Available Platforms: Playstation 4, Xbox One, PC
Developer: Overkill Software
Publisher: 505 Games
What I Played: way too much
Payday 2 is my favorite co-op game of all time. You would think that it would be something like Turtles in Time given my love for Beat ‘Em Ups, but Payday 2 is something special. It’s completely unique from concept to execution. Unfortunately, I made the mistake of only wanting to own and focus on one gaming machine at a time in my life so I have been playing the games on PS3 and now PS4. This is unfortunate because the only one that gets consistent updates is the PC version. The PS3 did eventually get a small batch with the Safecracker Edition but after that, nothing. Now the PS4 has The Big Score and most people assume the same thing will happen, though Overkill has said otherwise.
Well, technically nothing. The Big Score is the console release of all updates and DLC through 2015. That’s right: 2015. We still haven’t had any 2016 content released and it’s now four months in to 2017. That being said, it is all new to people plugging away on the console version so the list is as follows.
While The Big Score is a paid DLC pack, there was a group of free stuff that was added. The Jacket, Bonnie, and Bodhi character packs are all free. The overkill pack and Butcher’s Mods add a little variety to your arsenal. Obviously there were some heists included and they are the revisted First World Bank and Slaughterhouse, Honey I Shrunk The Heisters, After Shock, Meltdown, Santa’s Workshop, Cook Off, The Car Shop, and the “long awaited” Hoxton’s Revenge. Not bad for a free batch
The paid portion of the DLC features two new characters: the former hockey player Sokol and the Yakuza member Jiro. I’ve seen reactions from both ends of the spectrum on both of these characters but I tend to just like them all for the most part.
Weapon Packs always vary in usefulness. The ones included in The Big Score are The Butcher’s AK/CAR Mod Pack which is surprisingly a mod pack for the AK and CAR. The Butcher’s Western Pack is a western themed weapon pack that includes things like the Planesrider Bow and Dynamite throwable. The Butcher’s BBQ Pack introduces incendiary weapons into the game and has obvious weapons like the flamethrower and molotov. gage’s Chivalry Pack is a medieval weapon pack that focuses on crossbows and appropriately themed melee weapons like swords and axes. Finally, The Gage Ninja Pack really has very little to do with ninjas outside of the melee weapons and Shuriken throwing weapon.
You would think more heists would fall under the Paid category instead of Free, but there are four heists here compared to the nine free heists. Of course these are much more complex and not just revamped versions of previously existing heists. Alesso sees the gang breaking into a safe located beneath a crowded concert. The Golden Grin Casino is a heist given by Gustavo Fring that sends you to Vegas to knock off a large casino. The Point Break Heists are two heists inspired by the movie Point Break. The objective in Beneath The Moutain is to break into a secret Murkywater base and steal some classified loot and Birth of Sky has you hijacking a Murkywater plane when all kinds of fun ensues.
Despite Overkill’s best efforts, Payday 2 is still Payday 2. The variety of gameplay and heists, the challenge offered by the higher difficulties, the humor, the music, the inside jokes; everything is near perfect. However, there is one crucial misstep. As of this typing, the physical version of The Big Score still doesn’t work with the digital version of Crimewave Edition. That is, if you already own Payday 2 digitally, your save data will not work with The Big Score disc. Apparently, this is because The Big Score was assigned a separate content ID by Sony. They’ve been saying they were working on trying to fix it, but it took over a year to get anything meaningful updated the last time. Still, as long as you’re careful there shouldn’t be any problems. Get some friends together, grab some masks, get to heisting. And Wolf, stay off the dance floor.