PayDay: The Heist Is A Game About Robbery

'Now, wave 'em around like you just don't care.'

How would you like to play Left 4 Dead, only instead of killing zombies you’re killing a building robbing a building? Do you think that’s something you’d enjoy?

That’s what download-only multiplayer FPS PayDay: The Heist is going to offer. This game’s name surfaced about a week back, but now we have a debut trailer and footage of some people playing the game at E3. It’s all after the jump.

I set myself up for a fall with this one. When I first saw the screenshots and heard the premise, I thought this’d be offering something like a reverse of the absolutely incredible SWAT 4, with you and your friends playing a terrified, elite band of criminals instead of a terrified, elite squad of cops. This is what happens when you show me screenshots of an FPS where nobody’s getting shot, on fire, or standing next to a red barrel.

Watching the footage, it’s clear that it’ll be much faster-paced and more over the top than that. Check out the footage. Also, check out this quote from this PCG preview:

Once the heist starts, the police will attack in waves. Your goal is to fight them off while making your way through a series of checkpoints – working together to get away with as much cash as possible.

First we started shouting at all the civilians. If one gets killed, the police attack with more ferocity, so telling them to GET THEIR FUCKING HEADS ON THE FLOOR is a good move. Then we had to guard our drill as it cut through the first door. At one point, a police sniper appeared at the top of the building to our right. I took one look, aimed a pistol shot, and took him right in the head.

So, yes. Very much just a themed FPS rather than the immersive, tricky, deeply tactical game of my imagination. Still, it could be good, eh? Take a look.


  1. CMaster says:

    The video appears to show L4D with cop instead of zombies and regenerating health.

    Been playing a lot of SWAT4 coop recently. Simply excellent gaming, even if most of the time is spent staring at a door wondering what to do, followed by approximately 10 seconds of chaos and panic when we try to put the plan into motion.

    • dragonhunter21 says:

      Lucky. My teammates are the sort where spawning in the back of a SWAT van is ample reasoning for shooting the entire team in the head.

      Although when the teamkillers aren’t out, it is a wonderful game to this day. I heartily recommend the SSF mod for it, if only to get extra levels and a few guns.

    • Antlia says:

      Oh yeah, that is too awesome. Me and my buddies get back to that game once in a while and craft elaborate plans in which we storm some room extremely coordinated, throwing tear gas and shooting our pea shotguns. Usually it ends up being so that I retreat out of the room bloody, shooting with my revolver and killing a hostage in the process…

  2. Torgen says:

    Not too keen on a game focused on blowing away good cops just trying to do their job…

    • Squirrelfanatic says:

      But THEY are trying to kill you while you are doing YOUR job. It’s totally OK.

    • Raiyan 1.0 says:

      Just imagine what kind of pain I’ll be going through when I kill innocent, innocent dragons in Skyrim.

    • Torgen says:

      Are you simply so stupid as to think that remark makes you some sort of “internet cool guy?”

    • Jahkaivah says:

      @Raiyan 1.0

      Dragons that are almost unlimited in their innocence.

    • Mr_Hands says:

      Soooo… not a fan of the Grand Theft Auto games then?

    • keith.lamothe says:

      Torgen, I think you’ll find that the degree of desensitization required to make “cops getting shot in a video game” produce reactions not generally more intense than “mild amusement” is also enough to render such admonitions as yours completely without effect to the admonished.

      Not saying it’s right (it’s not), just something to keep in mind for time-management purposes.

    • ResonanceCascade says:

      Fact: It’s pretend.

    • Rii says:


      And for the guy who asked: no, I’m not a fan of GTA.

    • Vinraith says:

      When playing a filthy criminal speeder in NFS: Hot Pursuit I take enormous pleasure in utterly destroying my police pursuers.

      When playing a cop in NFS: Hot Pursuit I take enormous pleasure in utterly destroying the filthy speeders I’m chasing.

      Games are games, roles are roles, and in-game behavior has no connection to real-life behavior (unless you are suffering from rather severe mental illness, anyway).

    • Rii says:


      I’d argue that such role-playing is a reasonable approximation of the subjectivity of reality: nobody thinks of himself as the bad guy. We’re all playing roles in a system not of our own devising.

    • heretic says:


      It’s a chilling thought.

      Were the nazis thinking they were the good guys? Towards the end of the war some really knew what they were doing was not good (see Albert Speer), he wanted to save his own skin because he knew the final solution was a “bad” thing.

    • bonjovi says:

      oh the question of morality, where does it come from. I’m sure it doesn’t come from games thou. Or I will be completely mad and in prison.

    • Gnoupi says:

      It’s actually strange, but something about this game feels off to me.

      I mean, I have no problem driving over pedestrians in GTA games, or killing cops.
      So why do I feel weird watching this trailer?

      I mean, there is one disturbing thing, is that the guy just kills everyone. Cops, civilians, everyone. Thats not really the idea of a “heist”, to me. Heist tells more “hostages”, infiltrating, or balance of power.
      But here, I don’t understand the guy’s motives. He just guns his way to the objective. I have difficulties putting myself in his skin.

      Then again, it’s also something I repeatedly do in other games. So why is that bothering in this one? Why can I laugh driving over pedestrians, gratuitously, in GTA,and here what the character does just feels “wrong”?

      Can’t figure it out.

    • heretic says:

      @Gnoupi have you played Kane & Lynch 2′s multiplayer / arcade mode? It’s a very similar game.

      I don’t feel particularly bad about this video though, you can do a lot more awful things in certain games.

    • CMaster says:

      “Were the nazis thinking they were the good guys?”
      Absolutley. Hitler was motivated by a love for the German people. Well, that and a desire to be recognised in perpetuity. It’s an attitude you can find in plenty of people around the world today “we should look after our own”/”do what is best for our people”. The Nazi philosophy just took it a step further in beleiving that “lesser” people (Slavs and the like) mattered not at all compared to Germans and what they had should be taken, wheras most modern attitudes are simply of isolation. Equally, the attitude towards the Jews (and disabled etc) is not that different from those seen from some in the UK towards “benefit scroungers”, from some in the US towards Blacks, from some in mainland Europe towards Roma and so on. The Nazis just went the step from condemning or ignoring. Of course, plenty ended up as “members” of the Nazi party who didn’t agree with all this. But were there those who genuinely believed they were doing the right thing? I’m sure.

    • ResonanceCascade says:

      I guess I can understand people not wanting to play a game like this, but I do take issue with anyone who makes a morality judgement about something like this (and I’m not even saying anyone here did, I’m just commenting on the vibe I’m getting).

      I just don’t see any action performed in a game as being immoral unless the action itself is inherently immoral. So things like Rapelay that promote sexism, or some of the underground Neo-Nazi racist games floating around are immoral, because there’s no such thing as simulated racism or sexism.

      But simulated violence doesn’t hurt anyone, and it doesn’t make a statement that hurting people is OK, so I just don’t think discussions about its appropriateness have any base for saying its immoral. When I play a bad character in Planescape: Torment I do things far worse than killing cops, but it would be insane to say that the game actually promotes that kind of behavior in real life.

      (tangent: the ethicist Peter Singer once said that playing violent video games could be considered immoral from a Utilitarian point of view because studies show that violent video games cause real world violence. Not sure I agree with the premise, though the conclusion MIGHT have some validity IF it were true. I’d have to think about that one.)

    • golden_worm says:

      Mitchell & Web – “Are We The Bad Guys?”

    • Anthile says:

      I think the difference is that in GTA and such you usually play a larger-than-life character like Tony Montana, who usually has some sort of sympathetic backstory and while you would most likely never shoot another person, you can see why this character does it. Roleplaying.

    • heretic says:


      What does ethicist Peter Singer have to say about other forms of media?

      The problem is that these “studies” are highly flawed if anything – see the Fox News turds that Walker reported on.

    • heretic says:


      Yeah I can definitely think some of them thought they were doing the right thing.

      I just don’t really agree that _nobody_ thinks of themselves as the bad guy. Some of these nazis most likely had a conscience (some probably not) and knew they were being the “bad” guy in the face of the world.

    • Walsh says:

      Hitler has been invoked. This thread is over!

    • Fumarole says:

      I’m interested in knowing who Torgen is keen on blowing away.

    • _Nocturnal says:

      Gnoupi: You also enjoy Tom and Jerry cartoons, probably? And I doubt you’d enjoy the idea of animal torture by itself. It’s the same difference.
      Violence in games isn’t right or wrong by itself. What makes it right or wrong is the way it’s framed in the overall narrative.
      Even if you’re not conscious about it, most games, movies, etc. put some kind of spin on violence to make it okay. These guys seem to have skipped that part, which is an especially dumb thing to do.
      It also doesn’t seem to be their only mistake. Oh well.

    • ResonanceCascade says:

      @ heretic

      Yeah, I guess I should have worded that better. I’m fairly sure that his premise IS flawed, and that the evidence that video games cause any measurable degree of real-world violence is NOT compelling.

      I’m more interested in the implications of the conclusion, because it is possible (though unlikely) that one day some good evidence that they do cause violence could come to light, and what we would do from there would be an interesting moral dilemma.

    • Gnoupi says:

      @Nocturnal: true, it’s probably lacking the “comical” effect of violence.

      It seems indeed quite “crude”, at least in the first trailer. Not in the detail, but in the way it is presented. Like if all that mattered in the game was shooting people dead.

    • JohnnyMaverik says:

      They’re just 3D models, with animation, hit boxes and rudimentary AI.

    • heretic says:


      Agreed, but to be honest I actually think he’s correct, that in certain individuals video games could certainly provoke violence. However I don’t think this phenomenon is unique to video games – I’m almost certain films, music or books could cause some people to go bonkers.

      Now I don’t think this applies to the rest of the population (the average case if you will). If it did it would really be a problem I think, as you would see massive increases in violence across the globe (which I don’t think has been the case in the past 30 odd years that video games have been gaining popularity!). However as you point out it would be interesting what the reaction would be. A bit like the tobacco industry after studies conclusively showed that smoking was NOT good for you. It’s a big industry and wouldn’t come down without a fight.

  3. patricij says:

    at least they aren’t zombie cops….thank God!

  4. keith.lamothe says:

    “How would you like to play Left 4 Dead, only instead of killing zombies you’re killing a building robbing a building? Do you think that’s something you’d enjoy?”

    Actually I think I’d _really_ enjoy a game like that where I’m killing a building. As in demolition. Get the Red Faction guys on the phone, please.

    • Laxan says:

      Robbing a building would be equally enjoyable, I think.
      He’d be absolutely bricking it.

    • keith.lamothe says:

      True. Very true.

    • mlaskus says:

      I didn’t know you were reading RPS besides the stories concerning Arcen. Nice to see you here. :)

    • Zacqary Adam Green says:

      Have you considered Rampage? I’m not sure that it involves demolition, per se, but you definitely kill buildings.

    • keith.lamothe says:

      Rampage is a timeless classic, yes. I’m partial to a more detailed and more explosives-based approach, but controlling a gigantic monkey (or lizard) with a fist bigger than a tank smashing structural I-beams like toothpicks… it does have an appeal, yes indeed. In Rampage you kill buildings in an effort to pick on something your own size.

      @mlaskus : yea, I’ve been following RPS since I before I started working for Arcen, actually. It’s probably my only regular source of any kind of journalism ;)

  5. Wurzel says:

    Aw, now I really want a criminal version of SWAT 4. Although I wonder if it’ll be as fun tasering civilians when you’re not supposed to be the good guys…

    • CMaster says:

      Literally being on the criminal end of SWAT4 would be of limited fun. Spend ages waiting behind cover in a room, then suddenly the door explodes, you can’t see anything, several burly men are shouting at you and if you dare to swing around to look at the shouting without first dropping that gun, god help you. I’m pretty sure it could be implemented well with some thought though (already got the beginnings of the method written down somewhere) either as a coop or ideally competitive multiplayer environment. Some for of strategic metalayer could help a lot, giving reasons to comply with SWAT, not instantly shoot hostages etc.

    • keith.lamothe says:

      Sort of like a “Ok, the premise of the story is that you’ve gone and done something so insanely stupid as to get a SWAT team after you. Now see how much of a sentence reduction you can manage by making smart decisions from here on.” simulator? :)

      Probably not what you meant… but that could actually be pretty fun.

    • CMaster says:

      Yeah, not quite what I was going for, but an interesting idea. Although how you’d get a non-horrific sentence is beyond me. We always find the guys in SWAT funny when as you arrest them they say “I want my lawyer” or “I’m nothing to do with this”. You look around at the wounded civilians, the downed comrade and the fact that there is still shooting going on and have to think “What lawyer could possibly get you out of this one?”.

      The general idea was that things like executing hostages would make civilians less cooperative in future missions, complying with police would have less penalties than being shot (possibly none if you couldn’t be shown to actually have done anything) etc.

      Hmm, I’m now thinking about the amount of FPS situations that could be improved/made intriguing by adding a “surrender” button to the game.

    • Ericston says:

      ‘Inverse SWAT 4’ would definitely need a Reservoir Dogs game mode, where a random player is assigned the role of undercover cop/traitor. And, of course, in 1 out of 10 matches there isn’t one, but you wouldn’t know that…

    • Dozer says:

      That Reservoir Dogs idea == absolute AWESOMENESS. I hope someone builds a game with that exact mechanic.

      I’d like to see an ‘armed criminal/terrorist’ game taking place across several decades. In earlier years, if a terrorist took hostages, the Western European governments would listen to their demands and sometimes comply, in order to save the hostages, and this led to an escalation of terrorism. Then some time around 1980 governments decided they would forfeit the lives of the hostages and send in their version of the SAS to kill the terrorists, and maybe also save the hostages, but mainly to kill the terrorists. Hijackings etc declined after that. The game missions would have different strategies and consequences depending on which year they’re set in.

    • Thants says:

      I haven’t played it, but apparently Kane & Lynch 2 has a multiplayer mode like that.

    • arccos says:

      Yup. Kane and Lynch 2 had it, and it was pretty fun. Too bad it was really tough to ever get a full game of it going due to how bad the game sold.

  6. Anthile says:

    Might be interesting from a gameplay perspective and probably more like Killing Floor than L4D but I’m not really sure how am I supposed to feel about shooting dozens of policemen, who just do their jobs.

  7. thesundaybest says:

    Makes me want that tactical bank robbing game even more, the one where people bleed…red crosses? Pixelated blood?

  8. Teddy Leach says:

    Yes please!

  9. Moni says:

    I would have called it a slightly more updated Counter-Strike, because you shoot mans rather than undead mans, although they have common lineage, so it probably went without saying.

    • Marcem says:

      Actually, it reminds me of a mission in Counter Strike: Condition Zero Deleted Scenes mixed with L4D

  10. Dana says:

    Fox News: This just in, group of kids robbed a liquor store after playing the computer game.

    I called it.

    • ResonanceCascade says:

      And then everyone on the segment who had written a book suddenly found that their Amazon rating had dropped significantly.

  11. Cyber Rat says:

    I was hoping we would be getting a game like this: link to

  12. Baboonanza says:

    At one point, a police sniper appeared at the top of the building to our right. I took one look, aimed a pistol shot, and took him right in the head.


    • Fumarole says:

      Indeed. It’s a poor sniper that is within pistol range of their target.

  13. MajorManiac says:

    I think this game is going to be well known by other media.

    • Brutal Deluxe says:

      Well only if playing this game will lead to an increase in armed robbery WHICH OF COURSE IT WILL!

  14. Synchrony says:

    Its that immersive, tricky, deeply tactical heist game of your imagination which I want, lets hope introversion hurry up and get it finished, Subversion looks like it should be brilliant. This looks meh.

  15. heretic says:

    Reply fail, second one today ;_;

  16. bonjovi says:

    for all these questioning morality of the issue, isn’t it enough to put a spin on it ? like that you are robbing the place to feed starved people. and money you stealing was made immorally and all cops know it.

    you feeling better now?

  17. Rock Tumbler says:

    Aw, I was really hoping this would be a SWAT-esque tactical affair. Color me disappointed.

  18. Drake Sigar says:

    Violence is kind of the exact opposite of what you’re going for in a successful heist. Making a surgery game where the objective is to shoot patients with medical syringes would make more sense than this.

  19. Bungle says:

    I created this game in my head last year. It was supposed to be a L4D2 mod and use Horde Tech to control civilians in the city. 4 robbers versus 4 cops each round – the robbers have to rob the bank and escape into the city full of civilians. Cops gotta stop them. My game was better.

  20. Guhndahb says:

    Darn! When I heard the premise my mind jumped instantly to SWAT 4 too and I was overjoyed – then I read this post. Ah well.

  21. Eukatheude says:

    Are there any big, fat cops who puke on you? Or ones that hump on your neck?

  22. ResonanceCascade says:

    edit: posted in wrong spot

  23. Zarunil says:

    This could be good if it had more tactical elements, like speaking to the negotiator, setting up traps, planning where to enter and exit, figuring out how to access the vault, possibly taking the bank manager’s family hostage, setting up patrol routes and guard posts, able to crawl through vents, looking at the sewage system or next-door buildings as possible entry routes, renting a room in a building across from the bank to stake out the routines and work hours of bank staff and security, taking photos of staff while in the car in the parking lot across from the bank, doing research on staff and security’s family and where they live, choosing outfits, masks, make-up, weapons, kevlar, getaway car/helicopter/bus/tractor, hiring members to the crew based on stats (accuracy, stamina, intelligence, specialty, charisma, personality, etc), training crew members, doing dry runs of the heist in a secluded location (warehouse, countryside) with a mockup of the bank, talking to hostages (scare, calm down, move, etc), providing food and water for hostages and crew, day/night cycles, sleep deprevation.

    So many interesting additions one could make instead of a simple manshoot.

    But then it wouldn’t work on consoles.

  24. CMaster says:

    I like the bit in the E3 video where the journalist goes “so it’s really like being in a real bank heist” and the developer goes “yeah”. Meanwhile, on the screen, the player hides behind a bench of 5 seconds to regenerate health, then guns down another 10 cops in as many seconds.

  25. skyturnedred says:

    I’m looking forward to the inevitable Heat inspired shootout on the streets. Other than that, the body count on the video seems to imply the players are horrible at robbing buildings.

  26. banski83 says:

    Always makes me wonder, with all the millions of dollars/pounds/zlotys/whatevs spent on market research, demographics, sales statistics etc, how some developers seem to be so off the mark in thinking what it is their main consumers want.

    I understand this is also coming out on the PS3, which is probably where it’s mainly focussed on; short blasts of intense gunplay in a slightly different scenario (can’t actually think of that many games where you get to play as the nasty bastards). It’d be nice to see someone recognising that there is a market for a polished, deeply tactical thinking man’s shooter, but played from the bad guy’s perspective.

    Where the hell is SWAT 5? If it sold well enough to get Stetchkov Syndicate, where is the next in the series?

    • Zarunil says:

      If SWAT 5 was announced right now, it would be right on the very top of my watchlist. That franchise is a gold mine waiting to happen, if only developers do it right.

  27. Eukatheude says:

    Talk about killing buildings: link to [Quite NSFW]

  28. _Jackalope_ says:


    Ahem. Sorry.

  29. vash47 says:

    I thought this was the game I dreamed about before watching the videos.


  30. Scandalon says:

    Ah, so that explains why he waved to people on the other side of a wall, they’re psychic.

  31. Cronstintein says:

    Man, my hopes went way up only to be instantly come crashing back down. FPS called Heist about robbing banks? I’m in! Wave based combat while moving towards checkpoints? PASS!

  32. Wisq says:

    Not really excited by this one. Looks way too violent for the subject matter. Killing cops just gets you hunted harder and killed faster. The game should be about planning, not shooting. More like the Hitman games, less like a generic shooter.

    Besides, the footage looked kinda rubbish too. The police AI was god-awful. Sneaking around a pillar while getting shotgunned repeatedly from the side. Scurrying around with a blast shield without any cover or backup. If they were trying to simulate human players who have never touched a video game before, then bravo, job complete.

  33. max pain says:

    When will they get the balance right?

    I mean, those are special forces you’re against. They’re armored, highly trained, they should know the floor layout better than you and should have a tactic plan before they enter. Those people would never even give you a clear shot to them.

    Fighting one of them should be like Morpheus trying to kick Smith’s ass. He didn’t.

    When they enter, it’s game over for you.
    More weight on taking advantage of hostage situation, etc..

  34. studenteternal says:


    • Killer6 says:

      My thoughts exactly. It’s like a less interesting version of left for dead. I thought the whole point of a great heist is to not kill anyone. This just seems like an FPS set in a bank..

  35. Jahkaivah says:

    Gahh! Zombies with guns!

    Not big guns but they are guns and I need guns!

    Ahhh! Chainsaw! The great communicator!

    Allow me to communicate to you my desire to have your guns!

  36. Neros says:

    The game looks rather interesting, especially when I look at the price. Recently, high pricy games have really been letting me down, but games which costs around the 19 eruo have been very satisfying.

    But my biggest question about this game; Does anyone know if the levels you gain is kept (ala Brink and Dead Island), or if they are only for the current game you are playing?