Hoxton Hootenanny: Payday 2’s Crimefest Updates

Let's do some crimes!

Look, you can’t name your company Overkill Software then do things meekly. Your games need to shoot thousands of men, steal millions of dollars, and roll out patches in big ostentatious displays. To celebrate co-op heist ’em up series Payday’s third birthday, over twelve days Overkill have added to Payday 2 everything from new weapons and snazzy sunglasses to a grand new mission and a playable cheap Keanu Reeves lookalike, all for free. They called it Crimefest.

The twelve days of community challenges, announcements, and patches wrapped up yesterday, so let’s see what we’ve got: a party big filled with new weapons, modifications, masks, and sunglasses; a ten-minute live-action movie of shootybangs; a reworked skill system with a new skill tree; day and night versions of some maps; the announcement of more DLC; a playable version of John Wick, the eponymous hitman star of Keanu Reeves’s new movie (marketing!); the playable return of cheeky Brit heister Hoxton; and a big multi-stage heist to free Hoxton from custody. That’s quite a lot. You’ll need to join the Steam Community group to get all the shinies.

Sadly, the new female heister teased earlier this week wasn’t included with the final update. A creepy Scottish lady would’ve been a nice addition to a crew that’s now six dudes.

I haven’t got to free Hoxton myself yet as I don’t have a regular crew to play with and am still too low-level to make up for the AI’s shortcomings on higher difficulties. Boo. From what I’ve seen, though, it’s a big loud semi-linear thing across several missions with big fancy set pieces. Here’s a video I yoinked off YouTube showing how it kicks off:


  1. Capt. Eduardo del Mango says:

    In game, Keanu looks more like Lemmy off of Motorhead.

  2. jezcentral says:

    Yeah, the AI doesn’t help much if you are on your own.

    However, once you get a crew together, it’s utterly absorbing. I was at a LAN party during this summer’s Steam sale, and a group of us got the game, and got together in offline mode. 15 hours later, we finally came up for air.

    Yup, it even has a LAN mode. How great (and old-fashioned) is that, eh?

  3. McKillem says:

    First level of the breakout seems rushed, with reused assets and invisible walls in awkward places, but the second level makes up for it. It’s way too early to judge the new skill tree, as things might change at any moment, and balancing is an ongoing process, but it has something for everyone, from sneaky thieves to run’n’gunners.

  4. Dude (Darloc) says:

    No need for a crew really, you can play with stranger without a lot of communication if you are not doing stealth, stealth can be done on the easier level (banks, not the big one or go-bank, diamond store and jewelry store are fairly easy if you have access to ecm). The stealth mechanics could use some work (no way to distract the guards) but the game is pretty fun. There is tons of contents now and you can focus on being a stealth bastard or a gun-ho murdering gansta, all up to you. The new perk tree are also interesting and you keep them when you reset you level by becoming infamous which is a huge plus.
    All in all I have played this game regularly for over a year now and still not bored of it, playing it just with one friends make it a good experience!

  5. grundus says:

    The Hoxton heist is a ‘Plan B’ heist from the start so it should be quite randomer-friendly. Well, more than most. Random kickings, AFK hosts and all that other abominable crap still applies, of course, but at least you won’t have three people trying to stealth and one idiot (usually me, to be fair) running around like they know what they’re doing when they don’t.

    • Jalan says:

      Now I can’t stop picturing you joining a heist and quoting Brian Blessed over mic constantly while trying to figure out what’s going on.

  6. Jalan says:

    Must… resist… temptation… to barter with someone for the Fandango redemption key.

  7. Chaz says:

    Do you need 4 people to play this? I ask because I’ve been trying to play it with a mate of mine and we are dreadful at this. Either we just aren’t as good at FPS’s as we once were or you really do need 4 players to make it through a level. It doesn’t help that we don’t have much of a clue what we’re doing. We’re just sort of fumbling through it and trying to work out what we’re supposed to do. At some point though in any mission, the cops just start pouring in and we eventually get swamped. I think we’ve managed about 2-3 successful small robberies and lots of failed attempts. There doesn’t seem to be any sort of a learning curve or training, just a steep cliff with jagged rocks to keep falling down. Any money we earn seems to get wiped out by civilians getting chewed up in the cross fire. Which is a pain as everything seems to cost an absolute fortune. I’m pretty sure a professional criminal could pickup a pistol modification for less than $50k. In short, we suck so bad that I’m about to give up on it.

    • Dude (Darloc) says:

      Yes and no, I play regularly with a friend and sometime with more. We can do stealth job just the two of us but you need to gear for stealth (no armor, small guns, no melee weapons, all this reduce your detection level which mean guard and camera take longer to get to the alert state ), basic principle for a bank heist is to break a camera and lure the guard outside (they will come and check it), once all guards are dealt with, ECM rush the place (which means, place ECM and try to get all the civi under controls while it is going off). Note that they have a radius so you might have to use two. Kill the cashier, sad but they can raise the alarm quite easily. Usually you won’t have to kill any civ if you have cable guys and are careful, if you are out then you need to be ruthless.
      Practice with jewelry store, it probably the easiest one to stealth, then diamond and then bank.
      For non stealth, just open your game to every one, other people are much better than the IA (they can at least carry stuff and deploy ammo, health) and they might also give you some tips. The community as a whole is rather nice, and if you host you can always kick the nasty out.
      If you get taken out by cops to easily, drop the difficulty level, and remember to take cover to let your armor recover, the white ring around your health (green ring) is your armor, it regenerate if you do not take fire for a while, so crounch behind cover and wait if you start taking damage.
      Also there are some skills one of you should have, one should bring amo, the other health, this will make you survive longer. Take also cable guy (mastermind ace it), mule (enforcer, ace it) and fast hand (ghost, same ace it), those skill are really going to help for most of the heists.

      • Chaz says:

        Cheers for the tips. Will have to try and put some of that in practice. Part of the problem is we’re quite low level, so my guy only has one ECM etc. Which takes me back to the learning curve bit. There doesn’t seem to be much there to break you into the game and help you up the first few rungs of the ladder and get you started on your way.

        • Dude (Darloc) says:

          Some heist are design for low level, four store, mall crasher are really your entry level stuff, then jewelry is a bit harder if going loud but doable, watchdog is a loud one but if you dig in at the right place you will be fine. The banks excluding big bank and go-bank are also mid level stuff, once you know where to go. As mentioned open your game, the two of you plus IA won’t cut it to start with, even at low level you can get an infamous dropping in, usually they know what they are doing so follow their lead. The power of cover is really important, stick together and use cover to recharge your armor, upgrade your weapon (or change them)… Join the community group, you will get free weapons! Once you reach 20-30 in levels you can get some perks and skils that will make it easier.
          One ECM is not a problem, it is enough for jewelry and diamond, if you see the phone icon just shoot the fellow (hey you told him to get down and he didn’t listen). Once you know how to do those two move to bank. If you trigger the alarm just die, you probably will loose more time trying to make it through the police. If it is not a pro job you can try again anyway.
          And don’t forget “Guys, the thermal drill, go get it!”

  8. Chuckleluck says:

    As someone with chronically slow internet, do they really have to release the patches one at a time? Seems kinda gimmicky, and it means I can’t just set the game to update overnight and be done with it.

    • Chaz says:

      Yep the constant Steam updates for it really does annoy me quite a bit too. It wouldn’t be so bad but they seem to take ages to install. It feels like every other time I fire up Steam there’s a PayDay 2 update to download. I mean it’s nice that the devs are on it and are quite quick to fix things, but at the same time…..

      Guess they just can’t win huh?