As a huge fan of Payday, I had to get the sequel as quickly as I could. Unfortunately, that meant waiting a little while after it was released. Shipping problems and all that. Yeah, big mess.
As a fanboy, the first thing I noticed was the different voice actors. I started out playing as Hoxton as I always do, but I had to check to make sure I was playing the correct character when I heard his voice. I suppose the developers found it unnecessary to find a British actor for some reason. No, it’s not a deal breaker, but it seemed a little strange to me. The first Payday wasn’t very popular. I couldn’t even find a review from IGN. I had figured that since Payday 2 had a lot more hype, the voice actors would have been kept the same in order to continue the underground legacy of the first game.
Sure, the different voice actors is no big deal. What is, however, is the useless AI. I know the developers are trying to encourage online play, because that’s really what this game is meant for, but the game could still be fun solo. AI still do nothing but shoot anything that moves. If they carried bags, hell, helped with objectives in any manner whatsoever, that would be great.
But that sound design, tho! Along with good sound, Payday 2 has many other things going really well for it. Unlike the first Payday, the skill trees are easy to find and navigate, and are much more specialized. The bigger, semi-linear maps offer so much more to play around with. Extra skills and mechanics like lock picking, applying C4 in order to open safes, carrying and throwing objective bags, and an animation for putting on the mask are all very nice and appreciated touches. There are also different ways to complete each heist. While the first game focused on a “horde mode” like setting, Payday 2 offers a stealthy alternative to each map. It’s difficult to pull off the perfect heist, but it is possible. This element is very appealing to perfectionists like me, who love to coordinate tactics and objectives in a multiplayer game.
Weapons and armor can be bought and customized, but it seems broken. After each mission, the player chooses one of three cards, called the Payday. These cards unlock weapons and weapon mods. But in order to equip these weapons that you unlocked, you must also pay for them. This seems unfair, because most players have enough money to buy the equipment they want, but they must first wait until they “unlock” the equipment. It’s very frustrating.
DLC is already being talked about amongst players. A great idea was the return of the Mercy Hospital heist from the original game, and maybe some fixes to the weapon upgrading system. These are just rumors for the time being, however.
Payday 2 is one of the most fun and addicting games I’ve played in awhile. The leveling system and different skill trees are fun to play around with, and the teamwork experience is like no other. Payday 2 is also a little nostalgic for me. What young male has never daydreamed about performing a crazy heist at a bank?