Speaking to Polygon, Payday 2 director David Goldfarb explained that the aim was to feature more role-playing elements in this sequel, and he explained that the game draws inspiration from Dark Souls.
Goldfarb joined Overkill from DICE and convinced the studio, who had already started working on Payday 2, that it should make a kind of “Dark Souls heist game.”
He envisioned a game with RPG elements to offer a somewhat personalized experience, a game where a player will almost expect and be okay with failing in missions.
“The exciting thing about heist games is the potential for failure,” Goldfarb told Polygon.
“When we started working on this we asked, how do we achieve that fantasy of robbing a bank in a perfect way without killing everybody? How do we make it feel like failure is OK and rewarding, like in Dark Souls?
“Having watched the development of this game, I think people have the most fun when they’re failing, which is weird and transgressive for a game. In most games, you want to succeed, but for us, failing in interesting ways is the fun part.”
Goldfarb reiterated that players are “probably going to fail,” but in doing so, players will realize that they could have done things differently in order to succeed.
“If you play, you’re probably going to fail, but you’re also probably going to think, ‘Oh, maybe if I’d done this insteadlso probably going to think, ‘Oh, maybe if I’d done this instead, or if I’d done something else.’ I think a lot of games have conditioned people to feel bad about failing. Well, robbing a bank is hard! So the achievement and thrill of pulling it off is what we were shooting for,” he explained.