E3: PAYDAY: The Heist Impressions

Apparently someone saw the first ten minutes of The Dark Knight and decided to make a six level video game based on that. Not to be too harsh on the downloadable title, but when you hear that the concept is ‘four thieves in clown masks rob a bank’, having that movie pop into your head is unavoidable. In fact, the game admittedly draws its inspiration from many popular heist films and tries its hardest to deliver a cinematic-like experience. So how does this FPS, available on PSN and PC, play?

I got to sit down and play a full level. Me and three others were tasked with robbing a bank and fighting off waves of cops, FBI agents, and S.W.A.T. team members, each having their own level of difficulty. The heavy duty S.W.A.T is heavily armored and carries a large machine gun for example. Team work and strategic planning are essential, since I had to learn the hard way that running head on against a half dozen cops by myself may not have been the best strategy.

It is harder than you may imagine since the cops could literally, come out from anywhere. They could drop from the ceiling, kick down the back door, even pop out of a near by elevator. The AI is adaptive and will come up with new ways to try and catch you off guard.

This may sound repetitive but there is a catch. You cannot kill the innocent hostages in the bank. If you accidentally kill all your hostages there is no reason for the cops to hold back and the gameplay will change dramatically. Also there is an option to tie up hostages and arrange a trade for a captured teammate so they are the best leverage you have.

Each level will present a different location and a different task so you will not be hijacking a bank six times. Instead you will be stealing an armored vehicle, breaking into a panic room, and even busting someone out of prison. Though the single player levels can be played with AI filling the rolls of the other three thieves, this is definitely a game you need to play with friends in co-op. Doing so will raise your rank and earn you experience. Upgrade options will also be available for your weapons and your skill sets, giving you the edge against the law.

There is no set release date for Payday: The Heist, but It will likely be released this year and if you are a fan of heist films then this is the closest experience you can have to it, besides actually robbing a bank of course.


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