is a co-operative crime-themed first-person shooter developed by Overkill and released by 505 for the Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, and PC (via Steam) on August 13, 2013. read more
is a co-operative crime-themed first-person shooter developed by Overkill and released by 505 for the Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, and PC (via Steam) on August 13, 2013.
The game is a sequel to 2011's Payday: The Heist. It was released on 13 August 2013 for Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360. A second version of the game is scheduled to be released for PlayStation 4 and Xbox One, subtitled Crimewave Edition.
Two years after the events of the previous game, a reformed Payday Gang come to the Washington, D.C. area to heist. The player takes control of one of the gang members and heists alone, with up to two AI players, as four player cooperative play or some combination of the previous to rob banks, do political engineering, traffic narcotics and more. The game differs on the previous by allowing much more customization of the player and reworking its stealth mechanics.
An accompanying web series was produced to promote the game. The game was profitable from pre-orders alone and received positive reviews.
The game consists of a variety of 'heists' that a player can opt to either carry out by themselves, with the AI, or as part of a multiplayer game. There are heists such as bank robbery, a drug trafficking run, and rigging an election. Some of the heists put a large emphasis on stealth, often leading to bonus experience points and money on completion.
The level selection menu is styled as a fictional website, Crime.net, where missions pop up periodically as contracts in a map ofWashington D.C. The player can pick up an open contract, join a contract another player has started, or buy a contract with in-game money in an offshore bank account. There are five difficulty levels, with increased money and experience payouts for higher difficulty levels. Independent of difficulty is the "pro job" condition - pro jobs give additional experience, but cannot be retried if the players fail. Some contracts in Payday 2 take place over multiple days, with each day represented by a separate level with different objectives. After a day is complete the game may add an escape level, where the players' original escape is thwarted and they must survive to reach their backup getaway.
Many jobs in Payday 2 can be completed in stealth. If players avoid getting caught on camera, evade or silently kill security guards, and keep any civilian witnesses from calling the police, the alarm will not be raised and the players will receive an experience bonus. Otherwise, players will have to achieve their objectives, carry out any loot they find to a dropoff point, and then reach their escape point under the pressure of constant police assault waves. Most of the enemies are DC Police and FBI SWAT teams, with GenSecprivate security contractors at the highest difficulty level. Mixed in with these crews are four special units: the "Shield" and the "Taser" - both named for their signature equipment, the "Cloaker" - an infiltration and hand-to-hand combat expert, and the "Bulldozer" - a SWAT team member in a near-bulletproof bomb suit.
If a player takes too much damage they will be knocked down and incapacitated. If no one helps them back up, or if they are downed a number of times without healing, they will be taken into custody. On lower difficulty levels players in custody will eventually respawn, but otherwise their teammates must take a hostage to trade to get them back into the game. A job is failed if all players are downed or in custody.
At the end of each heist, the player is presented with a screen with three cards, one of which is to be chosen by the player (called a "Payday"). These bonus cards can be either weapon modifications, masks, colors or materials for masks, or experience or money boosters. Players can purchase and customize masks, although these are purely cosmetic and have no effect on the gameplay.
Throughout the game, players accumulate money and experience. The money is divided into two parts. 20% of the money is given to the player to spend on weapons, masks and skills, and 80% is placed into the player's "Offshore Account", which is intended as part of the story to be the player's retirement fund, however the player can use it to purchase heists from a broker or during special periods announced by Overkill to buy bonus cards without performing a heist or to become infamous.
As players earn experience points, their reputation level increases. When a player's level increases, they earn skill points, which can be spent on skills from the skill trees:
Mastermind: Provides skills for situational control and dealing with NPCs, such as extra cable ties for taking hostages or having the option to manipulate guards and officers into surrendering or fighting for the player's team. This tree also includes medical supplies and support perks for allies.
Enforcer: Described as the violent skill tree, this tree provides skills meant for taking and dealing high amounts of damage. This tree earns equipment, such as the Improved Combined Tactical Vest granting more defense than any other armor in the game, and a portable circular saw for opening doors and ATMs. The deployable item for this tree is a bag with additional ammunition.
Technician: Based on the Technician branch in Payday: The Heist, this branch once again uses sentry guns, enhanced drills and explosives to manipulate the map.
Ghost: Provides skills associated with stealth, enhancing the player's abilities to sneak around the map silently. This tree includes equipment for overriding security cameras, phones and hacking into ATMs.
It is not possible to max out any single tree and players are often encouraged to mix and match skills from each tree to maximize usefulness (such as combining a skill to carry bags faster and throw bags farther in the Enforcer tree with a skill to pack and pick up bags quicker from Ghost). When a player reaches level 100, they can opt to raise their "Infamy" level. Becoming Infamous grants a player access to special skill trees and items and gives them special poses in lobby screens. However, raising one's Infamy level causes them to lose all of their spending money and experience, and a sum of $200,000,000 is deducted from their offshore account.
There are also five Perk Decks, allowing players to employ further bonuses depending on which Perk Deck is equipped.
Crew Chief: A match to the Mastermind, this Perk Deck offers health bonuses, as well as bonuses affecting the entire team.
Muscle: A match to the Enforcer, this Perk Deck revolves around a similar playstyle of both taking and returning extreme damage.
Armorer: A match to the Technician, this Perk Deck grants the player improved armor and generally increases survivability at the cost of more active benefits.
Rogue: A match to the Ghost, this Perk Deck revolves around dodging attacks and moving quietly. It also offers bonuses befitting an assassin, such as increased headshot damage.
Hitman: Included as part of the John Wick cross-over, this deck offers better armor regeneration, but worse armor. It also grants the ability to dual-wield pistols.
Payday 2, when first released, allowed players to control one of four pseudonymous robbers. Three of these returned from Payday: The Heist: former Chicagoan mobster Dallas (Simon Kerr), bankrupt Swedish software developer gone mad Wolf (Ulf Andersson), and rogue Navy SEAL and mercenary Chains (Damion Poitier). The fourth member of the gang, the English robber Hoxton (Pete Gold) is in jail at the start of the game, so Dallas' troubled younger brother (Derek Ray) is recruited to take his place.
The gang's command and control, the secretive Bain (Digger Mesch on camera, Simon Viklund as his Voice), is now also portrayed as the owner and operator of Crime.net. Bain arranges for The Payday Gang to relocate to Washington D.C. and helps them set up heists and jobs in the area. Bain also works to connect the gang with other contractors: Vlad (Ilia Volok) - a Russian gangster trying to reassert his power after getting out of prison, Hector Morales (Gary Daniels) - a Colombian drug trafficker trying to oust the rival Mendoza cartel, and "The Elephant," (Bokeem Woodbine) a corrupt Republicanpolitician who hires the gang to aid his party and friendly lobbyists.
The "Big Bank" DLC introduced a new contractor named "The Dentist" (Giancarlo Esposito) - a middleman for a number of wealthy clients. "Big Bank" is the first of a series of jobs from the Dentist, and in return for the gang's service he helps them break the original Hoxton out of jail. "Old Hoxton" returns to the gang, determined to find out who gave up evidence on him, with the "New Hoxton" renamed "Houston." A promotional tie-in with the 2014 film John Wick added the film's title character as a playable heister as well, with the explanation that Wick and Chains used to work together.
Overkill has revealed the inclusion of a fifth Skill Tree, The Fugitive, and an additional Perk Deck, The Crook, both of which will be released alongside the Old Hoxton break-out heist, coinciding with the release of Old Hoxton as a playable character.
Payday 2 has received generally positive reviews from critics with general praise from the cooperative elements but heavy criticism for the friendly AI. Vince Ingenito of IGN praised its cooperative gameplay, stealth mechanics and sound design, but was not as impressed at graphical quality. David Hinkle of Joystiq was impressed at the depth of customization, level progression and random elements. Dan Whitehead of Eurogamer described it as "When all its clunky gear suddenly align, the result remains phenomenal: a combination of Left 4 Dead's randomly generated mayhem and the muscular precision of a hardcore shooter, topped off with the big screen frisson of being the smart-suited, fright-masked guy with the AK, ordering the hostages onto the floor or standing in the street, holding off the SWAT team in a flurry of cordite and thunder."
Payday 2 is Overkill's first game to have a boxed retail release. The director of Payday 2, David Goldfarb, stated that "Payday 2 has become just too big to reserve release onXbox Live and PlayStation Network alone." Reports of strong sales in its first week causing shortages led 505 Games to work with retailers in distributing more copies of the game. The game will still be distributed through the PlayStation Network, Xbox Live and Steam services as planned.
On 8 August 2013, just under a week before launch, Starbreeze Studios confirmed that the game was profitable from pre-orders, covering all of the money invested by the publisher 505 Games. All new profit will be divided between the studio and publisher. Starbreeze Studios president Bo Andersson-Klint said:
"Today Starbreeze has once again demonstrated that our strategy of focusing on our own properties is correct. Not only have we managed to deliver a desirable product in Payday 2 but also executed a promotion that few companies of our size can. We now look forward to the royalty income that can secure the company's development of its own IP in the future. That Payday 2 generates revenue for the company six days before the release is of course very unusual for games of this size and strengthens the long-term nature of our strategy."
The game has sold 1.58 million copies as of September 2013. 80% of those sales were digital.
This article uses material from the Wikipedia article PayDay 2, which is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.