Game review: Payday 2

By Paul Harper


"Rob banks with friends." That's the tagline for Payday 2, and it couldn't be more appropriate.

It sees a gang of four crims contracted by a shady character named Bain to undertake jobs for various gangsters.

Missions range from robbing stores, hitting a bank, ransacking a jewellery dealer and a ludicrous shop-smashing spree in a mall, to more complex jobs like transporting cocaine and cooking meth.

The game can be played either single player offline or with your friends online.

Playing online allows each player to take on certain responsibilities during a job and I'd imagine a well-oiled team could undertake a mission rather efficiently. I played offline and, as a single player game, Payday 2 is flawed.

The artificial intelligence of your fellow gangsters is poor.

They follow you around like ducklings when you'd prefer them to watch the entrances - and then they wander off aimlessly when you need them to watch your back.

They also leave all the hard work to you. An offline two-player co-operative mode would have greatly improved this game.

Another frustration crops up when moving around the map, as your movement is randomly restricted by invisible walls across streets.

Although each mission is subtly different every time you play it, this keeps the game fresh only for so long and it soon becomes repetitive. There are about 10 distinct jobs, although I found only about half a dozen in about six hours of play.

Don't get me wrong, Payday 2 is a few hours' worth of good old shoot-'em-up fun.

It's frightfully intense at times and you discover the need to get in and out as quickly as possible, before more cops arrive. You learn not to let greed get the best of you.

Just don't rob banks without your friends.

Stars: 2.5/5
Platform: Xbox, PS3, PC
Rated: R18

- TimeOut

- NZ Herald

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