Published on July 7th, 2015 | by Don Parsons2
Payday 2: Crimewave Edition Review
Summary: Packed with more content than the previous console release, Payday 2: Crimewave Edition is still a solid game two years later.
Everything was going just as we had planned. There were four of us hitting the bank, and while certainly not our first rodeo, this was the first time we were hitting one quietly. Normally, we stroll in guns blazing. But this time we wanted to clean the whole thing out. Three of the four guards were down, the last one circling back so Rags (note: all names have been changed to protect the identity of my fellow heisters) could take him down. In one smooth motion, the guard was silently put down and his radio answered to keep everyone off our tracks. All we had left was to clear two sections of the bank for civilians, most importantly the bank tellers as they could sound the alarm. Twenty minutes into this heist, and everything was perfect. We screamed at everyone to get down, and moved all the hostages to the bank teller room. Monkey set the drill up at the vault while I stared at the hostages all laying on the floor. I smiled, thinking about the massive payday we were about to have, then watched in horror as Rags accidently dropped a grenade he had been playing with in the middle of the hostages. So much for our silent heist.
That was a true story from one of my many outings in Payday 2: Crimewave Edition. Don’t worry: we still made it out with a lot of cash. But a big portion of fun in Payday 2 is trying to do the job stealthily.
Payday 2: Crimewave Edition is yet another fancy remastered game from the previous console generation. Only, instead of just making it look prettier, it packs in all of the content from the PC version. If you are at all familiar with the PC version of Payday 2, you’ll know it was heavily supported after it’s release, while the Xbox 360 and Playstation 3 versions only saw a few updates and DLC packs combined. For fan of the first game, this is great news because there is a vast array of new things to do. If you missed the last game because of timing, this year is perfect too, being as it launches in summer time and not right before the fall storm.
To briefly bring everyone up to speed (for more in-depth on the original game, read my review of it here), Payday 2 is about robbing banks, stealing drugs, holding up jewelry stores, and the like. There are certain other events, like rigging an election, that can be played, but I know my personal favorite ones are the aforementioned banks and jewelry stores. A good portion of the jobs can be done stealthily, which grant a significant bonus to not just the job you are playing, but yield an extra bonus of XP in the next job you play.
A driving force in keeping me playing were the paydays at the end, where you select one of three cards, which give you a random item. Usually it’s nonsense, like a modification for a weapon you don’t use, or a small sum of cash (I find it insulting to be given $20,000 in one of these instances when I just finished a job that payed me over a million in spending cash). But then there are the times they give you a new mask, which makes up for the last dozen or so times you got garbage. Random loot is something people either love or hate, and I certainly love it.
Money is then split between spending cash and the other 70% or so is diverted into an offshore bank account. My last time playing on PS3, I don’t recall there being a reason to have an offshore bank account. One of the updates provided in Crimewave Edition allows you to spend that money on a few things, most notably the lottery where you can pay a minimal fee for a payday, then start ticking off selections for more money. So if you really want an Infamous-rated mask (super rare), you select Mask, infamous, and then can pay an absurd amount to lock all three cards as masks assuming you are at high enough of a level, which then pays out a guaranteed mask with a small chance of being Infamous.
Another great addition was allowing the player to have multiple skill sets. Skills are by far the most important part of the game, and who you play with may change your position on the team. I primarily rolled as a Technician, which had super quiet drills, C4 charges to blow doors and safes, and drills that not only had a chance to auto-restart, but were also faster. But once my crew started playing at harder difficulty settings, it became necessary to create a juggernaut-like class with super strong armor and overpowered shotguns. So now, while setting up for a job, I could instantly swap between classes to make sure I could maximize my role on the team.
Various jobs, a few characters, several weapons, and a slew of masks have been added. Also, an Infamy option had been added. I’m pretty sure this is Overkill’s version of Prestiging from another popular shooter, so once you hit level 100, you get a few perks and dump a large sum of offshore money and get to start over at level 1.
There is one problem keeping this from being the standout game it could be. Crimenet, the way you find jobs online, is partially broken. I, personally, have never been able to join a game (note: A patch was released between the writing and posting of this article, which increased the success rate of connecting, though it was still having problems after mild testing). But, if I start an online game and just play until people show up, I have had success in meeting fellow heisters that way. Also, joining friends works with no problem at all, so I could join my friends’ games without a hitch.
Payday 2: Crimewave Edition is even more of the great game that launched back on old consoles, with a minor hiccup. In a day and age where shooters generally fall into one of two categories, fast-paced action or slow and tactical, Payday 2 sits off to the side with it’s own unique take on the genre. Playing alone is fine and fun, but when you get together with three other people and really start coordinating your job, it’s a blast.
This review was written with review code provided by the publisher on the Xbox One console. For more information on our review policies, please read here.