PayDay: The Heist was a game that kind of flew under the radar and became more of a sleeper hit in the PC gaming scene. PayDay 2 does everything that gamers liked about the original and expands on it, making it a game with a large community and a highly desired title for PC gamers. When a game gets a sequel, you expect the same gameplay, but with something more to offer. That is what PayDay 2 does.
You are a criminal and you rob people. Hell, you may even transport drugs. Why? For the sake of having a good payday. The game doesn't have a story per se. It has more of an atmospheric story. The criminal setting is really cool though. It does a really nice job of getting the player engrossed in the game before a job and during.
There are four characters but other than body type they aren't really that different. They don't have personalities. Just different voices and masks. However, they do represent the four skill trees to pick from that will define your role. Depending on what you pick is how you will play during jobs, and it really does show. I guess what makes this system so cool is the balancing of the roles. If you have experts in all roles, jobs go by quicker and easier rather than a team full of enforcers.
The different missions will also determine which role will be needed more. Bank jobs require a healthy balance of everything. You cannot complete most of the jobs by just walking in and raising hell. Some you can, but the game gets harder the longer you are in a mission. The essence of strategy and communication is so vital in this FPS title. Because of the mission variety and varying difficulties you will not have the same experience more than once. Even the levels differ from each other.
What makes PayDay 2 so engrossing is not only the core gunplay and strategy of completing jobs, but also the customization. There are the skill trees, guns and masks. These are all not awarded immediately. Just unlocking them by increasing your level and getting them in the rewards section after completing jobs is not enough. You must also purchase them. This inspires you to do better in jobs so you can afford the skills and gun mods. The masks are great as well. Everything has a base mask and you can change the material, patterns, and colors to make the mask the way you want. It is pretty cool to be honest and a way to keep players playing.
Let's talk mechanics. There is no regenerating health, but your armor acts like a regenerating shield. However, it is so easy to get downed in this game if you are not paying attention. You can also be taken captive in the game if you are not picked up in time or if you are downed more than three times. This is where the hostages come in. You can trade hostages for teammates. Sure in reality it seems silly, but it is still great. The controls are great as well. While they are standard Keyboard/Mouse controls, they respond well.
There only one problem I found with PayDay 2. The pacing is horrible. When you first start the game, and for about 15 jobs you will be practically useless to your team. You have basic weapons, no mods, a few skills, and no mask choices. So getting into the game is tough, but once you are in, PayDay 2 is really fun and in depth.
PayDay 2 is surprisingly fun if you have the patience. The amount of strategy and communication required to be successful is great. The game's skills are balanced and the replay value is spectacular. The game is available on PC through Steam, you can also get it on 360 and PS3. I give PayDay 2 an 8/10