|Genre(s)||First-person shooter, tactical shooter|
|Distribution||DVD-Rom, Blu-ray Disc, download|
Payday 2 is a cooperative first-person shooter video game developed by Overkill Software. It is the sequel to Payday: The Heist. It was released for Microsoft Windows on 13 August 2013, and for PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 on 16 August. On 24 July 2013, a beta version for Windows was made available on Steam to users who pre-purchased Payday 2 Career Criminal Edition. The beta was then made available to Steam users who had Payday: The Heist in their Steam library.
Payday 2 involves the player and their team, which consists of either friends or randomly assigned players, performing bank heists and robberies. Gameplay has been heavily improved and expanded since its predecessor, with a number of new abilities. The game was first announced in February 2013 and later previewed in March of that year, alongside an announcement of the developer's parent company: Starbreeze Studios's partnership with 505 Games. The launch trailer for the game was released on 13 August 2013.
Payday 2 is similar to most first person shooters, but instead of running-and-gunning, more emphasis is put on the cooperation of players. Players spawn outside of the designated heist location in civilian clothes until the player holds the action button and dons a mask. This gives the players a tactical advantage, being able to infiltrate the location without suspicion and potentially disabling security systems from the inside.
When a player carries a bag of loot or equipment, this adds weight to the carrier, slowing them down and tilting the camera. The player is able to throw the loot to the ground to regain speed, or towards another player to pick up and carry instead.
Money looted from heists is used as currency to buy guns and gun modifications, as well as items that may help on future heists, such as the codes for window shutters to prevent the player being shot through them. Heists also provide experience points, which upon leveling up unlock more guns to purchase as well as skill points, being able to spend those skill points on perks with an appropriate sum of money. To that there are 4 skill trees, "Mastermind", "Enforcer", "Technician" and "Ghost", each featuring a customization tree of associated skills and equipment to unlock and they can be mixed and matched as per the player's preference.
The game includes "Crime.Net", a heist interface. Heists may be a one-hit job or take longer, which are broken up into separate, story-connected levels called "days". Depending either on a player's course of action, or at random, the next phase may result in a different level altogether or possibly skipped entirely. For example, in the heist "Elephant: Framing Frame", the escape vehicle is less likely to be chased and crash in the next phase if the player or players have performed the previous phase without being seen.
Compared to the previous game in the series, Payday 2 improves on a number of items from the previous game to create a sharper and more polished experience. For instance the gun combat is improved and the stealth mechanic from the previous game is given a larger emphasis. Unlike in The Heist, cash loot from the game is no longer a substitute for experience points.
- Perk Trees
Provides perks for dealing with people, such as providing extra cable ties to take hostages with (hostages can be traded to allow teammates to spawn after dying) and being able to talk down a guard or police officer into surrendering or fighting for the criminal team. Provides the medical bag equipment (a placeable medical kit).
Combat specialist gives perks such as increased ammunition carried and heavier body armor. Provides the ammunition bag equipment and the primary weapon OVE9000 portable saw (equipment allowing players to open A.T.M.s and doors easier).
Enhances the interaction with tools and explosives, such as having better drilling capabilities to enhancing body armor. Provides trip mine explosives (upgrades to shaped charge) and sentry gun equipment.
Focused on stealth and silence, this tree provides perks for doing heists without being noticed. Provides the ECM emitter equipment.
Payday 2 is Overkill's first game to have a boxed retail release. The director of Payday 2, David Goldfarb, stating that "Payday 2 has become just too big to reserve release on Xbox Live and PlayStation Network alone." Reports of strong sales in its first week causing shortages led 505 Games to work with retailers in distributing more copies of the game. The game will still be distributed through the PlayStation Network, Xbox Live and Steam services as planned.
On 8 August 2013, just under a week before launch, Starbreeze Studios confirmed that the game was profitable from pre-orders. Covering all the cash invested by the publisher 505 Games. All new profit will be divided between the studio and publisher. Starbreeze Studios president Bo Andersson-Klint said:
"Today Starbreeze has once again demonstrated that our strategy of focusing on our own properties is correct. Not only have we managed to deliver a desirable product in Payday 2 but also executed a promotion that few companies of our size can. We now look forward to the royalty income that can secure the company's development of its own IP in the future. That Payday 2 generates revenue for the company six days before the release is of course very unusual for games of this size and strengthens the long-term nature of our strategy."
The game has sold 1.58 million copies as of September 2013. 80% of those sales were digital.
Payday 2 has received generally positive reviews from critics. Payday 2 has received the 2013 Golden Joystick Award for Best Multiplayer.
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