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Stop Robbing Yourself of Payday 2 (or Letting Payday 2 Rob You)

/ Dec 17th, 2014 No Comments

Payday 2

Take the co-op fun of Left 4 Dead, add a splash of Tom Clancy’s squad mechanics, thow in a little Borderlands 2 garnish with skill trees, and finally smother it in the raw joy of opening up a Nintendo 64 on Christmas morning in 1996. What you get is Payday 2.

Payday was an enjoyable experience, but Payday 2 is so much more — great squad-based mechanics, specific jobs and a multitude of heists with numerous variables all guarantee that no two playthroughs are alike. However, this story does have a dark side. While the PC version shined on, the console version of Payday 2 shed light on the darkness that is platform specific DLC.

Keep Drilling, Ya Piece of S$&#!

What makes Payday 2 way better than its predecessor is its revamped skill tree system. In the original Payday, each class had more or less the same skill tree, with minor variations and weapon unlocks. There are entirely separate trees in Payday 2, and each has different skills, specialization and purposes. Additionally, any class has the ability to use nearly any gun (a la Borderlands). This makes teamwork necessary as all jobs require a different approach and thus different squad make ups. The guy with the buzz saw, who usually just ripped open ATMs and doors, suddenly has to change over in-between days of a heist to carry nothing but guns in order to hold off waves of cops.

The boys are back in town, the boys are back in town!

The boys are back in town, the boys are back in town!

This class/character diversity mixed with the multitude of job types — ranging from simple jewelry store knock-overs to intricate assassinations and breakouts — makes Payday 2 a veritable grab-bag of action and play-styles.

Payday 2 for PC also boasts a surprisingly large and dedicated fan base. It comes complete with community mods, consistent updates from developers and a large enough player base to have missions always happening.

All around me are familiar faces...

All around me are familiar faces…

The finest point of Payday 2 is its “prestige” system. Known as Infamy, the prestige system becomes a factor when players reach the max level of 100. At that point, gamers can start over and gain a rank of Infamy. While some prestige systems simply reward the player with Viagra for their e-dick, Payday 2 actually increases the ease of leveling up again, allows players to unlock new masks and weapons, and even decreases costs of in-game weapon modification and skill selection.

A Few Good Men Left Behind

PC players have enjoyed a long and glorious run bordering on Chariots of Fire proportions, but console owners have gotten the shaft with Payday 2. It would be a mistake not to bring up the long debacle that was the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 versions of Payday 2. Due to a number of gaffs and errors, developer Overkill has only been able to offer very little DLC to Payday 2 players. Recently, Overkill dropped some of the DLC on the console peasants and allowed them a taste of the glory that the PC master race has been engorging themselves on for some time, but many in the gaming community are still seeing this as sparse crumbs for a very hungry population.

Being robbed of content while robbing in-game. Clever.

Being robbed of content while robbing in-game. Clever.

As the gaming industry moves forward, many still find themselves questioning the choices of major game developers, whether it be complete revamps in gameplay such as with Star Wars Galaxies, lack of content as in Destiny, or even just the inability to add female characters to a series (you know who you are). Sadly, this is a major concern as developers bicker with console manufacturers and stores over precious exclusive DLC and pre-order bonuses while trying to keep games fresh.

It’s Payday Fellas

It needs to be noted when developers shaft gamers in unexpected ways, and it’s just as important that fans recognize not everything is black and white in these situations. While big corporations sometimes make legitimately mean-spirited decisions, the constant debate between developers, publishers and everyone in-between have heroes and villains on both sides. Just because Duke Nukem took the better part of a decade to develop and was a terrible failure, it doesn’t mean that 2K Studios should take all of the blame. Nobody complains that the entire Borderlands series has mostly been written by a single person, but Duke Nukem is crucified for “the same joke.”

Old news aside, Payday 2 for PC is a masterpiece of gaming, something that should exist on both Xbox 360 and PS3 as well, and while strides are being made in the right direction, there is still quite a ways to go before the console versions are able to stand tall with their PC brother.


Greg Johnson

Greg Johnson

Associate Editor at Gaming Illustrated
Greg is a Nintendo fanboy who would cry if they ever went third party. He writes news, previews and reviews at Gaming Illustrated.
Greg Johnson

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