Way back in August of 2013, Overkill Software and 505 Games released a sequel to their highly successfully cooperative first-person shooter franchise titled Payday 2. Shortly thereafter, the PS4 and Xbox One launched and gamers everywhere started to shift their focus towards next-gen technology and newer games.
With this month’s release of Payday 2: Crimewave Edition, both new and longtime fans of the series can relive all the chaos and excitement of the original sequel with improved graphics and every piece of previously released DLC. Here are a few more reasons why now is the perfect time to check out this game.
Payday 2 takes place approximately two years after the events of the first game and is centered on a reformed gang of misfits who relocate their heist activities to the Washington, D.C. area. You start out by touring your central base of operations at a nearby safe house and gaining access to weapons and a map of different heists located throughout the city. Shortly thereafter, players are able to start these missions either online or off with AI teammates or up to three of their closest friends.
While there is no central storyline to follow, each heist does become a narrative within itself thanks largely in part to how circumstances may change during the mission. Every job starts out with you carefully surveying the area, subduing threats, and then strategizing ways to steal the prize with minimal resistance. While this sounds great in theory, things never do go quite as planned and 9 times out of 10 you’ll find yourself in intense shootouts with the police. This is actually were these missions become both intense and fun because of the change in the musical production and the fact that it puts your team to the test to see just how well you all work together.
In this particular edition of Payday 2, one noticeable difference that players can expect is upgraded graphics and technical fixes when compared to both the Xbox 360 and PS3 versions of the game. Crimewave has improved textures and runs at 1080p and 60fps on both consoles. This won’t mean much to PC gamers as they have already experienced the game as its peak level of performance. If however you skipped over this title last generation, then this is undoubtedly the best version to buy right now.
Another major advantage to picking up this package is that players will essentially gain access to over 12 add-on DLC packages in the form of new weapons, themed heists, and masks. The drawback here is that most of these items are unlocked by successfully completing some of the core heists in the game and gaining infamy and experience points along the way. In an equally frustrating fashion, any saved progress from the previous versions of the game can’t be transferred over to this title either. These aren’t necessarily deal breakers if you like the idea of replaying missions, but at the very least you should know this information before making your purchasing decision.
With so many positives already mentioned about this package, there is at least one main gripe that I have with the overall game. Crimewave is a remastered version of Payday 2 and what that essentially means is that persistent AI issues and glitches that appeared in the previous versions are present here too. Most of this stuff shouldn’t hinder your progress, but it should serve as a clear reminder that the game is far from perfect.
One final thing that I absolutely can’t stress enough about this game is that you really do need to play with friends to get the most out of the experience. Being that strategy and teamwork are at the center of your success, you need to have people you can trust in your corner. If you don’t have that or some type of communication between your teammates, then everyone will take their own paths and eventually sabotage the mission. Having a game of this multitude so reliant on that isn’t a bad thing but it definitely is something you should prepare for in advance.
As a whole, Payday 2: Crimewave Edition is a fun and challenging game that proves with high risk comes reward. If you have $49.99 to spare and you want a unique cooperative gameplay experience, then you can do a lot worse than this.
This review was based on a review copy of Payday 2: Crimewave Edition for the Xbox One provided by Starbreeze Studios and 505 Games.