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Payday 2 Review (Xbox 360)

Barrie discovers robbing safes isn’t all its cracked up to be.

Payday 2 - BannerYou would think I would have learnt by now not to get my single player hopes up for a game that openly markets itself as a 4 player co-op shooter. But no, I was still pretty keen to get in to Payday 2 all on my lonesome. And yep, you guessed it. Payday 2 is not much fun by yourself. It is actually just a bunch of maps to charge around earning money and unlocks so you can advance to higher levels to earn more money and unlocks. There is some fun to be had but it is pretty short lived once you revisit the same map for the umpteenth time to crack some safes or smash some windows. It is enough force harden criminals into legal employment.

Payday 2 - 1Maybe I’m just getting a bit long in the tooth and not up to speed with what todays ‘twitch’ gamer is after. But even with 3 mates playing together on Live, Payday 2 was still very much a rinse and repeat affair. Admittedly there is a ton of unlockables to make you push on and do another heist or two but getting dropped on the same city corner to roll the same four shops again is just painful. And Payday 2 is touted as co-op for a reason. The AI is shocking! From teams of SWAT camping in one room, not even pursuing you to team members standing amongst the cops that are raining automatic fire down on the rest of the team and not doing anything about it.

Payday 2 - 2Graphically Payday 2 is pretty average. Not only are there plenty of bland textures, technically there are more than a few glitches. I have had more than a few ‘clipping’ problems with my team members drifting through me or partially blocking my view in odd ways. Also, considering one mission is to cause as much destruction as possible in a shopping mall, you would think the environment would be a lot more destructible, not only the windows. Audio is up to scratch but never has anything special. Considering the chaotic city streets you are in there could have been some great ambiance included, especially when you are casing out a joint before hitting it.

Payday 2 - 3I guess I just don’t really get it, like killing dozens of cops and security is fine but just even touch a civilian and get penalised with a ‘cleaners’ fee? What the hell?!? Crime on this scale doesn’t care about civilians. And why the hell are they running back and forwards between two groups firing automatic weapons at each other? Their dumb asses deserve to be capped! Maybe I expect more in my games these days, not just a shiny map pack designed to be replayed over and over to earn money. It’s almost a hark back to the good old Spacies days where the only goal was to get a better high score. Sorry, doesn’t cut it these days, especially in a full priced retail title. Even your hideout, which you can’t even pimp out with all that stolen cash, isn’t part of the game as such but more of a Trophy Room accessed from the menu.

Payday 2 - 4So I have probably missed the point completely but when I read that certain features might be integrated later via DLC, Payday 2 just screams half baked rush job. There just isn’t enough meat on the bones to not included features like a customisable hideout. And as a almost dedicated co-op game you need to maintain a decent player base so people will continue to play. As it stands Payday 2 might get a bit of weekend play over a few beers when the outcome of my gaming isn’t important to me, and that’s as long as there are people out there still playing and want to join in… Maybe I should give Patrick Swayze and Keanu Reeves a call…