After the recent steam sale this past week I decided to pick up multiple games on my list that I never really got around to; Payday, Limbo, Splinter Cell Chaos Theory, and Gmod just to name a few. Payday, a game made by developers "Overkill", appears to be nice upon first glance, however I felt it was missing a lot of depth to it. The graphics are beautiful, and able to run on just about anything, few mouse lag issues here and there but nonetheless it doesn't detract too much from the overall presentation. The biggest issue I had with the game however was that it simply felt too much the same.
The first level, for instance, involves you and your crew to rob a bank, you collect the stashed tools and begin the heist, starting with placing a drill, fighting off the cops, re-preparing the drill in case of failure, more cops, finally breaking in, more cops, placing thermite to access the vault, you guessed it! more cops, and finally a good old fashion shoot out to push your way to the get away vehicle. Now the idea for such a game has rarely been done, and done well and for that I commend Overkill Software. The problem as I mentioned persists with the overall level design, with the layout I mentioned above that covers briefly the first level which at first is the biggest thrill ride, pressure building, adrenaline pumping moment you've probably experienced in a game for a while. This of course is due to the fact that the challenge present in the game is more than evident starting straight from the beginning, add some friends and the cursing and overall anger towards eachother mixed with laughs and memorable moments ensues, which overall brings a great experience to the table.
The problem then comes when you tackle the third level, Panic Room, at first there's a nice change of pace as the heist takes part in a local drug den in which you're sent to steal the drugs on top of the money being held in the vault. This is where I began to lose interest in this game as it seemed all too familiar to the first level, take away the map design and enemies and look at the objectives from well.. an objective point of view. "Panic Room" involves the guys getting into the drug house, calling the heist, securing four drills, and fending off wave after wave of cop assaults. This seems rather repetitive however overall it didn't bother me too much, the rest of the level continues with fighting off hordes of cops while maintaining the drills and keeping eachother alive, followed by placing C4's (which I forgot to mention, is also done in the first mission!), and making your escape with another standoff on the roof tops. By this point I was seriously regretting my purchase of such a game as simply the level design seemed so similar and almost lazily done, granted the second level heat street was simply a rush,rush,rush,rush mission but I'm sure you can find that out or look it up yourselves. In conclusion, is Payday: The Heist a good game? The answer is quite frankly, yes; yes it is. However, if you can get past the overall campaign similarties and honestly really a lack of difference overall you should enjoy this game, if you're looking for a stand-alone game which will keep you satisfied for the long term look somewhere else.
Overall I believe it deserves a 6/10, as it brings a new idea and concept to the table, and does it for the majority well. Although, the lack of level design and overall customization as well as unlockables seriously detract from it's value. If you're intersted in buying it I suggest doing so during a sale.