be impossible to pull off without alerting the forces, some of them can be pulled off entirely in stealth, so, there is a lot of scope for achievement in the game, insuring a lot of replay value. The game also recognises players who go the extra mile to be stealthy in their work.

Unfortunately, however, the game is not perfect. There are a lot of glitches and partially lazy development issues in the game, whether it is due to the team being rushed or lack of funds, I am not sure. The civilian character models are frequently reused, so much so, that you may see the same person walking by you every half a minute, or thereabouts. Even though it seems minor, it removes some of the immersion the game otherwise thrives upon. Invisible walls and very flat textures are also problems within the game; hopefully to be addressed by a patch in the near future.

Overall however, even with the issues, the game is a great experience and should definitely be tried if you are a fan of games which mix stealth and precision with lots of gunfire. Payday 2 is extremely dynamic, and responds to the player’s play style by dynamically editing what occurs within the game, and how the characters react to said actions.