The Payday series has always provided entertainment with a mix of competitive gameplay mechanics. From an addictive but sometimes confusing heist simulation to a chaotic Left 4 Dead-inspired shooter, each title presented a wildly changing mission structure that encouraged cooperative play. Payday 3 doesn’t reinvent the wheel, as it features many of the same core concepts as the previous games. However, some clever design decisions and the fresh coat of paint help it stand out from the previous iterations of this popular series.
At first glance, Payday 3 seems identical to its predecessors, especially when it comes to multi-stage heists. Most begin with you gathering information while posing as a “civilian” and noting where the guards and cameras are. If the alarm goes off or you are caught doing something illegal, a new phase begins and your goals change; You must trap hostages while finding an alternative route to secure the loot while the police make their way to your location. Basically, that’s when the whole shooting begins.
This gameplay loop will certainly be familiar to fans. What makes Payday 3 special, however, is the way it gets around the series’ long-standing difficulty problems. The previous Payday games struggled to balance their vague objectives with tricky sim-like mechanics, often leading to frustration and confusion for both new and experienced players. In older titles, it was bad enough when you didn’t know what to do or where to go at a certain point, but you had to deal with overzealous NPCs alerting you to your presence even if you didn’t mind violated the law. makes things worse. Fortunately, Payday 3 addresses this problem in a number of ways, most notably eliminating the more complicated aspects of its heists.
Gone are the pre-planning elements, the needlessly complicated objectives and cumbersome hostage management systems. In their place are streamlined features that make it easier for players to understand what they need to do and have clear means of dealing with a given situation. Instead of shouting at bystanders to get them to cooperate, NPCs now recognize that you are pointing a gun at them and automatically submit. A few button presses later and they’ll either be tied up, follow you, or be used as a human shield – a new mechanic that comes in handy during firefights.
Thanks to your supervisor, no planning is required (other than learning the layout of a site through repetition). She often offers suggestions to help you navigate Payday 3’s labyrinthine maps. If that’s not enough, on Normal difficulty you can find clues that will point you to the annoying wall safe or the bank manager’s computer.
When it comes to Payday 3’s mission objectives, there’s still a lot to do for players who want to go stealthy. As you case a joint, you’ll be given optional tasks ranging from stealing keycards to gain access to a room containing a building’s security systems to using UV light to unlock the real-life version of an invaluable Identify the painting. All but one of the heists have multi-stage steps that must be completed to get away cleanly. The difference is that the goals are simplified; Instead of building a piece of equipment from parts scattered around the map, you take the bag containing the item and place it where you want it.
It’s exciting to do a tough job under a hail of gunfire. This is even more true when the crime goes unnoticed and a crew escapes with the loot without firing a shot – a feat made easier to accomplish thanks to these major gameplay improvements in Payday 3. Additionally, almost everything else about Payday has been improved. From the leveling and vendor systems – which give you new weapons, mods, equipment, skills and cosmetics – to the voiceovers and images. Even the bots have improved; They don’t complete objectives, but they quickly drop supplies and enemies.
There are some rough edges to deal with. The different cop/SWAT variants aren’t always the smartest, the game has some bugs, and there aren’t that many weapon options to begin with. You’ll get a decent long-range rifle early on (which you can eventually upgrade with a scope), but you’ll have to wait until you reach level 43 for a real repeating sniper rifle. Considering that after more than 10 hours of play and several successful heists, I was only able to reach level 24, and it might take me some time to get the coveted rifle. Still, none of these issues should stop fans and newcomers from trying out Payday 3 once the early server issues are fully resolved; Since launch, several updates have been available, allowing people to get back in on the action on a regular basis.
Payday 3’s eight heists are as challenging as they are entertaining; The inevitable police shootouts are hectic and fun, and the redefined objectives make onboarding new players easier than ever. Finally Payday has become the Ocean’s Eleven/Point break Hybrid that his fans have always wanted.