Payday 2: Crimewave Edition Review
ince the initial release of Payday 2 in 2013, a lot of content was added to the PC version that didn’t make it to the last gen console versions. The Crimewave Edition is about to fix this content gap and bring you a years worth of updates and DLC packages to Xbox One and PS4.
Platforms: PlayStation 4, Xbox One
Developer: Overkill Software
Publisher: 505 Games
Genre: First-Person Shooter
US Release: June 16th, 2015
Reviewed On: Xbox One
Payday 2 is all about robbing and planning the perfect heist. You will be choosing between simple jobs like trashing a mall or major heists like breaking into the vault of a big bank. Choosing the right perks and weapons can make or break you in this game, while always dealing with a certain element of randomness during missions, you will encounter an almost endless stream of scenarios.
The heart of Payday 2: CE is the leveling system and the skills and weapons that come with it. Both have to be bought with the money you make from jobs. The Skills are broken down into 5 categories that all focus on different playing styles. The more you unlock, the more options you will have in your mission approach. A single skill can be the difference between waiting 3 minutes to open a safe with the drill, or making it rain within seconds using the C4.
Both Weapons and Skills get pretty expensive, which is a good motivator to try more complex missions and crank up the difficulty. All this effects your payout and is greatly rewarding if you finish a difficult heist for the first time.
You can choose between online and offline heists. The difference only being that the three player slots get filled with AI partners during offline games. The way you interact with them and they interact with the world is unfortunately the biggest hang-up in this game, because they don’t interact at all. Your friendly AI is only of help if it comes to detracting attention away from you and thinning out the many enemies during a shoot-out.
But in a game that focuses so much on objectives and strategy this is a real problem in complex missions and especially if you’re playing on a high difficulty. The difficulty also raises the amount of loot you have to bring to an extraction point or the number of safes you have to open. With no way of interacting with any of this, your AI buddies leave all the work, which is meant to be done with teamwork, up to you. Heists not only become unreasonably long but also nearly impossible to crack on your own on the highest difficulty. This is a real missed opportunity for the single player. Some simple commands like, “grab bab” or “repair drill” could have made a real difference here.
Online Co-op at its best
Payday 2: CE is meant to be played in a team of four cooperatively and this is where the plan really comes together. After logging into crime.net online, you can choose from the numerous contracts and join in with random players or your friends to complete heists. Alternatively you can start a game with bots and hope that people join you and replace the AI Characters eventually.
With a full set of players you can assign much needed roles for the jobs. For example, in some missions you want 1 or 2 players to do crowd control on one floor, while the other two are in a separate area of the map working on the safe and looking out for patrolling police. Realizing these plans, especially on longer, multi-day heists is extremely rewarding and nearly unmatched in this genre. Going stealth can be very hard with 4 players due to the many different factors that can go wrong. But the fun thing is, that if you are good enough, know your way around the map and have the right arsenal of skills/perks, every situation becomes manageable.
It can be a bit of a buggy experience at times, with enemies clipping through objects or some lag issues online, which will hopefully be fixed in early game updates. Despite the outdated graphics, that could have used a bit more attention, the game runs solid and doesn’t get in the way of your fun.
Payday 2: Crimewave Edition does get many things right, but could have used this new outing to ramp up the graphics for the new generation, or clean up some remaining issues like A.I. and long gadget timers. Nevertheless, if you are new to the Payday universe, you will get a lot to sink your teeth in here. The solid 4 player Co-op will keep you coming back for many hours and a deep customization menu lets you prepare for every job. At its best, Payday 2: Crimewave Edition is one of the greatest Co-op experiences out there.