Average User Score: 3.4Aug 15, 2013This is a fantastic game which has soaked up hours of my time (hours which I already struggle to find!). Ignore the whining and the trolls,This is a fantastic game which has soaked up hours of my time (hours which I already struggle to find!). Ignore the whining and the trolls, and let me tell you why.
As someone who somewhat enjoyed the first game (although not overly so), I wasn't originally convinced completely by Payday 2. Nevertheless, the trailers and game-play videos eventually won me over and I put down for the Beta. I can honestly say I have not been so addicted to a game for a good many years and that was just the Beta! Having now played the full game, this is even better easily worth the £30 asking price.
First of all, the game-play is some of the best co-op gaming I've played in years. As a long time fan of co-op and stealth gaming, games like Splinter Cell and Hitman are some of my favourite games of all time. The stealth in this is fantastic, if only because of the amount of communication, thought, patience and observation it takes to pull off the perfect stealth heist. The tension in these moments is palpable, and with a good team, this can be some of the most rewarding co-op stealth to be found on the pc.
Obviously, someone will at some point trip the alarm, and this is where the second half of the game is revealed a heavy-feeling and very engaging shooter. The goals and deadlines keep the pressure up whilst the music is outstanding at adding atmosphere and urgency to the situation. In fact, the music in this game is one of my absolute favourite things about it a pumping mix of grungy synthy dubstep and fast-paced electro madness which suits the tone of the game perfectly, and which rises and falls in time with the pressure you are intended to feel.
Another element which represents a huge improvement over the original is the sense of progression in the game. The money you earn in each mission is partially determined by the risks you take, the teamwork you show, and the skills you have. It is a system which rewards playing as a team, and where a 'lone ranger' style of play la 'Call of Duty' will only frustrate your team and lose you money. The skill trees offered are very varied, and you will find evangelists who argue that each one is the best choice, but a huge part of the fun of this game is making money so that you can work up each tree and start to feel more valuable as a component of a team. Personally I chose Ghost (thanks to my stealthy roots), and I love being the one to type 'ECM jammer going down', and watching my team benefit from me being on the team and having the skills I have specialised in as they sneak past a troublesome security camera. Later in the game, another member of my team might pull out a saw, which will save all of us time, and ultimately help us to make more money. I value that person, and I am glad to be on their team.
The heists themselves are a mixed bunch some are genius, such as the gallery level (which is my stealthy favourite) and the awesome 'ukranian job'. However, Overkill loses points for sometimes repeating the levels in different heists. The only other criticism of the game I might agree with is the slightly enigmatic server lobby menu, which doesn't let you specify the level or difficulty you want to play, but rather forces you to wait for the heist you really want to pop up, ensuing in a mad scramble to be in the lobby before it fills up.
These two minor flaws drop the mark to an outstanding 9. The online community is generally very pleasant, the graphics are good, the game-play is outstanding, and the co-operative elements are well thought-out and executed. If you loved games like Swat 4, Monaco, Hitman or even Counter-Strike, I think you'll have a fantastic time with this one.
...and remember, cash is king.… Expand
Average User Score: 6.5May 12, 2013Firstly let me say that I have never written a metacritic review before, but I love this game so much that it physically hurts, and I just hadFirstly let me say that I have never written a metacritic review before, but I love this game so much that it physically hurts, and I just had to let other people know that. I'm an 80s and 90s kid mostly, and this game really took me back to the likes of Super Mario 64, and the Legend of Zelda series in it's ethos and gameplay style.
Firstly it is necessary to say that it is quite a smart game, and that might scare some people. There is thinking required to even reach the end of the game, let alone to 100% it so in that sense I can understand your average Call of Duty robot being put off by this. However what I will say is that this is hands-down the most faithful representation of those old platforming games you used to love, reproduced in beautiful and often pretty trippy 8-bit graphics. Furthermore, this is a game with depth I was able to re-explore areas I had already 'finished' when I learnt some of the game's later secrets. As a result, you feel like you know the layout of the world very well by the end, which add a really memorable character to the overall experience.
In short, if you like your games intelligent, thoughtfully designed, and completely absorbing, then you owe it to yourself to play this game. It's not a game which will last you for months and months, but it is an absolutely unforgettable and charming experience. Don't be put off by the people who are angry because they had to use their brain to play the game, or who had unfortunate technical issues and couldn't see past this. Many more people than that have had no issues, and have been impressed with this game as I have. This one really is not to be missed.… Expand