How many of you have seen the movie Heat? Y’know, with Al Pacino and Robert De Niro and Val Kilmer? It’s a fantastic movie, certainly one of the best crime capers ever committed to film, and features arguably the best bank robbing scene in the history of cinema. If you haven’t seen it, I’d highly recommend you stop reading this article and go and find it.
Watch it and then come back; I can wait. If you continue reading past this point, I’ll expect that you’ve either already seen the movie or have returned after a three hour break of finding and watching it. Either way, I applaud your efforts.
You may be wondering why I brought Heat up. Sure, it’s a good movie but what does it have to do with this review? In a word: everything. Because, you see, Payday: The Heist is Heat in a video game package.
For those who don’t know, Payday: The Heist is a new shooter released via PSN and Steam (sorry, Xboxers) that puts you in the shoes of a criminal committing a big heist. It’s a bit of an untapped concept that Overkill Software executes pretty well.
It’s a pretty different concept, really, and one that hasn’t been touched very much over the years. I imagine that’s largely because of the fact that the only enemies present in the game are police officers. We all know how much flak the Grand Theft Auto franchise has run into; can you imagine what Fox News will do to Payday once a concerned mother contacts them? The fallout could be nuclear! Yet I digress.
Payday is a game that is designed to play with up to four people. It’s actually very similar to Left 4 Dead in how it plays: you are one part of a four-person team, all working together to achieve a common objective, and you periodically have to deal with waves of enemies as you progress through each level.
|These security guards are the least of your worries…|
Unlike Left 4 Dead, however, the end objective isn’t “get to safety” and the enemies are police “Assaults” – complete with rare types such as the Taser, the Bulldozer, the Shield, and so on – as opposed to hordes of zombies.
|Yes, that is a magnet being lowered by a helicopter to steal
an entire panic room out of a building.
|A pair of Shields looking to ruin your day.|
I eventually managed to flank the Shield and take him out, but it was already a bygone conclusion. It was a very epic moment that we very nearly overcame but it was equally frustrating in its execution. In retrospect, however, perhaps it was one of those rare kinds of good frustration – it did make me want to play again immediately.
|“Everybody on the ground! Now!”|
In the rare case it does show you a lobby that has a free spot, the game will not let you join, instead telling you the game has already been filled. If you decide to start your own lobby instead, you will have a long wait ahead of you: during one test, I actually waited fifteen minutes without a person joining which makes me question if my lobby got added to the list at all. Admittedly, these issues may possibly be blamed on my Internet connection, but I doubt it.