PAYDAY: The Heist

PAYDAY: The Heist

It would be easy to say that PAYDAY: The Heist is Left 4 Dead with heists instead of a zombie apocalypse, but that would downplay the extent to which it is a playable heist thriller. Hostage management and intimidation are major game mechanics, and in addition to standard bank robberies, missions involve hunting down double-crossers and executing prison breaks. These elements give the game a unique flavour that makes it more enjoyable than a standard imitation, even when the imitation itself is rather flawed. Such flaws include an overabundance of timed survival objectives and ostensible realism. Not that it’s actually realistic; enemy SWAT teams are basically small armies, but the actual firefights are fairly grounded, making them less dynamic than zombie attacks, even when special units are involved.

Technically, the game is all over the place. It controls very well, the graphics communicate exactly what they need to, and the level design is impressively realistic without being too inconvenient for gameplay. The variable music and heist details are less consistent. The former works extremely well, but the music itself is quite bland and repetitive. As for the latter, while the attempt is appreciated, the differences are either extremely miniscule or chance-based difficulty jumps. Lastly, the friendly AI simply isn’t programmed for certain crucial tasks, and the repeated voice clips are universally grating. If I ever play the sequel, I hope it expands the casing/stealth phases that most missions have, since there’s a lot of unused potential there.

6/10
6/10

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