Payday 2 Is Still An Incredible Game


Inspired by a lot of the recent discourse around Payday 2 and PayDay 3's relative play account systems and functionality, I want to weigh in purely on the Payday 2 side this time. It's no secret that I love this game. I've done everything there is to do within it and then some completing my own custom challenge rules set playthroughs and speedruns, but even I must admit, at the dawn of Payday 3.

I was happy to finally have the opportunity to cover something new and different. But after a few months, and I don't want this to be another article ranting and railing on Payday 3's failings again. I actually think this was a natural revelation that I probably should have anticipated. I've fallen back in love with the game once more.

Payday 2 is still an incredible experience, and as the Grey Joys used to say back before Game of Thrones nose-dived in its final season, what's dead may never die. The Dead Game to End All Dead games are still very much alive and thriving, so I want to explore exactly what it is that makes Payday 2 such a phenomenon of modern gaming, such that over 10 years into its lifespan and several months since its last content update, it's still one of the best and most complete Corp experiences you can play on PC.


Before I dive into what makes the Payday 2 formula so special in my eyes, I want to discuss what's really been frustrating me in recent months. There's just this passive understanding and expectation that Payday 2 is successful for reasons other than simply being a brilliant game. Of course, its longevity is a product of a myriad of factors, some of which extend beyond gameplay, but when we boil it down to all its simplest components, it really is just a bit special.

As I sank more and more hours into the NG run, even playing this quite unconventional way, I was passively enthralled by Payday 2's brilliance once more.


The run took upwards of 40 hours because there was just too much gameplay to sink your teeth into, and it's just scratching the surface of the game's replayability. Of course not everything has to be a competition although many out there see this differently Payday 2 continues to succeed on its own merits and PayDay 3 remains in its shadow not just because it's a less content filled game but also because it's a very different game with some admittedly brilliant Innovations, but most systems outside of its core gameplay Loop holding it back so no pay's success is not a product of any sort of protest and its baguer sequel nor is it just entrenched players with nothing better to play it's not even down to how cheap and accessible the game has become in recent years although I'm sure that's contributed to the numbers we see, no in truth it's purely a result of payday 2's high quality, easy to pick up tough to Master gameplay Loop and immense content density helped even further by how replayable that all makes it let's start by taking a look at the features that have really hooked me on Payday 2 over the years with the game's narrative and character roster.


Being honest, payday2 started life as one barely cobbled together plot thread; it was always more about the characters of Bane Dallas and new additions like Vlad than it ever was about some sort of overarching story. But as time went on, those characters actually started to develop, and from their development came even deeper personality traits, more loyal fans, and the makings of a criminal narrative that could actually capture the imaginations of the community.


The dentist joined the contract to roster adding new canonical mechanics to develop intriguing narrative threads even within individual heists, hawton returned burned and bitter with ready formed relationships and rivalries that created new Dynamics within any heisting team Hector was discovered to be a traitor and characters like Vlad became more unpredictable and difficult to trust this narrative was formed around and driven by its iconic characters, so we were all in even when the plot went the way of aliens and ancient gods word Smith Tenya writing the Payday 2 story wasn't adored by all but the Breakneck pace of Lock's betrayal losing Bane unearthing the kataru and eventually bringing the fight to their front door was something most could appreciate, is simply because the heist of that era was some of the most engaging and intriguing we'd ever witnessed all the while the roster of optional hter grew each with their own personalities.

Relationships to the game gang and even unique weapons and play styles tightened the bonds players had with their favorites. Multi-day offerings are a really interesting option that might have led to some slightly uneven gameplay from day to day but adds a real sense of progression and jeopardy to every heist we take on.

With the genius of the reservoir dog, when it took its Tarantino theming one step further and threw chronology out of the window, having day one take place after day two, dropping an incredible narrative bombshell in reverse order. Big Bank evolved the asset system with deep pre-planning that allows your crew to dictate how you want to approach the objectives in the heist, where supplies should be hidden, and how you can escape.


At the end of it all, it added hours of replayability to every heist that returned to flesh out the system, with the golden-green Casino Heist still holding the record for the most potential favorite placements. Spectacle Heist such as birth of sky or the biker Heist A2 push payday's poor old diesel engine to its very limits with impressive visuals and set pieces, whilst Heist like meltdown made use of its all functionalities a racing game engine by adding driveable vehicles to the game stealth only Heist were added some being tight Corridor experiences like the yacht Heist and breaking feds which really test the limits of your mechanical understanding whil more open plan heists like Shadow raid or evocative of the immersive Sim genre allowing you to carve out your own path towards a successful, hit l Heist such as hell's Island exist to immerse you in the narrative whilst others such as first world bank or the white house has hidden secrets that can completely change payday's own genre, hell even though the goat simulator Heist is derided by some in the community due to its perceived lack of balance and mechanics that clash with how Payday 2 is traditionally played it Still Remains an absolute staple of Hardcore challenges for those who want to prove their metal within the upper echelons of gameplay experience.

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