PayDay 2: Put Your Masks On

It ain’t easy to make a decent game, especially in the terms of modern requirements. Gamers want to see everything in the future project: realistic gameplay, always interesting levels, charismatic characters and, of course, a 0$ price tag on it. I am a gamer myself and I would also like to see that happen but, as you understand, developers’ work has to be appreciated, especially when a lot of credit is invested in the future masterpiece. A can’t say that today’s game is something that shocked me to death but on the other hand – it is a decent solution and great improvement after a couple of tryouts. So, I guess it’s time to pay, or better to say – it’s a PayDay 2.

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Have you ever wondered how great it feels to become outlaw and do things that are not supposed to be done? Of course, in a real life every crime leads to the punishment. Well, at least it should, but in virtual world we can allow ourselves to do crazy things and still stay on the safe side. So, if you ever thought about robbing a bank, here’s an amazing opportunity for you. PayDay 2 is the closest possible bank robbing simulator. Maybe, it sounds funny but it is what it is. Sure, a certain number of games allows us to do things alike but only a few make a big deal out of this process.

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I do not know how about you, but for me the only idea to steal money from someone sounds like fun (in a virtual life, of course, so no need to all the police). I bet you share my enthusiasm, don’t you? OK, OK, you can keep that mind to yourself. Anyway, PayDay 2 gives you that amazing opportunity and unlike previous versions, that were supposed to be fun but became a total disaster, the sequel is not that simple. Sure, it is not perfect but it is a lot closer to the desired level “I’m fabulous” than to the lowest point of “Don’t touch me – I’m a total waste”.

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A lot like in the previous PayDay  games you will have 4 bank robbers in your arsenal. Your team is ready to rob pretty much every secured facility as long as they get a certain percentage from the sum stolen. Usually, you get orders from all kinds of Mafia representatives who think that they deserve to take what is hidden behind bars and inside safes. Luckily, you will be provided with quite an arsenal of different guns and tools that will make your robbery easier and more interesting. Sure, after every mission not only you get experience but also you receive money which you can spend on further upgrades, new weapons and all the other stuff. But there is one thing that makes PayDay 2 the juiciest bank robbery story in the world – the mask. Every time you put your mask on, it’s a signal that something dirty is about to start and you have to get ready for the action. Sure, for the money you get you can and even should spend then on mask upgrades. They will make you look even more cruel and more bad@ss (pardon my French). As for the XP points – you can spend it on your character’s special abilities. Those can be different and start with fast reloads and end with fast safe openings.

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Now, as for the “not so good news”: your safe house is, probably, one of the sweetest places in the world and if I were one of those robbers, I would definitely spend my entire weekends out there. Here you keep all the stolen stuff as well as have a nice place to check your guns and to shoot a couple of rounds. But, here’s something that you are definitely not going to like. First of all – you have a great amount of different guns hanging on the walls but you can’t use them. They seem to be interactive but there are not. Also, there are masks of all kinds hanging on the walls but again – they are not interactive and you can’t try them out. I do believe that this will be improved in further updates, at least – that’s what we’ve been promised cause right now it looks like a bad joke.

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The most mysterious, ridiculous and strange thing in PayDay 2 is a big TV hanging on the fall that shows where you money go and how much do you have somewhere on offshore accounts. Well, sure, being a smart robber you probably won’t keep all eggs in one basket but this is a game and I would rather spend those dollars on equipment, cars or even masks than kept them in a galaxy far-far away. And no – you can’t do a thing with this money and the only thing left is to sit and stare as the numbers grow.

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You will start playing PayDay 2 from the safe house and, correct me if I’m wrong, but to start a game with the “amazing” opportunity not to be able to do a thing is simply not right. Sure, you can try your skills in breaking into the building, shoot a few kinds of weapon and open a few safes but that’s pretty much it. So, if I were a bit more demanding player, I would probably delete the game even before getting to the first level. Luckily, I went a bit different way because even with the first “not that good” impression there are things you are going to like further on in the PayDay 2. But… we will talk about them a bit later. First things first, so to speak.

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PayDay 2 can’t boast with a single player campaign which kind of forces you to play with other players from all over the world. Sure, I don’t mind playing with other people! After all – that makes the robbery kind of fun and a lot more extreme. But, from time to time I enjoy putting all the responsibility on my shoulders and trust to no one but me. PayDay 2 does not offer this kind of option and if you want to play – you have to play online. Well… OK.

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In order to start the game, you do need to visit the server (no need to alt+tab the game) and choose a certain mission on a map. After that you either wait for other people to join the game or to be the one who joins the others. Frankly speaking – it looks and feels great. It kind of creates a simulation of a real deal and gives you a feeling of a serious criminal. And that is exactly what you expect from a game. But do you remember me saying that PayDay 2 is not perfect? Well, here’s another moment where you notice game’s imperfectness for the second time. While the process of choosing the next crime scene is amazing, the number of crime scenes happens to be kind of limited and after your 50th or 60th robbery you might get bored. No, I am not trying to hypnotize you with bad fluids, I’m just warning you.

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Sometimes you will be forced to wait for 15 or even more minutes in order to get what you’ve been waiting for. In the era of computer technologies and with 2013 behind the window it is not acceptable, don’t you find? Also, with pretty limited number of mission the only savior here is the complexity level. Well, at least we have it. As for the missions themselves, they might be kind of inappropriate. Suit for yourself: you get into the bank, kill a few guards, spend 10 minutes breaking into a protected facility in order to steal some kind of document. At the same time millions of dollars are lying all around you but no – you came for the paper. Even if I were the snobiest robber in the world, I would not miss an opportunity to put a few bucks in my pockets. After all – you have 4 guys robbing the bank and while the first one is looking for the required document, the other 2 can start packing money in the bags. Pretty simple, right?

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PayDay 2 offers a few kinds of missions: some of them require you to stay focused for a day, others will keep you busy for almost a week. This fact kind of refreshes the game process and makes you stay focused and busy for a few more hours. But no matter the mission – you can expect to get your money only when the whole set of missions is completed. It is both good and bad but you can’t choose in here.

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Some missions can be completed in a stealth mode without guarding a single soul while others require you to be tough and get rid of a few SWAT teams. When robbing the bank, you can gather all the stuff in a mini van parked nearby. Probably, not the best but pretty satisfactory solution. I would have prepared a lot more for a robbery like this with a tank waiting around the corner. Na, just kidding!

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But as you might falsely think, the main idea of the game is not stealing stuff but to control the crowd. Inside or outside – it does not matter. You always have to keep your eyes alerted and be ready to silence the naughty hostage in order to prevent them calling the police. The same thing happens with the crowd outside: try to stay as hidden as possible and do not let anyone from the street see you because those honest people have a very bad habit to call the police when they spot someone with a gun. Oh those people! They have no respect for the good robbers!

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Luckily, customers and pedestrians are not the only ones to worry about: security cameras, metal detectors, police cars patrolling the street or two cops eating donuts across the street… they are all waiting for a signal and be sure – they will be there. And, if you behave yourself like a real gentleman and wear a suit – it doesn’t mean that you won’t look suspicious for the bank guards. Yep, this is PayDay 2 – tough and merciless.

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If everything goes as you planned – civilians will be lying on the ground, the guard will be out, the crowd will be kissing the floor secured with one of your teammates and you will be in the process of grabbing as many banknotes as possible. The better you play – the more time you get to spend with the money and, of course, the more you pack in your bags – the more you bring home and the higher your salary becomes. But when the money can be simply put in the bag and require no special place, some key items will require you to put them in the special sport bags.

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But we are only human and we can’t control or predict everything in the game. Sometimes bad stuff happens or sometimes one of your team members does something stupid and the whole plan goes the wrong way. There is a special kind of unpredicted changes when you enter the building and it appears that the camera is in a different spot or the safe is tougher than you thought. Of course, it takes a lot more time to deal with and makes the cops appears quicker. All that stuff with a changeup happens because of the dynamic system of level generation. Sure, changes are not serious but still – they refresh the game and make you feel excited and surprised.

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The very same second the alarm goes off, the PayDay 2 gets harder and harder. Do not count on dying from the very first bullet but do not expect the robbery process be a piece of cake. Police officers are kind of stupid (I refer to the game officers only, not the real ones) but will suppress you not with a quality but quantity and at a certain moment you will simply get out of ammo. From time to time federal agents will storm the building with gas and all that stuff and snipers will try to take your partners down in order to save the hostage. Don’t forget about the drill that will either break all the time or will overheat postponing the successful outcome. In these moments PayDay 2 becomes a real deal and won’t stop loving it.

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What else can I say? If you forget about a few minor bugs and those parts of the game when the work is unfinished, PayDay 2 becomes a total time killer with great criminal ideas and bank robbing strategies. The good news is that developers promise to keep updating the game as often as possible and will fix the training level as well as will make a lot more missions to play. Right now I can give PayDay 2 “7” out of “10” but in the future I do hope to grand it with a solid 11.

Author: Oleg Repetskiy

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