|System: Xbox 360, PS3*, PC|
|Dev: Overkill Software/Starbreeze Studios|
|Pub: 505 Games|
|Release: August 13, 2013|
|Screen Resolution: 480p-1080p||Blood, Drug Reference, Intense Violence, Strong Language, Suggestive Themes|
Where the co-op gameplay succeeds well beyond expectations, everywhere else it just succeeds. That isn’t necessarily a bad thing, it just is what it is. Success is success by any measure, and for a game that released well under the typical new-game price of 60 bucks, PAYDAY 2 has some great bang for your buck.
Graphically, the game isn’t typically impressive. But this game isn’t about artsy visuals, pixel-perfect character models, or showboat animated cutscenes (the game actually doesn’t have them at all.) It is about being a fun co-op experience, pure and simple. The playable character models are much more detailed than your run-of-the-mill copper and/or civilian, which can become surprisingly annoying when a blue-shirted citizen is running amongst the officer horde (killing a civilian carries with it a heavy penalty in the form of “cleaning” costs.) And while different job types look entirely different, jobs of the same type look almost identical, with only a few minor changes. However, the ability to complete any job in different ways keeps the gameplay fresh and engaging, making the visual similarities a little less noticeable.
Speaking of not noticeable, the sounds of PAYDAY 2 seem to have little impact on the overall gameplay. Don’t get me wrong, nothing sounds wrong or out of place. Hell, it’s not even overly repetitive. What it isn’t is memorable--nor is the control scheme. The controls are pretty much just your cookie-cutter FPS controls with the addition of an all-purpose “interact” button that enables you to subdue hostages, call out to teammates, and steal an all-in-one, conveniently located, if not dynamic, package. But I digress. Both the sound and control scheme are perfectly capable of delivering the intended experience, and that is what really matters, right?
But the burning question remains–should you buy PAYDAY 2? If you have a friends list full of like-minded and degenerate buddies, you really can’t beat the co-op experience for the price. But, by yourself, if you think you are going to be able to accomplish anything within this game beyond the simplest of heists, you’ve got another thing coming. This game is all about the co-op gameplay, and without it, PAYDAY 2 would be boring, frustrating, and decidedly below average. It just goes to show that if you set out to do one thing exceedingly well and accomplish it, other areas don’t matter quite as much. That sounds eerily like my personal life plan. Creepy.
Video Content Director
Date: August 14, 2013