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September 18, 2013

Payday 2 Guest Review



EDIT: Apparently the dates were wrong, mistakenly setting the release date in 2012. Oops. Let's justify this by pretending that Daniel Kay is a skilled time traveler and the constant delays in the game's release were caused by a groundhog day effect.

The perfect heist is harder than you might think.

Intro:

Payday 2 will go down in history as the most stressful game to obtain ever. Not really, but it was for me. From shipping delays and stores selling out to problems with pre-orders… agh, it’s a long story I won’t get into.

Basic Plot:

Anyway, the game a sequel to the 2011 downloadable game Payday: The Heist and centers around four players cooperatively trying to complete various bank heists and robberies. Each player has their own customizable set of skills, guns, masks and more.

Aside from a short intro mission, there’s no real story to speak of, as the game consists of about a dozen missions with varying difficulties and objectives. You can run-and-gun or be stealthy, but in the end, you’re there to make as much money as possible.

Got it? Good.

Release Date: 13 August 2013. 15 August 2013. 17 August 2013. 20 August, 2013

Developer: Overkill Software

Publisher: 505 Games

Platforms: Xbox 360, Playstation 3, Windows

Genre: First-person shooter/strategy


Reviewed By: Daniel Kay.


Areas of Concern:


Violence:

Mild Moderate Heavy Very Heavy Extreme Ban-worthy

Once you take on a heist and it goes wrong, the bullets start to fly. That’s the case with nearly all missions (unless you complete the entire mission stealthily, not an easy task). Here is some of the violence you’ll encounter when things go wrong:

--Players have their choice of pistols, submachine guns, shotguns, machine guns and snipers, as well as bombs and other devices (like power saws). Building up gun stats and inventory is encouraged. You can also melee people to death.

--You can freely kill police officers, other criminals and innocent civilians (though there is a penalty for the latter). There is usually blood splatter (but no gore) when you do.

--You take civilians hostage by tying them up, and can later “trade” them for captured teammates.

--Players can be electrocuted via tasers, electric fences and doors, gassed via tear gas canisters, burned with fire and fall to their deaths.

--Doors, safes and other things can be opened with explosives and drills.

Sex/Nudity:

Mild Moderate Heavy Very Heavy Extreme Ban-worthy

--One mission centers around stealing paintings from a museum and the developers decided that every single one of them should be a woman in a suggestive pose. Many are even nude, with small stars serving as the only censors. Also, you have to look at them if you’re playing by yourself, as you obtain them by holding down a button over the painting for a few seconds.

--Another mission takes place in a nightclub where female patrons wear revealing outfits. It’s also implied the club serves “other” functions.

--Characters make crude sexual jokes to each other on occasion (example: “Hey, I wonder if he sh**ged his sister?”)

--Some masks can be considered vulgar, such as the “gag-ball” mask (a reference to sadomasochism) and the ability to make a mask with flesh as the material.

Language:

Mild Moderate Heavy Very Heavy Extreme Ban-worthy

Prepare to be showered with as many F-bombs as you will bullets, as this game is full of them. There are also frequent uses of s**t and a**h**e, as well as uses of b*****d, b***h, d**n and others.


Drugs/Alcohol/Smoking:

Mild Moderate Heavy Very Heavy Extreme Ban-worthy

--Multiple missions deal with drugs (hey, you’re a criminal after all). One of them involves smuggling bags and bags of cocaine to a truck, then to a boat.

--An objective for another mission actually centers on making and transporting methamphetamine (meth). You have to find the various ingredients and combine them in a specific order. Don’t try this at home!

--There are various bottles of alcohol strewn about and characters can be seen taking smoke breaks.


Spiritual Content:

Mild Moderate Heavy Very Heavy Extreme Ban-worthy

Fortunately, there aren’t any missions at a church or anything like that. I believe I might have seen a Bible or two in a store or house, but there isn’t much spiritual content.

Morality:

Abysmal Bad So-so Okay Good Very Good

Morality? This game is about being the bad guy, so it’s not very good. The objective is to steal, kill and smuggle your way to the next payday. The only two redeeming moral factors of this game are: 1, you can choose to stealthily complete a mission; and 2, there is a penalty for killing civilians.

Review of Game:


If you’ve ever wanted to play the bad guy in a movie, this is the game to do it. It’s frantic, easy to grasp and difficult to master. The first time you load up a mission, it’s a rush just deciding how you’re going to approach it. And once you (inevitably) alert the police, it’s an intense ride until the getaway van arrives.

The most ideal way to play it, however, is with friends. The computer A.I. is horrible, often getting in your way and not firing at enemies right in front of them. (They are good at reviving you, however.) But if you have some buddies, you can each focus on different complementary skills, complete missions faster and laugh at your failures – which, by the way, the game encourages. Missions are usually difficult and you are rewarded cash and experience even if you don’t complete it.


Those looking for a story, however, will be disappointed. As will those looking for replay value. Payday 2 is a super-fun, unique experience, but the thrill wears off after playing each mission a dozen times or so. At that point, it becomes something you’ll want to experience only occasionally.


Quality Verdict: Good (B-)

Verdict: 16+


For Strong Language, Violence and Sexual Content.


Outro:

The struggle to obtain this game still leaves a bitter taste in my mouth. But I can’t deny my anticipation before playing it. In the end, I was disappointed with the objectionable content and its repetitive nature. But overall, it’s a fun cooperative game, which is hard to find these days.

If you liked Left 4 Dead (it runs on the same engine) or simply have dreams of being a criminal, you’ll probably like Payday 2. I, on the other hand, will be looking for my payday somewhere else.

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