Love to take money that doesn’t belong to you? PAYDAY: The Heist may be your bag, but don’t expect your typical smash and grab.
Overkill Software has brought gamers as close as possible to virtual scenarios featuring homages to films like Heat and Die Hard. PAYDAY: The Heist brings a fresh new co-op, first person shooter, experience to PSN and Steam and initial impressions are full of ballistic fun.
Launching with 6 scenarios, PDTH puts you in the shoes of 4 highly trained crooks, bent on obtaining as much cash as humanly possible. Each scenario begins with some brief dialogue outlining the premise of the situation you’re about to embark on. Once your gun is drawn the pursuit of money is all that matters. In a nut shell, you love money and want a whole lot more.
Whether you’re robbing a city bank vault, escorting a VIP prisoner, infiltrating a high-profile facility, or taking hostages on an armored car hi-jacking, PDTH offers a lot of variety. For example, the bank robbing scenario takes place entirely within the bank, while Heat inspired heist has you running through the streets of a downtown area, blasting cops and avoiding civilains along the way. Each scenario feels different, forcing players to use varied tactics.
Borrowing some tips from Valve and the L4D series comes unscripted events, meaning dynamic environments. Security cameras, security guards, and police counter offensives are all subject to change so no map plays exactly the same.
Each player starts out with two weapons: A silenced pistol and assault rifle. In addition to this you also get “cable ties”, which enable you to take civilians hostage. Get shot too much and you will go into a last stand – ala COD – mode. Here your teammates have limited time to revive you, if they fail, then the you will get apprehended by authorities. This is where you hostages come into play; used as barter, hostages can be traded in exchange for your captured partner. Use those cable ties!
As an replay incentive, PDTH has player progression. You unlock more weapons, like shotguns, sub machine guns, additional cables ties, trip mines and much more. The character growth was a delightful surprise and works in harmony with the adaptive enemies and environments.
PADAY: The Heist comes with a single player campaign, but was designed as a multiplayer game. Do you enjoy playing L4D with AI? Thought so, same goes with PDTH. Playing alone features AI that is slow to react and lacks the tactical prowess of human players. Online is where the game really shines. Playing with humans changes everything; people knew where to be and what to shoot. You’re given support where it’s needed and communication is clear and concise. You’re doing a disservice by playing offline, if you want the full experience PDTH has to offer then play with friends.
Even on normal difficulty PDTH exhibits some challenging scenarios. AI takes cover and responds differently depending on their role; some swat members will come equipped with riot shields and simply come head on, as your bullets pose no threat – hence a flanking strategy is required. Other cops like the “tazer” will don a heavy duty tazer that will incapacitate in a single blow. Heavily armored police will rush with shotguns-a-blazing so concentrate your fire or get taken down fast. Not to mention the bevy of normal cops that are trying to thwart your efforts. “There’s too many of them!”
Graphically PAYDAY: The Heist isn’t pushing a copious amount of ploygons and won’t win any presentation awards, but the game looks nice enough and runs smooth; coupled with the fact there is always a ton of frantic fire fights happening at any given moment, PDTH has a great action packed pace. I have to say that I’ve never killed so many boys-in-blue in all my life. It’s good to be bad.
All in all I’m enjoying my time with PAYDAY: The Heist and it’s definitely delivering a nice change of pace to the fps, co-op genre. The game is hectic, challenging, and there is plenty of incentive to keep playing, which is the whole the point of gaming. So far so good Overkill Software. Be sure to check out my full review, which is coming soon.