I’ve always imagined the perfect heist game to be one of those really out-there Half-Life mods with a nine-year, on-off development. A game where the process of cracking a safe would be so arcane and difficult that, like in the films, there really would only be two or three capable crims in the world, all with egos to be stroked; a game where the genuine friction between players would cause them to slip up, make mistakes. It probably wouldn’t be very fun, because I don’t imagine heists are.
The original Payday: The Heist wasn’t that: it was a Left 4 Dead variant in which the zombies wore tightly-fitted SWAT gear and learned how to shoot back. As it turns out, that was fun - and so here comes the sequel.
Payday 2’s heavily-choreographed ‘gameplay trailer’ stars a group of properly ruthless individuals who make holes in the back of strangers’ heads simply because they’re unfortunate enough to work at a bank. Just watch:
Clearly I’ve been spoiled by American movies, because I expected an anti-heroic speech from our crew as they entered the lobby. No matter - what we did get is those promising bank blueprint interjections, which I’m choosing to believe indicate a new focus on tactics and forward-planning.
Payday 2 comes from original Swedish developers Overkill Software, now a wing of Syndicate rebooters Starbreeze. It’s available for pre-purchase on Steam for £24.99. Do you think you’ll be playing it?