“All my life I wanted to be a bank robber. Carry a gun and wear a mask. Now that it’s happened I guess I’m just about the best bank robber they ever had. And I sure am happy”. – John Dillinger
Hoxton, Dallas, Chains and Wolf return to the underground criminal world in the controversial yet iconic Payday 2 Crimewave Edition, which has made an upgrade of sorts to the next gen consoles. Crimewave Edition comes with all the swagger, know how and brute force of the original game but with a lot of new extra heists and features thrown into the mix.
For those not in the know, Payday 2 is a four player co-op shooter centred around criminals performing various contracts or ‘Heists’. Players can choose to perform these jobs either offline or through Paydays Crime.Net menu, where players from across the world can meet up and complete Heists together. Released in 2013 for the Xbox 360 and Playstation 3, Payday 2 enjoyed great success and very quickly became a cult classic. Two years on and Overkill along with publishers 505 Games, have ported the game to the next gen consoles.
Crimewave Edition introduces new criminal A.I’s to the fray with John Wick a personal highlight. Wick, for anyone yet to see the film is a character played by Keanu Reeves who portrays a multi skilled hitman who goes on a revenge fuelled rampage after the loss of his wife and dog, armed with some amazing gun skills he proceeds execute everyone in sight, John Woo style. Other new characters include ‘Original’ Hoxton and introduces a female criminal in Clover.
John Wick knows a thing or two about guns
While comparing the game across two different consoles the first major notable difference are the graphics, which are now in 1080p, though sadly still running at 30fps. This however doesn’t really affect the game and certainly shouldn’t be enough to put potential buyers off and why would it, the game runs just as smooth as before and feels to a degree, more slicker with crisp clean visuals and a brand new soundtrack.
Players wishing to transfer their saved game across to the Xbox One will be saddened to discover that this option doesn’t exist, nothing from the previous title travels with you and all players will start out again at reputation zero. This however is appeased by the wealth of new features to accompany Crimewave Edition.
Cor blimey governor!
The updated game has more features then you can swing the proverbial stick at and has some great previously unseen additions, new to the consoles. Players will now be able to start work on a brand new skill tree in the shape of Fugitive, Fugitive has some great unlockable abilities with the capability to highlight groups of people within a certain radius. Other great skills for the Fugitive include being able to hold an additional body bag, there is also a Skill for holding specific Akimbo weapons.Various damage perks are also available.
Never seen before in Payday on the console, players can now regenerate after reaching reputation 100 but it comes at a great cost. Fans of Call Of Duty and Titanfall will know all too well the sacrifice made when choosing to ‘gen up’ but in Payday 2 Crimewave Edition the cost is very excessive. $200,000,000 will disappear from the players offshore account, all skills will go with it plus any spare cash laying around. The upside is that depending on the tier players move up to there are added incentives for doing so, with more experience earned then normal after a successful heist and cheaper skills available. Regeneration looks a very appealing option.
Other noteworthy new features include the Perk Deck which allows players to convert earned experience into spendable points, when used these points can make your character in the game stronger, build up the team around you with added stamina for everyone in the game. The Perk Deck feature adds a different dynamic to the game and gives the experience points gained more meaning.
The Perk Deck adds more depth to the criminal with health perks included.
The games mechanics are essentially the same as the last gen, with grenades the only real addition to the players arsenal. Armed with three grenades should be a good thing but they can be a bit fidgety as you have to aim at an angle to get it to go anywhere. More often than not, once thrown it is the player who needs to avoid them and this can prove a little frustrating. Enemies act in a strange ways, appearing to be a little clunky at times and stay still long enough for you to empty a clip into without avoiding incoming bullets. I can’t help but feel that the enemies could have been given a little more life and appear less robotic.
The A.I’s act in a very similar way, they will follow you around and pick you up when you become immobile. However they offer very little in the way of objective help and can all too often be found standing completely still needing them to be shouted at several times to get them moving again. They don’t really add anything new to the game and for people experiencing it by themselves the A.I’s lack of assistance leaves you having to put in quite a shift to finish the job successfully.
I wouldn’t want to wake up to find this guy at my Christmas Tree
As well as being able to enjoy the original Heists from Payday 2 on the last gen, there are eight brand new contracts to experience, this is where the value for money aspect comes in. The new Heists give the game extra life and bring a lot of enjoyment at the same time. White Xmas is a heist where players must escort a rather absurdly drunk Pilot through a wooded terrain, retrieving Christmas wrapped boxes loaded with cocaine packages along the way. Enemies line the woods in an attempt to take out the criminals by any means, the Pilot however sleeps through most of the contract and falls over at every opportunity, White Xmas is a heist that will no doubt leave players rolling around in hysterics.
The fun continues in The Hoxton Breakout, where the criminals must break ‘original’ Hoxton out of prison, fully equipped with his deep grisly English accent Hoxton needs support as he attempts to make it to the FBI Headquarters unharmed in order to destroy any computer files on himself. Once off the streets players must defend Hoxton while he hacks the FBI servers, while following a barrage of orders in the process. Holding down the FBI HQ was one of the games highlights for me.
Overkill plan to deal out updates and extra content for Payday 2 Crimewave Edition over the course of the next two years, so expect even more Heists, masks and mods throughout that period. That claim alone should keep the game in good stead. Xbox 360 owners however would no doubt quickly point out that their particular version didn’t receive any downloadable content, while the PC did.
There are eight glorious new heists to enjoy
Overall, Payday 2 Crimewave Edition packs a similar punch to that of the previous console, but with the welcome addition of having a plethora of brand new features at it’s disposal and some new Heists to keep people interested. More masks than ever before are now available, ranging from the uniquely insane to the beautifully gruesome. The update has brought even more weapons for players to sink their teeth into and the added option of being able to choose each individual heists soundtrack, which in my opinion was something the game lacked before.
Some gameplay issues still remain but the added content makes Crimewave a value for money game and there are certainly hours of fun and enjoyment to be had out of it. At the end of the day, who doesn’t want to team up with three other friends and take out a bank while bass thumping music plays through the tv. The game has been updated with 1080p in mind and it shows, visually the update is brilliant and even the lack of 60fps wont be enough to put gamers off of this game.