PC Gaming A Level Question 1: What Is Payday 2?

Is the question rhetorical? It’s the sequel to that heist game, Payday, isn’t it? The real question everyone should be asking is why “heist” isn’t in spellcheckers. Nor “spellcheckers”. And the answer to that initial question… Payday 2 is a bit more of an RPG.

Sort of. It’s more customisable, and there’s a greater sense of progression as you expand your criming abilities. There’s now stealth, safe houses, and did we mention that it’s customisable? Yes. Which makes the repetition immediately before stating there’s “almost too much to name” something I… cannot… resist… teasing.

So there you go – a lot more to it this time, it seems, and I’m certainly more intrigued than I ever was for the first game. It’s currently set for a vague “August” release, so it seems safe to say we can expect that to slip a little.


  1. Ultra Superior says:

    the voice of the man in the video…. is like dying breath seeping through rusty grinding gears.

  2. analydilatedcorporatestyle says:

    God it it anything like the original. I got it gifted by a friend from a PC Gamer steam key and played it once!

  3. DarkLiberator says:

    Loved the first game. My only problem was the leveling system took forever to get anywhere and the insane police numbers made it feel like a horde mode. I’m glad there’s more emphasis on stealth now, or if you choose, just go loud.

    • Oak says:

      It is horde mode. I’m looking forward to stealthier heists, too, but I wouldn’t have stuck with the game in the first place if I didn’t love fighting off waves of zombies with guns.

  4. BooleanBob says:

    Damn! I had fifty quid on What is Payday to win by two clear goals.

  5. TJ says:

    It worries me that the single thing that would make this sequel be worth playing hasn’t been touted about at all: enemy AI that doesn’t behave like zombies.

    • LionsPhil says:

      You mean the police don’t just suicidally charge in a constant (yet surging) stream at armed criminals in real life. with hardworking officer of the law trying to protect innocent civilians after hardworking etc. etc. getting mowed down futilely?

    • Ringwraith says:

      You obviously have not been ambushed by cloakers.
      Flippin’ cloakers man.

  6. BreadBitten says:

    Dear RPS,

    Fuck you for reminding me of the total rectal examination that was my A Level exams.



    • Ross Angus says:

      Phew. I got an oral exam in German once, but sounds like I got away lightly. How the school system has changed.

      • Radiant says:

        I had an oral in germany once.
        Didn’t have enough for an a level though.

        Wait… what are /you/ guys talking about?

  7. LionsPhil says:

    Can we please get over persistent unlock systems in round-based games now.


    I know CoD had them. I know MMOs and F2Ps will forever have them as a valuable source of grind to keep people subscribing/buying boosts/etc.

    But in a up-front single-purchase traditional game they provide nothing but a timesink, and I just don’t have all day every day to sink into a game any more. I don’t want to even when I do.

    The era of arena shooters was quite happy to just give everyone the toys on the map. CounterStrike, Wolfenstein: ET, and others did a great mechanic where you could pick a subset of toys and level up within the round or small set of rounds, temporarily, so you could get some power escalation but if you’d played the game for five hours or five hundred earlier only mattered in terms of skill developed.

    Having to grind to be on equal starting footing in a pleasurable pastime is idiotic if not for profit. Grind is a mechanic you put in the way of fun to make people pay to bypass it.

    • Jekhar says:

      But, but… why should i play the game if i don’t get any rewards for doing so?

      You are right of course. Racing games unfortunately have also been infected with this leveling nonsense. It seems gamers in this time and age need constant rewards and positive feedback (Achievements anyone?) to keep playing a game.

    • Runty McTall says:

      Oh amen brother, amen.

      It’s pretty much the case that I see unlocks nowadays and am considerably less likely to play it because I know I will never have the time to get them and will therefore always be taunted by them (and likely at some sort of disadvantage, either in single- or multi-player (and often in both)). Too many other calls on my time in RL.

    • Sigh says:


      I agree entirely. Though I am starting to think that the majority of gamers enjoy (or are at least tolerant) of unlock systems and that I am increasingly the odd one out…standing in the cold looking in on a world that has generally moved on. I am just getting unlock fatigue. I put a lot of hours into Battlefield: Bad Company 2 progressing up the unlock ladder only to have to start at the beginning again with Battlefield 3 less than 2 years later. I play BF3 irregularly so I am only at level ~23 with tons of items still locked and unattainable. Now again at the 2-year mark Battlefield 4 will come rolling along to reset all progress yet again. The Sisypheans start seeing the top of the mountain, shrug their shoulders, and simply let go of the boulder, accepting their descent back to the base of the valley to collect their boulder and renew their toilsome task.

      I think I am done. I look at Battlefield 3.5 (I think the marketing teams are using “4”) and realize that I just don’t have the energy or time anymore to grind through another unlock system. Multiplayer shooters are becoming the new MMOs. That is why BF3’s Metro map was so popular: it presented the pure distillation of a grindfest. I long for the days when I could join a server and have near immediate access to all of the game’s toys. That is why I love Red Orchestra 2/Rising Storm and consider it one of the most important–albeit underrated–shooter games of the past few years.

      I am increasingly drawn to single-player games and I acknowledge that I might just be an old man whom loves hearing the rare train whistle echo in some distant valley, because it reminds me of the way things used to be.

      • B1A4 says:


        I loved RO2, but I have to say, that their unlocking/leveling system is absolutely stupid. Grind kills with Kar 98 to get bayonet? Or that leveling ‘class’ you get % for speed at everything? That is awful!

        And because there isn’t enough classic servers, man have to accept this ‘realism’.

        • Sigh says:

          I agree with you. Tripwire should have completely eliminated any leveling system…it should never have been included in the game.

          However, the lethality this game presents allows one to just about ignore the leveling system. The fact that a single bullet from a bolt action rifle (what most players will be working with) is usually enough to take down an enemy goes a long way towards overturning any incremental level gains some players may have. In RO2 I have never been annoyed by an implied difference in level, while in most other shooters it is annoying to play against others that have 2-3 times the amount of kit options that I have even if their kills are gained purely through skill.

          In RO2 I can jump into any match on any server and feel like I can make a difference. In Battlefield there are times of intense frustration such as when a helicopter is swatting my team, but I haven’t unlocked the appropriate launcher to deal with the situation.

        • Phendron says:

          What’s wrong with Realism? At least it’s not Action.

    • jonahcutter says:

      “Back in those days, we played games for FUN!” (said in a grandpa voice)

      Perhaps it’s due to there being far more options for players’ time now. Back in the day, there were fewer games to play. There were fewer -types- of games to play. We could find one or two we liked, and easily sink hundreds of hours into it without having almost weekly shiny new distractions coming out.

      Nowadays, there’s so many games to play, many of us complain about our increasing backlog of purchased but unplayed games.

      Progression systems help keep players playing nowadays, when they are under such intense pressure from other games.

    • Dog Pants says:

      I’m going to be the voice of dissent here and say I like persistent unlocks. It gives me a little metagame to work at if I start getting bored of endless manshooting. Sure, it only enables more manshooting, but I can do it in a slightly different way with a new toy I worked to achieve. In the case of Payday 2 it has the potential to let you specialise in a role, letting you feel you have more value than just your ability to shoot people. Maybe that’s because I’m just not that good at shooting people. But hey, maybe if we could live in a world where some games had persistent progression, and some didn’t, maybe we could all be happy.

    • newprince says:

      While I agree with you, there’s definitely a significant amount of people *cough WoW* who play games and want to be rewarded purely based on time spent playing the game.

    • Phendron says:

      The icing on the cake for me has to be Tekken Revolution, which has a leveling and stat-boosting system for a fucking FIGHTING GAME.

  8. DeathRow says:

    Black Sabbath shirt = I’m listening.

  9. BirdsUseStars says:

    I appreciate that we are talking to a dev and not one of those marketing type guys, but I’m gonna need this guy to turn down the excitement levels in this video!

  10. Gabbo says:

    It looks a lot more like what I was hoping the first game would be: pulling off the heist vs getting into mindless shootouts with the cops (aka SWAT4 as bank robbers).

  11. Freud says:

    Is there really a market for all these multiplayer games? Seems to me many of them end up being deserted after a month or two.

  12. Mudlab says:

    We now live in a world where shoddy Left 4 Dead re-skins make enough money to warrant sequels.

    • B1A4 says:

      I have much more fun with Payday than both L4Ds combined.

      • The Random One says:

        So did I.

        However, I’ve also had more fun clipping my fingernails than playing both L4D’s and Payday combined.

  13. Makariel says:

    The man in the video talks with such excitement, I almost fell asleep. So Payday 2 is kind of a RPG now? Does that mean I can play a woman bankrobber? Ah, not that kind of RPG. Does that mean I can walk freely across town, chat with random people and my decisions result in tangible differences in the outcome? Ah, not that kind of RPG. Well, not much of an RPG then, is it?

    • SkittleDiddler says:

      PAYDAY never was and never will be an RPG. What the first one was, however, turned out to be a rather boring L4D/Killing Floor mob clone, and I’m hoping that the second does it a bit better this time around.

      • Ringwraith says:

        He’s just saying they’re lifting RPG stuff, like proper skill trees and purchasing/selling equipment to put in.
        I am all for this.

  14. Nick says:

    This actually looks quite good. Unlike the first one.

  15. GameDreamer says:

    This is gonna be exciting!

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