The Ninjabot

Payday 2 Review: You’ll Never Catch Me, Copper!

Posted on August 26, 2013 at 8:29 am by Justin Cavender

Payday 2

Payday 2 is a first-person stick ‘em up RPG-shooter developed by OVERKILL and published by 505 Games. You might think this game is a Left 4 Dead clone, substituting police officers for the hordes of zombies, but there’s so much more underneath the surface. When played “right,” Payday 2 can be a rewarding experience for both you and your friends.

What Kind of Crook Are You?

Much like your traditional RPG, Payday 2 features different classes to best suit your play style. Each class brings fun and unique skills to the table, especially at higher experience levels. Additionally, players are free to reset skill points and swap classes whenever they want to mix things up a bit, further adding to the game’s replay value.

The Mastermind class is the team’s healer and best suited for crowd control. One of the higher skills in the Mastermind talent tree is “Stockholm Syndrome,” which allows hostages to come to your aid. Other talents include “Black Marketeer,” reducing the cost of all items and as well as “Fast Learner,” which rewards additional experience points for completed jobs.

The Technician class is handy with explosives and drills, perfect for setting traps and cracking safes with speed and precision. Eventually, the Technician gets to set up sentry guns and lay waste to enemy forces in the area.  I’ve played this class the least, but that wasn’t because I found it uninteresting or anything like that. I just happen to enjoy playing the other three classes more.

Payday 2 vault

If you’re in the mood to just run and gun and yell “F*** the police!” every chance you get, then you might want to consider playing the Enforcer class. These beasts come with lots of firepower and brute strength, with the ability to knock down powerful foes using melee attacks.

I picked up the basics for Payday 2 while playing the Enforcer class. Your role is quite simple—take down the bad guys, protect your teammates, and carry the loot. Keep in mind though, you don’t want to just start shooting the first cop you see. Doing so will lead to reinforcements coming at you from all sides. Instead, let your team take control of the situation handling alarms, crowd control, and cracking safes.

Finally, we come to the Ghost class. These guys get to have loads of fun casing out the joint, providing electronic countermeasures against alarms and cellphones, and they get to murder fools in total stealth mode. Eventually, the Ghost class can place bodies in loot bags and toss them aside. These guys are super elite and require some finesse to play. That is if you’re goal is to get in and get out undetected. Any idiot can just walk in and shoot the place up, but you’ll find the Ghost class—as well as the entire game—more fun to play when you go into a heist with a plan. Of course, plans always change, and that’s part of the fun too.

Don’t Waste Your Time With Single Player

You might think it’s a good idea to get your feet wet with the offline single player mode, but please save yourself the trouble and skip it. Your teammates lack the ability to assist you in getting the job done properly. They’re unable to repair drills, pick up loot, or interact with hostages, even though they do make excellent meat shields and will attempt to heal you when you’re bleeding out. I found myself cursing their stupidity and wishing the single player option was completely omitted from the game.

Whether you’re playing with your friends or complete strangers, Payday 2’s multiplayer mode goes above and beyond my expectations. I can’t begin to express the level of satisfaction for a job well done in this game. There’s just something about working as a team, having total crowd control, and walking out of a bank like you own the place. It’s not going to be easy, though. There’s a randomness factor to each heist, which changes the locations of safes, guards, bank managers, etc.

Payday 2 Exterior

There will be times when the mission is compromised during your getaway, forcing your team to make a stand. You’ll have to move the loot from your wrecked vehicle and find a place to wait for an extraction. Every time this happens, I always think of the movie Heat, where Val Kilmer and Robert De Niro are in a crazy shootout with Al Pacino and the L.A.P.D. Teamwork is essential in completing your missions, and just like in real life, some yahoo could ruin everything. Don’t let that stop you from wanting to play online, though. Worst-case scenario is you fail the mission, but you won’t have to play with that whack job again.

I don’t want to scare you into thinking you have to be a pro to win at this game. People make mistakes and that’s totally fine. Regardless of how horrible you think you are, I guarantee the computer A.I. in single player mode is worse than you. So you got that going for you.

Presentation Shifts Between Two Worlds

Payday 2 features some graphical inconsistencies, which can be frustrating at times. My character would get stuck in an imaginary wall, or sometimes walk through objects. I would chalk this up to laziness or a rush job, but when I see the effects of character models getting shot, I’m simply blown away. There’s a sense of realism in the way bodies are riddled with bullets and drop to the floor. I will say the building’s interior looks a bit dated, and while it’s not exactly a deal breaker, I would’ve liked to see a more polished look on things like office furniture and lighting.

Payday 2 Interior

Final Thoughts

It’s a safe bet to skip the offline single player mode, and it probably should have never been offered in the first place. The game’s A.I. is ill equipped to get the job done, and the gameplay will only lead to utter frustration. However, Payday 2 offers countless hours of fun for you and your friends. There may come a time when you have each heist on total lockdown, where precision timing allows your team to get in and out, before the cops know what happened. The game’s randomizer will certainly try to throw a monkey wrench into your well laid plans. I just hope the fuzz are out getting donuts if and when that time comes.

Presentation: 7.5

Gameplay: 8

Replay: 8.5


This review is based on the Steam version of Payday 2 provided by 505 Games.

Geek Legacy’s review scores are on a scale of 1-10, with 10 being the highest possible score.

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