PAYDAY: The Heist - Wolfpack Review
PAYDAY: The Heist - Wolfpack Box Art
System: PS3
Dev: Overkill Software
Pub: Sony Online Entertainment
Release: August 7, 2012
Players: 1-4
Screen Resolution: 480p-1080p Blood, Drug Reference, Intense Violence, Strong Language
Welcome To The Wolfpack
by Josh Wirtanen

Last October, I reviewed PAYDAY: The Heist, a four-player co-op shooter that tasked players with pulling off insane heists. While the concept was great and the game was a blast when four people teamed up, I had a few issues with it. For example, the A.I. failed to impress and the controls felt sloppier than they should. But that doesn't mean I didn't have a ton of fun with it, its biggest flaws being completely forgotten in the midst of the four-player insanity.

Since then, PAYDAY caused a bit of controversy, ruffling the feathers of Valve by claiming an upcoming add-on would be something of a prequel to Left 4 Dead. Of course, this was a bit of an exaggeration (and the word "prequel" got downgraded to the phrase "fan fiction"), but it got us excited about pulling off a heist in a hospital and potentially causing the zombie Apocalypse in the process. Sadly, this content was exclusive to the PC version of the game.

PAYDAY: The Heist - Wolfpack Screenshot

But PS3 owners aren't left out of the loop with PAYDAY's Wolfpack DLC, which is now available. So what's included in this ten-dollar package?

First of all, Wolfpack includes two brand new heists: Counterfeit and Undercover.

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Counterfeit takes place in Florida, where, as the name implies, you must infiltrate a counterfeit operation, steal the print plates, and vamoose through the sewers. You begin disguised as pool repairmen, and keeping a low profile is actually a good idea here. That's what your silenced weapons are for, after all.

Undercover takes place in Washington D.C., where you attempt to intercept information held by a shady IRS agent. This goes bad very early on, and you wind up dropping the agent's car through the roof of a building. You must saw him out of the car, bring him to a computer, and interrogate him to get the passwords you need in order to unlock the data. All the while, waves of SWAT soldiers are dropping in on you.

PAYDAY: The Heist - Wolfpack Screenshot

It seems that at some point between the original heists and the two new ones, the police figured out that they can cut the power to completely ruin your day. They are constantly flipping circuit breakers and disconnecting the power grid in order to make your life suck. This actually gets annoying very fast, and causes your objectives to feel staler than those of the original heists.

When reviewing PAYDAY back in October, I made this comment about the mission structure: "Each job plays out like an adrenaline-fueled movie blockbuster, with (very) brief scenes of quietude spliced between over-the-top action sequences." Unfortunately, I can't make the same statement about Wolfpack's heists.

PAYDAY: The Heist - Wolfpack Screenshot

Whereas the original game's missions focused on spectacle, the DLC missions feel a bit mundane, as you spend a majority of the time completing minor, repetitive tasks that continuously get interrupted by power outages or computer crashes. There's no real equivalent to the base game's skyhook moment or airlifting an entire room out of a drug den. (The only thing that even comes close is the aforementioned dropping of the car through the roof of a building. Even this feels less grandiose than it should considering it's just a combination of events from the Slaughterhouse and Panic Room heists.) And that's a shame, because these moments are when PAYDAY is at its best.

Additionally, there's a new class called the Technician, which, when added to the base game's Assault, Sharpshooter, and Support classes, brings the class total up to four. This is appropriate, since there are four characters, so now each player can have a different class now. (Apparently, Overkill has a class match for each character, as the Technician is supposedly based off the character Wolf.)

The Technician is basically exactly what it sounds like. His skills are more about doing fun things with technology than being a murdering machine. For example, you can earn the ability to hack devices quicker (a skill you'll be quite thankful for) and you have some cool toys to play with. Coolest of all are the sentry guns.


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