Decoded Reviews – Payday 2

Featured Gaming Xbox Xbox Decoded


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This game is probably one of my all-time favourites, something I have played countless times with friends and with strangers alike. Recently they have released so much new DLC and announced even more, it’s unlikely this game is going to die out soon and it’s one that Overkill developed perfectly in every way. Although the game was released in 2013 for all platforms, there is a scheduled release for the next gen consoles called Crimewave Edition, which is still to be announced.

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In terms of gameplay, it is completely different to any style that is out there, creating a new genre in a sense. The idea is that you are a hired criminal for certain specialist heists, be it a bank, a jewellery store or armoured transport. You and three other people make the gang of heisters who go by the names of Hoxton, Dallas, Wolf and Chains, led by a guy called Bain through your earpiece. You get contracts from the website, the place everyone seemingly decides to put contracts up but somehow the police are oblivious to. It also features a levelling system to which you can build into 4 different classes which are Mastermind, Enforcer, Technician and Ghost. Mastermind is the medic class who carries medic bags and deals with the NPC characters, playing a support role. He is the one you will most likely hear complaining about how he is always tying civilians up or how you just shot the policeman he was trying to convert to your side. The Enforcer is the tank class, the guy you will see sawing open pretty much everything and placing down ammunition bags. The Technician is basically the demolitions expert, blowing open doors with C4 and placing automated turrets down. Finally there is the Ghost class, for the people who like taking it solo-style and working with silenced weapons and body bags to take down an entire art museum.

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Along with the class customisation, there are plenty of other ways to indulge your creative style into you character. One of the main ways is weapon customisation, which is huge in this game. First you buy your weapon, a simple assault rifle or pistol. After a couple of games, you realise you need a silencer, so you buy one. Then a couple more and you unlock a sight, this gets added to your gun. After ten more games you have bought a new grip, a shoulder stock, a flashlight or laser pointer, a new barrel, new ammunition clip sizes or even a new gun entirely. This makes it so not all weapons are the same, it’s not quite up to Borderlands standard, but it is pretty darn close. Not only this so, the famous masks you see the characters wearing are also customisable now and are probably one of the focal points to the game now. There are over 15.2 million different mask possibilities with the mixing and matching of masks, patterns, colours and textures! You could literally spend days just in the mask customisation area, although it does come at quite a hefty cost to customise a mask, not that you’ll mind because YOUR mask looks amazing…

After you have got your classes sorted and have spent a good hour deciding what weapons to have and what mask, and then how you will customise them, you finally get into the game properly. It is here where working with the three other criminals is crucial to your success. One example is the three day mission Firestarter. On your first day (not real time of course) you have to steal or destroy the weapons in the hangar and leave while under heavy fire from initially gang members, but soon heavy police squads. As the technician places down the C4 on the lorry doors to open them faster, the ghost bags the weapons up 50% faster than everyone else while the Enforcer covers with heavy machine gun fire. Once all the bags are out, the enforcer carries and throws the bags further whilst the Mastermind places a medpack for the injured. All the bags are in the van, day one completed. Day two and you’re trying to get the server from the FBI building. Two get the serve whilst two get the invaluable gold bars in the safety room, all working together to lessen the police forces and cover each other’s backs with an automated turret to soften the blow. Onto day three and the ghost infiltrates and stealth kills the guy on the cameras in the bank, followed by the mastermind cable tying everyone up and the technician upgrading the drill speed time. The enforcer then opens all the safety deposit boxes with a massive saw whilst the money is burning and you all escape to win a ton of experience, money and a free item in the payday screen. See what I mean?

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The game is based on multiplayer gameplay, although it is possible to do the mission on solo mode, but there is no way in hell you’ll ever stealth the mission because the AI don’t do anything until the police have been alerted. I have tried to do single player, and it is good if you want to get a feel for levels before you actually do them or you want some easy experience or money quickly, but the main mode is multiplayer. Also , the DLC adds a huge amount to the game and with the extra missions and items, it might be wiser to try some of it on solo play mode. It is much more fun and probably easier with people you know and can talk to, as you will need to communicate and plan in order to pull and successful heist, although that doesn’t mean this is not doable with random people over Xbox Live. There is a voice chat integrated so you can all still communicate and from a first-hand perspective, the community on this game is awesome! Everyone can take bits seriously when they need to and there are plenty of people who are kind enough to help low level newcomers pass some of the more difficult levels in order to earn them some quick experience. Overall, this game has most definitely been one of my favourites and it has some flaws to it, but they are easily overlooked by the great parts of the game that make me want to play it over and over again!



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