When Payday originally released, it stood out for its unique take on the cooperative shooter experience. Instead of killing enemies, overthrowing dictatorships or whatever else, gamers had to use tactics and teamwork to successfully complete a heist. So when Payday 2 was announced, expectations were high that the series would expand on its basic concept and offer a more diverse experience. With Payday 2 finally makes its way to current-gen consoles with all the DLC, is Payday 2: Crimewave Edition worth getting or is it another unnecessary port?
Upon starting Payday 2: Crimewave Edition for the first time, you’ll be sent to the safe house and will receive a brief tutorial/explanation of what’s going on. At first all the mechanics might seem overwhelming, like there are multiple ways to open doors, certain tools offer distinct advantages and disadvantages, but once you get a general idea of what you can do, it’s time to finally play the game.
What makes Payday 2: Crimewave Edition such an interesting game is the ability to complete each job a multitude of different ways. If you want to be sneaky you might kill the guard, hide his body, pick the window lock, enter the building and then take everyone hostage or you can simply walk through the front door, alert everyone and shoot up the place. The choice is ultimately yours, though every choice offers a distinct advantage and disadvantage too.
For stealth, there is generally less risk because the cops haven’t been alerted, you should be able to steal everything, there is a small experience bonus, but you need to take things slow, any mistake can result in a firefight and things need to be done in a very specific way. On the other hand assault is generally more fun, feels far more exciting, allows you to be reckless, though it’s a race against the clock and a lot easier to fail. With that being said, it’s the subtitle things that add a nice layer of depth to Payday 2: Crimewave Edition.
This all begins with creating your ideal build. In Payday 2: Crimewave Edition there are five distinct skill trees that offer various perks to help you do a job. These range from being able to capture more hostages, increase various stats, allow you to use certain tools, transport loot faster, dual wield and much more. Picking the right skills can make certain situations much easier and offer new ways to complete old assignments. To further your customization, you can also create your own unique loadout from a plethora of options.
There are around 39 primary and 30 secondary weapons, 32 melee, 7 types of armor, 8 pieces of equipment with a vast array of weapon attachments and masks to select from. All these things, with the exception of masks, have their own stats allowing you to select the best possible build for any given heist. Like if you’re trying to do things quickly, then you might want to go with a high concealment, low armor and high-speed build, where as someone looking for a firefight is going to need armor, high damage and the tools to hold a position long enough to complete the job or have your ride arrive.
Despite getting the core mechanics right, Payday 2: Crimewave Edition has some notable flaws. The biggest is that the game is simply a chore with the AI. Since the AI is more or less just placeholders until real people play, everything is far more tedious with them, forcing you to manage everything with little to no help. Another annoying aspect is the fact Payday 2: Crimewave Edition doesn’t feel like a real step up from the last-gen versions.
Playing through the game you’ll see plenty of low-resolution environments, poor load times, counter intuitive design choices, problems with the server and much more. A bit of this has to do with limited funds and resources to make the most of current-gen consoles, but it’s important to understand that Payday 2: Crimewave Edition is little more than a port with all the DLC included.
In the end, Payday 2: Crimewave Edition is a solid experience on current-gen consoles. The unique take on the FPS genre will appeal to those looking for a title to play with others online, but if you’re looking for an offline experience, look elsewhere. Sure all the new elements can be intimidating at first, but anyone willing to invest the time, figure out how they want to go about each job and master the various elements will have a blast trying to experience everything Payday 2: Crimewave Edition has to offer.
[Editor’s Note: Payday 2: Crimewave Edition was reviewed on PS4 platform. The game was provided to us by the publisher for review purposes.]Payday 2: Crimewave Edition Review,