Payday 2 Ultimate Edition is a cooperative first-person shooter video game developed by Overkill Software and published by 505 Games. The game is a sequel to 2011’s Payday: The Heist. It was released in August 2013 for Windows, PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360. An improved version of the game, subtitled Crimewave Edition, was released for PlayStation 4 and Xbox One in June 2015. A version for the Nintendo Switch was released in February 2018.
Two years after the events of the previous game, the Payday gang comes to the Washington metropolitan area to perform another heisting spree.
The player takes control of one of the gang’s twenty two members and can perform heists alone, or with up to three teammates. The player can participate in a variety of heists, including but not limited to robberies of banks, shops and armored cars, and producing and distributing narcotics. The game differs on the previous by allowing much more customization of the player (aesthetically and gameplay-wise), somewhat improved graphical interface and experience, more variety and playability in levels, and has reworked stealth mechanics.
An accompanying web series was produced to promote the game. The game was profitable from pre-orders alone and received positive reviews. Payday 2: Crimewave Edition which offers improved graphics, new content and all previous DLCs, was released for PlayStation 4 and Xbox One in June 2015.
A sequel, titled Payday 3, is currently in development and is scheduled for a 2023 release and will be published by Koch Media. It has also been announced that Payday 3 will be made on Unreal Engine.
PayDay 2 Ultimate Edition Gameplay
The game consists of a variety of ‘heists‘ that a player can opt to either carry out by themselves, with the AI, or as part of a multiplayer game. There are heists such as bank robberies, drug trafficking runs, rigging an election, or stealing smuggled nuclear warheads. Some of the heists put a large emphasis on stealth, often leading to bonus experience points and money on completion, and certain heists can only be done in stealth.
The level selection menu is styled as a fictional website, Crime.net, where missions pop up periodically as contracts in a map of Washington, D.C. The player can pick up an open contract, join a contract another player has started, or buy a contract with in-game money in an offshore bank account. There are seven difficulty levels: Normal, Hard, Very Hard, Overkill, Mayhem, Death Wish, and Death Sentence (formerly One Down), with increased money and experience payouts for higher difficulty levels.
Currently there is an option to enable the “One Down” function on any difficulty, meaning that players can only go down once before going into custody (goes up to two downs with the “Nine Lives” skill aced). Independent of difficulty was the “pro job” condition – pro jobs give additional experience, but cannot be retried if the players fail.
Pro Jobs were later removed in an update. Some contracts in Payday 2 take place over multiple days, with each day represented by a separate level with different objectives. After certain days of heists are completed in ‘loud’ (In which the alarm has sounded) the game may add an escape level, where the players’ original escape is thwarted and they must survive to reach their backup getaway.
Many jobs in Payday 2 can be completed in stealth. If players avoid getting caught on camera, evade or silently kill security guards, don’t kill more than four guards with pagers (number of pagers may be lowered via modifications in the “crime spree” game-mode) and keep any civilian witnesses from calling the police, the alarm will not be raised and the players will receive an experience bonus.
Otherwise, players will have to achieve their objectives, carry out any loot they find to a drop-off point, and then reach their escape point under the pressure of constant police assault waves. Most of the enemies are SWAT units sourced from D.C. police, then FBI SWAT, GenSec private security contractors and finally the DHS as difficulty increases.
Mixed in with these are special units; all versions of Payday 2 include the “Shield” and the “Taser” – both named for their signature equipment, the “Bulldozer” – a SWAT team member in a modified near-bulletproof bomb suit, and snipers. The Crimewave Edition and PC version include the “Cloaker” – an infiltration and hand-to-hand combat expert.
Exclusive to the PC and Crimewave editions are near-indestructible SWAT van turrets, capable of area denial, a medic capable of returning an enforcer to full health with no status effects, and Captain Winters, a well-protected veteran police officer who sustains assaults and buffs enemies until he can be driven off.
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PAYDAY 2 on Steam: https://store.steampowered.com/app/218620/PAYDAY_2/