‘Payday’ proves money isn’t everything

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By Laith Salama / Staff Writer

Kill the hostages (Games Press)

By Laith Salama / Staff Writer

Bank heists have been widely enjoyed in modern entertainment.

Several movies have been made specifically about crime capers such as “Point Break,” and “Public Enemies.”

 All loved movies, all about organized crime but no video games. At least none staged completely around robbing banks.

“Payday: The Heist” is a four-player co-op first-person shooter completely revolving around crime capers.

Its setup is very much like the zombie apocalypse franchise, “Left 4 Dead,” but instead of mowing down hordes of the undead, players get to take on the unforgiving police department.

Like “Left 4 Dead,” there is no real storyline. Just a premise: you versus the law.

When the first heist boots up, players feel the heat immediately.

They start yelling at civilians, shooting at cops, telling each other to destroy video cameras and doing just about everything else associated with holding up a bank.

Since it is a multiplayer co-op, this translates well amongst friends yelling orders at each other as they try to beat the game.

But what makes this game unique is that things actually go wrong. Players don’t get points for being evil and just going in and shooting up the place.  

Anything that an actual bank robber would have to take into consideration, so does the player.

Different factors come into play during each different heist and a different outcome happens every time that will keep the players on their toes and coming back for more.

There is an upgrade system (usually a good thing) that lets players choose from new perks, guns and upgrades as they move forward. It’s challenging, it’s fun, and it’s unique.

But there are some problems here. The game lacks in its budget. You can download the game for twenty dollars and it has no disk form.

The gameplay is good enough considering this, but certainly not as sharp as gamers are used to.

The shooting mechanics are basic and the graphics lack. If the developers at Overkill had more money to work with they could perfect the game’s obvious flaws.

However that’s just it, no real flaws anywhere else. The game runs smooth and the gameplay and mechanics work. It’s just not as shiny as it could be, or as in depth.

There is a lot to do within the heists themselves. The game constantly has you doing something to the point that even the downtime feels tense, at the very least in anticipation. Players never feel at ease until the job is done.

“Payday” also has a hostage system that can buy time and even get crew members back should they fall into custody. There is emphasis on crowd control, minimizing evidence and reducing casualties. Players are there for the money, and they are aware of that.

Most games try too hard to be the next big thing without working on making something new.

“Payday’s” mechanics are basic, yes, but the idea behind the gameplay is new. It doesn’t try to be amazing, and it’s not, but it’s interesting and has an interested audience.

Given the unscrupulous nature of the game, people may ask, “does this game glorify crime?” Honestly, it does, like everything else in American entertainment.

But the game is rated M and children shouldn’t be anywhere near it. As a political concern if people should be worried about anybody playing this game, it’s nothing new in the waves of corrupting the youth.

“Grand Theft Auto,” “God of War,” “Doom,” “Mortal Kombat” and many other video games in the past have already gone where “Payday” follows.

“Payday: The Heist” is worth every penny of its $20 and playing the game will make gamers wish it had more production behind it. Best possible scenario: everyone will buy it, love it, and Overkill will get sponsored for a sequel.

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