This review is an unedited version of the review written by Zombie Dredd and published in the Tech Magazine: Issue 24 September 2015.
Payday 2: Crimewave Edition puts you in the shoes of a criminal out to make their living by robbing banks, jewellery stores, causing general mayhem and even rigging elections. The game is a remastered version (featuring updated graphics and additional content) of the first-person shooter released around a year ago on Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3.
As with most games these days, you start off with no skills or money, but as you take on heists and missions, this will start to change, and you will be able to buy better gear and unlock some valuable skills to ensure successful completion of your missions, rather than finding yourself arrested by one of the swarms of police officer and SWAT members.
The game allows players to choose an ‘all guns blazing’ option, as well as a more stealthy approach in some jobs. However, due to an imperfect stealth system (and before your character has acquired the necessary skills), stealth will more often than not turn to a shoot-out reminiscent of the movie Heat. In the end, the goal of each job is to ensure you reach the goals set, which is usually stealing a specific value of items or cash, although you may steal a little more for your own gain too, as every bit helps to build your arsenal of weapons and equipment.
The game is designed to be played as a co-op game, and when you manage to successfully join an online lobby and the teamwork ‘clicks’, the heists almost appear to be a cake walk. Sadly, this proved to not happen as frequently as I would’ve liked due to the online component being a little unstable. Thankfully, the game can be played offline and with AI-controlled team mates, however, the AI is not reliable when it comes to much more than shooting… and getting in the way.
Considering the game features upgraded and remastered graphics, it is not likely to win any awards – especially if you stop to look at the scenery – but it serves the game adequately, while the sound and soundtrack on the other hand is actually very good. There is also plenty of content in the game (albeit a lot of the missions are similar scenarios just on a different map), so there is plenty of longevity and replayability available.
Payday 2: Crimewave Edition will not appeal to everyone, but it is not ashamed of what it is and what it makes you do. If that seems refreshing, then the game is likely to appeal to you.
Available for: Xbox One, PlayStation 4 and PC
Distributed by: Apex Interactive and available at all retailers of games