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COLUMN: Aaron's Backstage Pass: 505 Games' Payday 2 PS3 Review

Updated: 08/21/2013 5:20 PM
Created: 08/21/2013 11:00 AM KSTP.com

A few days ago I received a review copy of 505 Games’ “Payday 2” for the PS3. This is the first game in the series that I have played, and I am very impressed.

“Payday 2” is an action packed, four-player, co-op, first-person shooter where you control one of four PAYDAY crew members (Dallas, Hoxton, Wolf, and Chains). Your goal is to become a legendary criminal.

You get contracts to rob banks, kidnap people, destroy malls, heist jewelry stores and more. There are so many different contracts and the thing that I like the most about “Payday 2” is that there is so many different ways you can do each job.  You can go into a job, shoot everyone and get out.   You can case the place and see where all the alarms and cameras are located and disable them.  There are so many different things you can do. That makes the game exciting.

You start “Payday 2” in your safe house.  Here you can see how much money you made, check out your weapons, practice shooting and unlocking safes.  You also have security cameras set up, and you can see what’s going on around the safe house.

The main thing that is located in the safe house is the CRIMENET network.  This is where you can see all of the contracts that are available.  You can see what the job is, how hard it is and how much money you will make.

As you complete contracts you will gain experience points to increase your level, get money to buy weapons and upgrades, plus you will also unlock new weapons and items. 

When you first start out, you get to choose your profession.  You can be the Mastermind, the Enforcer, the Technician, or the Ghost.  Once your character gains a level he will get skill points.  You can use these skill points to upgrade your characters professional abilities. 

The graphics in “Payday 2” are pretty good.  Everything looks realistic and is very detailed.  The masks that the PAYDAY crew wears are pretty cool looking, and I really like their customizable designs.

The controls are very easy to learn, and everyone should be able to pick it up “Payday 2”and play with absolutely no troubles at all.  During the loading screens you are shown the PS3 controller and what all of the buttons do in the game.  Plus, during the game whenever you come across something that you can interact with, the button you need to push comes on the screen. That’s very helpful.  For instance, if you need to drill a safe to open, you walk by the safe. Then, “hold R2” command will come on the screen. I really liked this and thought that it made playing the game easier.

“Payday 2” is a very challenging and hard game to play.  There are so many things going on that you really have to pay attention to: where the cops are and what your crew members are doing. 
One level I just played was really awesome. I had to locate a thermal drill and then use it to open a bank vault containing safety deposit boxes.  When you are drilling a safe or door open there is a timer that counts down.  You have to watch it and sometimes the drill will break down and you will have to fix it.  Once it’s fixed it will start again and the countdown starts from where it left off.  It took about three minutes, and once I was in the vault, I had to pick the locks on the safety deposit boxes until I had enough money. Then I had to try and get past the police officers and into my getaway van.  That was a simple contract, and there are some that are way more complicated and challenging.

You can play “Payday 2 offline by yourself or online with other people.

I think the best way to play “Payday 2” is online with three other people.  Players can join a game at any time and that’s helpful especially if you get an experienced player.

Overall, I really enjoyed 505 Games’ “Payday 2” a lot.  The game is really fun and exciting.  The graphics are great, and the controls are really easy to learn.  I feel that the “Payday 2” has great replay value because there are so many different contracts you can choose to play and there are many different ways you can play the level.  Playing online is a blast and it’s really fun if you have three other friends with headsets.    “Payday 2” is rated “M” for blood, drug reference, intense violence, strong language and suggestive themes.

Aaron Chalich is a columnist with KSTP.com writing about the latest entertainment news.

PS3 game Payday 2
Photo: Photo courtesy of Bender/Helper Impact

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