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Payday 2 preview: planning the perfect heist

Payday 2 is a much smarter game than its predecessor, offering you the ability to make the perfect heist, breaking in, stealing your goods, and walking away, completely undetected.

"Imagine the perfect robbery: you know the blueprints inside out, when the guards go for their coffee breaks, and exactly how to get into the safe. Everything goes without a hitch, and by the time the safe is found, you're laughing. Not a shot fired. Payday: The Heist doesn't work like that." Eurogamer's review of the original Payday is an apt summary of what Payday could have been. That's not to say that Overkill's heist game was bad--far from it. But it lacked the brains to match the brute force of the game's cooperative shooting. Enter Payday 2. Overkill, now owned by Starbreeze, has been given a second chance at making the Payday game they've always wanted to, offering players the chance to make the perfect score. For fans of the original, Payday 2 promises all the requisite features of a numbered sequel. First of all, there's a lot more content. 505 Games won't let me disclose exactly how much, but it is an absurd amount of content. The lobby system is a lot deeper as well. Through "Crimenet," you'll be able to see which of your friends are online, see what missions they're tackling, and host your own games. And there's a lot of loot to collect, with players able to unlock new masks, weapons, mods, and more. But we're not interested in "more of the same." In the original Payday, missions typically devolved into horde mode shoot-outs, with monsters replaced by progressively better equipped cops. What if we don't want to shoot our way out of a job? Surely, there must be a way to play smarter. Payday 2 has been reworked to ensure that the stealthier player can enjoy the game. The class system reflects that, with types like "the Ghost" and "the Technician" giving players smarter ways of approaching each level. For example, in one stage, we had to steal a diamond from a jewelry shop. Sure, you can shoot your way in and grab a few hostages, but wouldn't it be better to sneak in the store and steal it undetected? With the right team mix, you'll be able to disable cameras, drill into safes (quietly), and sneak behind guards to make sure a bullet isn't wasted.

Another mission has you protecting your stash from invading cops

Of course, pulling off the perfect heist is easier said than done, and because random elements are introduced every time you load a level, it's impossible to learn a level and go through the motions, unlike most stealth games. For example, I saw the jewelry shop two times. Each time, the players went through the back alley, attempting to get in undetected. The first time around, there was just one guard and a camera watching over the back entrance. The second time around, there were two guards, ensuring our immediate detection. Oops. Even the location of the diamond changed between the two playthroughs of the same level. In the second playthrough, where we had already been detected, we could not find the diamond in the safe that housed it in our first attempt. With cops quickly surrounding the store, it quickly devolved into a massive shoot-out. Hey, you can't always be a master thief, right? From my brief look at Payday 2, it's clear that most missions won't go as smoothly as you expect, especially as the many random elements throw wrenches into your plans. But, that makes Payday 2 all the more enticing. Finding three other like-minded players, each equipped with complementary abilities, and executing the perfect score should be a thrill. And when things inevitably fall apart, the shooting of Payday 2 looks to be quite a bit of fun as well. Payday 2 will be available this summer on PC, PlayStation Network, and Xbox Live Games on Demand.

Andrew Yoon was previously a games journalist creating content at Shacknews.

From The Chatty
  • reply
    March 12, 2013 11:00 AM

    Andrew Yoon posted a new article, Payday 2 preview: planning the perfect heist.

    Payday 2 is a much smarter game than its predecessor, offering you the ability to make the perfect heist, breaking in, stealing your goods, and walking away, completely undetected.

    • reply
      March 12, 2013 11:01 AM

      Oh SWEET, I didn't know they were making a Payday 2.

      The first game is really underrated. 3 of my friends and I have played the hell out of that one. It's like the next level of L4D fused with Cops and Robbers.

    • reply
      March 12, 2013 11:02 AM


    • rms legacy 10 years mercury super mega
      March 12, 2013 11:41 AM

      Yeah! I keep looking at P1, but can't muster the interest to buy. This one might do it

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      March 12, 2013 11:44 AM

      Payday was actually a very enjoyable game. I would have plunked down for it if the populations had been a bit larger.

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      March 12, 2013 12:28 PM

      Any improvements in single player? I played the first game in single player and it was a lot of fun, but it was apparent that little attention had been played to the single player mode.

      Some tasks were hard on your own, for example finding the patient files in No Mercy was near impossible with just one of you searching. I only once managed to find it in time, presumably because the time had been set on the assumption that at least two people were looking. If there was a civilian in the waiting room by the elevator they would always set off the alarm because the bots just stand around rather than keeping the civilians under control.

      Tasks like getting all four bags of gold in Slaughterhouse and planting the explosives in Panic Room level were also tricky on your own. With four people doing it, it would be easy but on your own you had to keep going back and forth yourself. Turning the power back on in Counterfeit was also difficult on your own because the bots would stand around inside the house and you'd have to go out and fight through the army of police.

      The bots could also be a bit stupid at time and, despite instructions to the contrary, would often run into a horde of police, get downed and you'd have to rescue them. This frequently resulted in you getting arrested yourself.

      Don't get me wrong, I found Pay Day to be an extremely fun game and I played through many of the heists a few times. The extra challenge of doing everything on your own actually made it quite fun. However, I'd like a bit more control over what the bots do so I can stop their suicide runs. I'd also like commands so I could do stuff like send them out ahead of me so I don't have to charge out on my own. Finally I'd like them to make sure all tasks are possible in single player, but some things (like finding the patient files) were near impossible.

      • reply
        March 12, 2013 3:52 PM

        Yer doin' it wrong.

        L4D is kind of boring alone, and Payday is even worse because the cop AI is balanced around human players and the robber AI cant perform any tasks to help you except shoot (badly) at cops.

        Coop game. Pure and simple.

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      March 12, 2013 1:10 PM

      HOLY FUCK.

      Sounds awesome. :D

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      March 12, 2013 1:11 PM

      OMG, StarBreeze owns the dev?!?!

      Could this be the Syndicate sequel I wanted?!? UNF UNF UNF UNF UNF

    • reply
      March 12, 2013 1:36 PM

      cool 8)

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      March 12, 2013 5:45 PM

      didn't really enjoy payday because of being unable to pull the perfect heist. this might do the trick

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