Why does Bain keep saying "goise"?
Coop Commendation is a series of posts designed to give you an idea as to how the gameplay feels in our eyes. It is not meant to be a definitive review in any way shape or form about the game. The 3 of us usually kick back every couple of weeks and play a coop game and decided to write down our thoughts.
Payday 2 is a love letter to fans of the Hollywood movie Heat. No doubt about it, from the slick suits of each character, to the military proficiency in handling firearms and the familiar beat of the music. As far as I'm concerned this is Heat: The Game and I absolutely love it.
When it comes to coop with buddies, the initial setup has been fairly straightforward. You select your kit, skillset and mission then get on with it. The fun part of the game for me is actually casing the joint, timing everyone's role to the millisecond like taking out a bouncer at the entrance while Jed and Exodus take out roving guards on the first floor and James dealing with targets on the second floor, while providing overwatch on the balcony.
Satisfaction is in the execution. Plans can go wrong at anytime with dozens of factors playing a role causing a well timed plan to disintegrate before your eyes. If you panic, you and your friends are as good as dead. Time is a massive factor in payday 2, and every second you aren't detected by cops or civilians is more time for you to drill into a safe before an endless horde of SWAT descends upon you. It's not about killing cops there's no glory in that, it's all about getting what you came for and getting out in one piece.
The game gets intense at times and I recall myself having screamed "fuck the bag, fuck the bag" in the heat of a firefight to tell my team mates to leave the cash stuffed in the bag and just sprint to the getaway van. If you get too greedy, you won't make it.
The game isn't perfect though, there are niggling bugs, just this week with the release of a new patch, we started to see constant connection drops during games which was truly rage inducing. It was working fine before the patch so we're still not quite sure what's happening as of this writing.
Despite this, I highly recommend this game for anyone who enjoys coop gaming. It is best played with friends and on voice chat. Payday 2 manages to combine a cinematic storyline with multiplayer coop elements seamlessly. You get treated to missions that are diverse and randomised enough to keep you interested for quite some time.
I usually have the same tired set of complaints reserved for cooperative games: either they’re tedious because you’re repeating the same set of challenges over and over again, or they’re boring because everyone in the team is doing the same thing. Payday 2 neatly overcomes those problems by carefully connecting its theme and gameplay in a logical way, and by improving on ideas that were experimented on in Payday: The Heist.
The class system is a nice addition, although ultimately, it’s the situations themselves that dictate the roles as players gravitate naturally towards their preferred jobs during a heist. Some players will want the challenge of crowd control -- watching all the hostages and making sure no one tries to get cute with a cellphone. Stealth fans will want to do the casing and scouting, taking out stray guards to lessen the chances of an alarm being raised before the heist even begins. People who like shooters will be happy to hold back the tide of uniformed justice that will inevitably come rushing after the police get tipped off.
Payday 2 pairs this situational role-based system with a sophisticated “director” AI that really changes things up every time a mission is played. It really works. This is the best cooperative game I’ve played since Left 4 Dead. Everyone needs to play this game.
One notable but least talked about aspect that Payday 2 did right was the sound design. I’ve mentioned time and time again how sound design plays a role in the overall experience of the game. I love how Overkill went through the trouble of having different kinds of gun sounds depending on the environment you’re in. When you’re shooting from indoors, you’ll notice that the sound is more “closed in” or bassy as compared to shooting outdoors where suddenly gunshots are echoing outwards and have a higher pitch. Not to mention the doppler effect of hearing faint popping sounds from a distance when a you hear your friends battling off the raiding SWAT team while you’re trying to get that drill started for the hundredth time.
I applaud the developers for doing such a good job on the sound design and more games need take sound design as serious as Payday 2.