Payday 2 makes an entry to next gen consoles with Payday 2 Crimewave Edition. Inclusive of the Crimewave DLC and some major visual upgrades to match those on PC, this is the best edition of the game. With the added heists, the game is an absolute blast, or an incredibly stealthy experience, specially when played with friends.
The long trodden path of cops versus robbers is making some highlights in video games, with GTA V and Battlefield Hardline getting the most attention. However, Payday 2 is a must play since it features some deeper and more intricate heists, involving a lot of unpredictable factors like a suspicious passerby calling the cops in early, the loot you expect to find not being there, and the end-of-heist reward you’re hoping for might never arrive. Civilians might try to flee in the middle of a firefight, messing up your field of view, making for a tougher fight.
Not all the randomness is welcome however, since the loot and reward is also randomly generated, thus making you wait too long at times for a much needed upgrade like silencers.
It’s at its best when you’re playing as a group of four friends, chatting away and working together to case and knock over a bank, fight off the waves of suicidal SWAT that come after you during a police assault, or sneaking around trying to avoid detection. You can play offline with relatively lacklustre AI supporting you or hop into games with those you don’t know via the Crime.net map – though without headsets, this generally precludes a quiet option – but playing with friends is where it is at.
Being able to talk and coordinate is also the best way to explore some of the myriad of options available to you during many of the missions. A handful are pure gunfights, others mandate stealth, but most of them give let you tackle the mission how you see fit. The missions that Overkill have created demonstrate an ingenuity and style that can always keep you toes.
The weapon handling feels unwieldy when you start, but with eventual upgrades, it can be tuned to your preference.
There are other quirks to the game that still persist, from minor points like the odd two stage lobby before loading into a mission and the relatively slow feeling load times on PS4 to wanting even just a handful of filters for the Crime.net map or the ability to just auto-join a game. Someone joining a game midway through also triggers a brief loading screen for those in the middle of a heist, which is particularly odd.
Verdict: The systems and mechanics all have small flaws and limitations, but they come together to set the stage for exciting heists that you’ll want to pull again and again. As long as you can find some felons to fight alongside, Payday 2 is an addictive and challenging criminal pursuit.