Published on August 21st, 2013 | by IceCube
REVIEW: Payday 2
Release date: 15th August 2013
Available on: PlayStation 3, XBox 360, PC
Summary: The previous first-person shooter was worse than dive-bombing naked into a box of lightbulbs, so we have to wonder what provoked the need for a sequel. It so happens this game has some improvements on the gameplay front, but there’s little reason to spend your hard stolen cash on it.
Concept: You play as one of four organized criminals who are tasked with pulling off increasingly difficult heists (mostly bank robberies). You can go in by brute force or take the conservative approach – either way you’ll likely get swamped by police and need to hightail it out of there by van or chopper.
Graphics: Hard-edged polygon renders, pixellated walls and general lack of texture brings back memories of the original Wolfenstein 3D. Despite the low detail it still has choppy frame rate issues. The outdoor detail is a little nicer, but indoors is a plain package that’ll induce the Z’s.
Gameplay: Kinda like Valve’s Left 4 Dead, there’s little you can do other than run and shoot. It defines the generic shooter at it’s very “genericest”. If you try to play conservatively, something illogical will spring your plot, at which point you’ll need to defend the fort until you can get inside the safe, take the cash and run. AI is terrible, as your fellow robbers are useless and get in your way, and police callously run into your open area like freakin’ Rambo without any regard for their life.
Sound: “Rattat-tat-tat” automatic gun fire and explosive “booms” make do, but we struggle to get over the woeful in game soundtrack which is laughable for a game in this day and age. After many listens, we’re pretty sure the score was composed on a Fisher Price mini keyboard, played by a novelty Drinking Bird.
Multiplayer: This is about the only way you can play this game without recycling the game disc as a beer coaster. Going in as a team, you can assign everyone’s role before you go for the cash, so if everyone does their job properly it can result in the perfect robbery – sometimes without even getting the cops involved.
Awesomeness: We mentioned improvements to the previous game and it’s mostly found in the skill tree and custom loadouts. There are four skill trees: Mastermind (healing), Enforcer (tough guy), Technician (locks and explosives) and Ghost (stealth). Your loadouts and mask design is all up for design tweaks – not that you can see yourself from first person anyway, so just imagine you look cool.
Final Word: The challenge of pre-planning and executing the perfect heist with friends online is the saving grace of this game, but ultimately, it’s just another first-person shooter to add to the pile. Clipping issues, repetitive graphics, poor gameplay, hilariously-bad music and a non-existent plot will have video game thieves returning this one to the store they nicked it from.
Score out of 5 bugs
Summary: 1 = Poor, 2 = Average, 3 = Good, 4 = Great, 5 = Amazing