The original Payday 2 was launched on the Xbox 360, PC, and PlayStation 3 in August 2013; however, developer Overkill Software and publisher 505 Games have finally brought Payday 2 to the Xbox One and PlayStation 4 in the form of the Crimewave Edition. While Payday 2: Crimewave Edition is every bit as addictive as the original… it still suffers from some of the same old issues seen in the original title.
Set two years after the events of Payday: The Heist, the gang has now set their sight’s on various heist opportunities in Washington D.C. Once the game begins, the player can opt to play through a variety of heists with the support of A.I characters, or opt to venture online and assemble a crew of real-world players. This is where the above mentioned issues come into play.
Playing solo means that you will essentially need to do everything yourself. Granted, there are A.I counter-parts to assist you, but they are as useful as a sack of sugar when trying to pull off the perfect heist. This is due to the fact that the A.I seem to only have two purposes, which is to provide cover fire when the police or security forces attempt to stop your heist, or to revive the player when he/she is downed during the heist. Apart from that, the A.I will pretty much just hover around the player with no real purpose.
Granted you can pull off heists, which can be found in the game’s fictional website “crime.net” solo with the rather weak set of A.I players, but to be frank, Payday 2 is so much better when played with friends online. If you pick your crew well, you will find yourself nipping into banks and robbing them blind with little or no effort at all. Although, if you pick the wrong crew, you may find yourself being taken down by the police or security forces before you even crack a vault. This being said, Payday 2 is a challenging title that really tests a teams ability to stick to the plan and secure the ultimate pay out.
One of this title’s biggest pulls is the fact that there is no set path. Want to rob a bank instead of a jewellery store? Go for it! You are literally free to pick and chose your path, weapon selection and crew and do as you please. Additionally, as your crew progresses, they can invest in any of four special professions: the Mastermind, the Enforcer, the Ghost and the Technician. Each features a deep customisation tree of associated skills and equipment to master and they can be mixed and matched to create the ultimate criminal.
Some of the original and additional heists, which have been included in the Crimewave Edition, place a large focus on stealth – which often leads to the team gaining extra experience points and money on completion. To add to the mix, the graphics and overall presentation has been ramped up for the Xbox One and PlayStation 4, which is a vast improvement when compared to the original title on the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3… Although, it is a bit strange that the frame-rate is still locked at 30 frames per second.
Payday 2: Crimewave Edition may have its issues, especially when it comes to the A.I; however, when playing with friends it is one of the best co-op titles on the market. Gameplay is exciting, tense and challenging, which makes this title a must play. Additionally, the added DLC content really adds to the overall lasting appeal of this title.
So, if you are looking to rob banks, rig elections, and cause absolute havoc, then Payday 2: Crimewave Edition is definitely worth picking up.
Reviewed by Darryl Linington