It was supposed to be an easy enough job. Get in, get the diamond, and get out. Unfortunately, it didn’t go quite as planned. Alarms were tripped, police sirens broke through the silence of the night, and when it was all said and done, I was forced to shoot my way into the museum and exit with the same strategy. It wasn’t all bad, though. I had a priceless diamond stowed away to make it all worthwhile.
No, this was not a wild weekend night for me. This was the newest heist added to Payday 2, and I was lucky enough to get a chance to experience it – as well as other parts of the recently announced Crimewave Edition at a recent event in NY, which was held inside a movie theater! If you ever get a chance to play video games on a movie theater screen, I highly suggest doing it. There’s nothing like trying to steal a priceless diamond while staring up at a 75 foot high screen with surround sound gunshots coming at you from every angle.
If you don’t know about Payday 2 or the series itself, the premise is pretty clear: you are part of a four person (man or woman, as they have now added 2 female heisters) heist team whose sole purpose is to steal as much stuff as possible with or without getting caught. If your team is talented enough, you can get in and out without triggering any alarms or killing anyone. If you’re clumsy… that becomes a different story.
Part of what makes the game extremely popular on Steam is that it boasts the largest community on the service with almost 2.5 million members. Countless amounts of mods have been created for the game, and 505 games is always listening to their fans for what to put in next. When I spoke to Almir Listo, Producer for Payday 2, he wanted to make it very clear that the company is always interested in what its fans have to say about updates and content, and never wants to alienate them through a paywall. For this reason, a lot of the DLC in Payday 2 is only required to be owned by one person. If a friend owns it, you can all play it.
With the huge success of the game on PC, 505 finally decided it was time to bring the series back to home consoles. Payday 2 had been brought to the Xbox 360 and PS3, but did not do well due to its lack of content. Almir attributed that to the 360 and PS3’s hardware limitations. The systems were nearing on 10 years old, and simply could not get the updates out as fast as the PC could. With the introduction of newer, more powerful consoles, it seems like Payday is finally ready to breach onto the console market, and 505 is pulling no punches.
Payday 2: Crimewave Edition is coming to next-gen consoles sometime in June, and as I said earlier (link above), it will be bringing with it a ton of DLC to the Xbox One and PS4. Almost all of the content available to the PC right now will be available right away on the consoles (save for some of the stuff coming early this week), which means 99 weapons, over 100+ masks, and a bunch of new missions. As if that wasn’t promising enough, the game will also continually be updated alongside its PC brother. While not instantaneously, the same content will be made available eventually.
In my short session with the game, we were brought into the game’s newest heist, where your objective is steal possibly the world’s most famous jewel, The (Hope) Diamond. The game plays exactly as you would expect; you’re dropped into the mission right outside of the museum you’ve been targeting, and must find your way inside. For the purposes of our demo, there was no other option but to run in guns blazing.
Not much has changed in the way you go about doing things in Payday 2, which is not a bad thing at all. Items still feel familiar, and the guns and tools are very responsive. The only thing that’s changed, and it’s for the better, is how the game looks. It’s easy to tell now that the game is on next-gen consoles, as it looks almost comparable to its PC counterpart.
Payday 2: Crimewave Edition offers what could be the best value of this generation so far. For $50, you’re getting almost $100 worth of content and a stream of content updates for a game that has a huge community and tons of replay value. Come summertime, I know I’ll be ready to crack open some bank vaults with my team. Will you?