Payday 2 Pays Everyone But Players
By Gwendolyn L. Spelvin
Payday 2 is the type of title that reeks of development for the sole purpose of securing a film adaptation. It’s vulgar display of Hollywood talent and over the top trailers that leave actual play dynamics lacking in the imagination department. Take all of that away and you are left with a title that couldn’t even hold its own during the peak of Windows 98.
Let’s call a spade a spade. No one gave a shit about Payday: The Heist. Few players knew about it, and even fewer played it before finding out about the sequel. There was no cult classic following or sleeper hit status because it was dead on arrival after delivery. That’s why the sequel is so puzzling in its own self-created hype; those who fail to learn from the past will repeat it.
After all, players absolutely hate to be marginalized for the almighty dollar they have to spend.
The bastardization of Payday 2 reeks of an overzealous company attitude that greatness in this industry can be bought and sold as a commodity on Steam. What should have been a big budget Triple A title filled with non-stop hours of first person stealth shooter delight is nothing more than a promotional cameo acting reel for its high profiled voice actors better suited for Vimeo with a dash of boring, repetitive missions.
Most players know that platform adaptations to the big screen never work well. Development house Overkill and its publishing wing 505 Games totally ignored that memo for their own personal payday. Heaven forbid they would assume that players hate to be cheated out of a potentially great classic just so slightly in demand actors can add to their IMDB credits.
In spite of vignettes with high profile Hollywood actors that served as trailers plastered all over YouTube and John Wick somehow making it into DLC content land, Payday 2 crashes and burns on impact. The fluff of promotion is great, but is no match for what is actually seen in active play.
This amalgamated craptastic shitfest of a recycled stealth shooter doesn’t even attempt to deliver the joys of the trailer. How could it? All the budget for Payday 2 obviously went toward securing the voice talent, the trailers, and the promotion instead of development of a great engine, superb play, and stealth dynamics.
The developers were seriously lacking on set design on this one. Literally, heists take place at a bank, a jewelry store, and a warehouse in the exact same location with the exact same parameters of danger and dialogue. This is akin to watching the same play on stage with a repeat button. That’s not a heist, that a simulator training exercise on the Holodeck of the SS Enterprise.
Except now we have definite proof because of Payday 2 that the holodeck can malfunction.
Many unnecessary liberties were taken in hyping the return of the magnificent heisters that fell flat as a pancake. It’s not just the fact that a returning cast of protagonists are looking for their biggest hit in a maze of missions that are never ending like levels in Snoopy and the Red Baron on Atari 2600. Or even the recycled ensembles that resemble a well-dressed rag tag bunch of Juggalos at Fashion Week, either.
The nail in the coffin is blowing a production budget to high hell when you can’t afford artists for character and background design. That’s like saving up for a pair of Nike’s and settling on Keds as a fair equal.
Seriously, of all the hundreds of gigs and DLC that are offered on the map on a rotating basis, this is the best that can be done on a shooter about making a big score? Who in their right mind would want to keep playing the same broken record while constantly reminded of all this big time voice talent especially when their characters are not even seen during play? Waste of money, folks.
Especially on the hype about the inclusion of John Wick via DLC.
How do you hype John Wick joining the crew, and even get Keanu Reeves to reprise the role for this, and we NEVER get to play as him? Yay, he’s giving you mission intel on the earpiece. But misleading the entire community into a false sense of having him as a playable character complete with high profile trailers is a crime against gaming humanity and salt on an open wound.
If players wanted a stunningly beautiful experience of a title such as this with the same exact boring and repetitive levels on every available mission, the could choke themselves in an abandoned building while playing State Of Emergency, and for a fraction of the cost.
Overkill and 505 Games should be whipped, tarred, and feathered for this autoerotic asphyxiation, folks.