Overkill Software recently released the game Payday: The Heist, a game where players can crawl into the skin of a professional robber to plunder a bank, empty the safe of a businessman or help a convict escape. Many of the missions are very detailed and would not be misplaced in a movie. In fact, some missions remind the player strongly of scenes from Ocean’s eleven and The Bank Job.
Up to four players can play together in multiplayer on PC or the Playstation 3 and become one of the 4 playable characters in Payday. Professional voice-actors have delivered the voices of these guys, resulting in funny comments and remarks in various accents.
The game can be played in singleplayer with 3 bots. While the artificial intelligence is decent, the real fun comes from playing with friends. Payday has an ingame voicechat that allows you to plan in advance and discuss various tactics with your friends, resulting in a much richer experience than playing singleplayer.
Payday is a first person shooter and the controls and shooting are not much different then in a lot of popular games in this genre. For this reason, FPS-lovers will have no problem getting used to the controls. Unlike most shooters, there is no deathmatch or capture the flag. In this game you will be playing detailed missions in order to level one of your skill trees, unlocking new weapons and passives like an increase in ammo, damage or armor. Experience is gained after each succesful heist. One can however find money bundles or diamonds on maps that give an instant amount of xp during the heist. No XP points here; money is all you’re after, and the more money you have, the higher level you are.
The whole game evolves around objectives. This requires planning and tactics. Each member has a specific role in the team and has to understand this role in order to bring the heist to a good end. While the easier difficulties are a little more forgiving to new players, you are doomed to fail on harder difficulties without proper planning.
Players usually have a short amount of time to get ready before police assaults start. These waves can last minutes and require a lot of shooting. This is easier than it sounds, because the objectives still need to be done, varying from watching a drill to escaping the building.
People who are looking for a shooter where they can spray bullets will be disappointed. Guns come with little ammo and the player has to make most shots count if he or she wants to make it trough alive. One can however take ammo or health bags on missions that can be used for refills. These bags can be upgraded, but can never be used by the entire team more then five times.
Next to the tons of police officers and SWATS that are trying to stop you there are also special units that can take you down in seconds if you do not pay attention. There are 4 special units in the game: cloakers, shields, tasers and bulldozers. Cloakers are ninja-like agents who can take you down with one hit. Spotting them in time is key. One cloaker can take out an entire crew if nobody pays attention.
Tasers are pretty self-explanatory. They fire their tasers from a distance, making you unable to move. A teammate can free you from a taser by killing it. Bulldozers are basically mean tanks who can take a beating and do a lot of damage. Last but not least there are officers with shields that will not go down unless you flank them.
If you happen to run out of health. (and trust me, that will happen) you are not dead. You are downed. The system works like in left 4 dead 2. One of your teammates can get you up on your feet within a certain amount of time. If your fellow heisters do not get you up, you are taken into custody. When this happens you’ll need to wait until one of your teammates has traded a hostage for your release. Hostages can be obtained by tying down civilians.
The graphics are nothing special. The game looks nice, but not superb. Users can experience minor graphical issues. The officers have beautiful parkour moves, but due to robotic animations this does not always come out so well. The environment looks detailed, but most stuff you see cannot be destroyed.
The textures aren’t that great but the awesome gameplay and the catchy soundtracks easily make up for that.
The game costs about 20$ and is well worth the money in my opinion. While I would definitely not recommend it as a singleplayer game, the game is very enjoyable, despite the small selection of maps you can choose from.
- + – detailed missions
- – unique gameplay
- – tactics
- – – minor graphic issues
- – 1 player can ruin the entire heist
- – limited selection of maps
Disclaimer:All scores given within our reviews are based on the artist’s personal opinion; this should in no way impede your decision to purchase the game.