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Payday 2: Crimewave Edition Co-op Review

Payday 2: Crimewave Edition is for all intents and purposes, a remastered game-of-the-year version of the 360/PS3 title. Payday revolves around four players teaming up for epic banks heists of increasing difficulty which require precise cooperation and teamwork. The core gameplay includes planning, executing, and escaping with as much loot as possible in a mission-by-mission structure. The Crimewave Edition brings fully polished visuals, 99 new weapons, new heists, and over 140 new masks to customize. The full list of additions can be viewed here and is valued at over $80 of new content.

As a cooperative focused game our four reviewers: Omega, PandoraMagic, and Bond have all written a short excerpt detailing their thoughts on the game. Each reviewer has given their own score out of 10.

Omega: I didn't know much about Payday 2: Crimewave Edition coming into it. I didn't play it on the last generation of consoles and the only information I had on the game was it's 4 player co-op and you rob banks. Come to find out, the game is a little deeper than that. From all the guns, modifications and masks, which are customizable, you can unlock to all of the different skills/skill trees to choose from, there's enough customization alone to keep you busy. All of these guns, mods & skills are also enough to make you want to pull more heists to unlock them and become more efficient at knocking off banks, jewelry stores, armored trucks, etc. It's a very addictive and entertaining circle and with the right co-op partners, Payday 2 is a blast.

However, the single player mode is not very fun and the a.i. partners are pretty much useless. They spend most of their time getting shot and they don't carry any loot. They're a distraction for the police at best but that only lasts until they go down. And you can forget about trying to loot an entire bank vault with them on the harder difficulties. Other than that, the only complaint I have is the gunplay not being great, it is good enough to do the the job though. And it gets a little better as you unlock better guns and gun mods.

Co-operative play is where this game shines and how I recommend playing it. There's a great sense of satisfaction when you pull off a heist that drowns you in cash and xp so you can buy more guns & skills just to do it all over again. There's enough mission variety to keep it from getting stale for a good amount of time and the music in the game is pretty awesome as well.

Score: 7.5/10 "Good"

Pandora: While I like certain aspects of Payday 2. The concept is decent and there aren't too many heist type of games on the market. Sadly the execution is lacking, I didn't play the 360 version so I can't compare the two but this game should have stayed on the 360. I like that there are so many different masks to choose from and I do like the perks for your character and skill trees. I like the variety you have I just don't care too much on how acquiring mods and masks even color choices are way to random, it's all luck based. You'll be playing endlessly trying to get certain parts to a gun you have equipped. Most important I'm not a big fan on the shooting mechanics, doesn't seem to matter what weapon you choose, just not enough control for my taste.

With all the DLC added you definitely have a lot of different missions to choose from which is a plus but if you choose to reach level 100 you will be grinding certain missions repeatedly which can get boring. This game is a challenge to stealth however, especially in 4 player co-op and playing on the hardest difficulty might very well be just as much of a challenge. Overall this game has some good features, I like that it can challenge you. However the shooting is terrible and I'm not a fan of a luck based system in acquiring mods for your weapons. This game won't have much of a replayability factor for me just on those two things alone. On the bright side every time I play this game I feel the urge to watch Point Break.

Score: 6/10 "Decent"

Magic: After experiencing everything Payday 2 had to offer on Xbox 360, I was excited to see what the team at Overkill could add to the series. Well, I wasn't disappointed. Crimewave Edition is practically a whole new game. The sheer amount of new heists, masks, weapons, and not to mention the entirely new Perk Decks, characters, Fugitive Skill Tree, Infamy Ranks, and Offshore Betting make the game feel really fleshed out. In Payday 2, your Offshore Account was essentially useless. After completing missions, the majority of your earnings would go to your Offshore Account which wasn't used for anything. In Crimewave Edition, that money can now be used to bet for rare cards and purchase contracts directly, another rather large blunder in the original version. 

With the added number of missions, there is a lot more variety on a mission-to-mission basis now than there ever was. Heists missions have you stealing money or valuable objects, Escapes have you defending your loot against cops, there are missions themed around popular actors such as Giancarlo Esposito (Breaking Bad, Revolution) and Bokeem Woodbine (Devil, Total Recall), and even a few based on Christmas and Hotline Miami. During a mission briefing there will sometimes be a sentence declaring "stealth is an option". These are my favorite types of missions and as long as you have the right skills unlocked they can be really fun. The new Shadow Raid mission for example is an instant fail if the alarm sounds. You need to quietly sneak into the warehouse, steal a certain number of valuables (depends on the difficulty), and bring them back to your getaway vehicle. The main difference between Payday 2 and other stealth games is that you can't simply stealth kill all of the enemies. After four enemies have died, the guards will start to know something is up and sound the alarm. This can really make for intense moments as you try to avoid as many guards as possible.

Overall, Payday 2: Crimewave Edition is one of the best GOTY/Remasters I have seen on current generation consoles. The amount of new content puts other games to shame. If you enjoyed Payday 2 on Xbox 360 or PS3, there is more than enough reason for you to come back. If you didn't, well this is basically Payday 3. There are a few glitches, however, including the Crime Net freezing which are holding me back from rating it higher.

Score: 7.5/10 "Good"

Bond: I went into the Crimewave Edition of Payday 2 thinking I knew what was what having played it quite a lot on Xbox 360. Boy was I wrong. There is so much more here to play and makes it so much more than a simple remaster. If you played it on 360 and are thinking "I played it before, I don't need to play the remaster" you are very wrong. This is almost a whole a new game. New heists, new masks, new guns, new skill trees, skill systems and ranking it's mind blowing how much there is here to play.

Playing in Co-op is great fun as it always was but I think stealth missions only work with a maximum of 2 people, unless you are VERY well coordinated. However pulling off the more "Hollywood" type of heists where you run in and shoot up the place is a blast with players each having their role. We played almost exclusively on the OVERKILL difficulty and the action was intense, this is helped hugely by the soundtrack. The music in the game makes you feel very much like you are in a Hollywood heist movie and the ability to select which track you want playing while you are shooting up the place is an awesome addition.

The achievement's in the game are also a huge improvement over the last generation versions. This time around you need a lot more skill that luck, which was always the problem I had with the old list. Here you are tasked with some pretty daunting challenges but at least they are dependent on your abilities and not so much a random number generator.

I did however have a few issues with the game that detracted from the huge amounts of fun I was having. Hit detection was one of them. Sometimes, even at point blank, my bullets would not hit the enemies (and I know I'm not THAT bad at aiming). It's either that or the bullets were hitting the target and I just wasn't getting the visual hit marker. Either way it threw me off my game. The other issue came with receiving bullets. Sometimes it would say I'm getting shot from the right despite there being nothing there except a wall. Reloading also felt wrong. Sprinting or interacting would cancel the whole action unless the bullets were loaded (like a lot of games) but it felt like the gun was loaded and the game wouldn't apply the bullets for a split second or two which would make me start the animation all over again because I would sprint away.

Overall I think Payday 2 Crimewave Edition is an amazing package and is an absolute blast to play. If you have 3 mates then jump into some high octane action. If they aren't around then get sneaky and try some stealth. Both options give the game huge variety. If you are thinking "It's just another shitty remake being pumped out like the rest of them" then slap yourself. This is so much more than a remaster. The amount of content here is through the roof, it makes the last generation version feel like a demo. If you enjoyed it 2 years ago then you should definitely pick this up. You will not be disappointed.

Score: 8/10 "Great"
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  1. I was holding off on the 360 version after the announcement of an Xbox One port. It seems like you all gave it a relatively solid review despite the flaws so I am optimistic about trying it.

    I also like this structure for the reviews. Each of you had a different approach (Bond spoke about achievements, Omega covered SP) and some overlapping areas, but between the 4 you all covered the entire game. Definitely a refreshing format...


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