Payday 2 – The Big Score DLC Review
It’s a coincidence that during the same week I’ve been playing Payday 2: The Big Score, the Kim Kardashian jewellery heist in Paris happened. In fact, the heist we’re hearing about in the news could have easily been mistaken for a level from Payday 2. Payday 2 is all about pulling off daring heists with maximum rewards. Payday 2 on the PS4 and Xbox One has always lagged behind the PC version in terms of updates. The Big Score DLC update hopes to shorten this gap by including all the content that has been released for the PC version until the end of 2015. It’s a bit disappointing that we’re almost at the end of 2016 and The Big Score doesn’t include any of the 2016 PC updates. That being said, there’s still a good deal of content offered in this package.
The Big Score includes a number of new heists, character and weapon packs. The Big Score can be acquired a few different ways for players both new and familiar with the series. If you already own the Crimewave Edition of the game you can pay for the new update. Those new to the series can also simply buy the base game along with the Big Score update and if money is tight, you can chose to buy the individual DLC packs.
“One of Payday 2’s strengths has always been the variety of heists offered.”
One of Payday 2’s strengths has always been the variety of heists offered. Heists range from quick jobs like robbing banks to more complex ones that can have several parts and objectives to them. The new heists offered in Big Score continue with this tradition. There are three heist packs as part of the Big Score including Pointbreak, Alesso and Golden Grin Casino Heists. The heists are a lot of fun if you’re playing with the right people and offer a level of tension not seen in many other titles. My favourite of the new heists was probably the Golden Grin Casino since that heist can almost take a half hour to complete. These heists also allow you the option to go “loud” or play using “stealth”, which offer some replayability.
Also included as part of the Big Score are several weapons packs including ninja, chivalry, western, BBQ and yakuza. Some of these packs perform a lot better than others. The chivalry pack is easily the weakest since weapons such as swords and crossbows are not very effective and I’ve always disliked the melee play in Payday 2.
The other weapons packs are a lot more effective and worth your time. My favourites include the yakuza pack, which features a pretty handy mini uzi and the revolver from the western pack. The BBQ pack is also another great addition as the grenade launcher, flame thrower and shotgun will definitely add some kick to your arsenal and put enemies in their place.
When it comes to video games, I’ve honestly never been a huge fan of character customization. The Big Score features some new characters and masks and I’ve always found that these kinds of DLC are always subjective. That being said, the character packs do feature new weapons and modifications, so if character customization isn’t your cup of tea, a shiny new rifle just maybe incentive enough to give the pack a try.
One complaint I do have with Payday 2 in general is that the online community isn’t as large as I’d like to be. There were many games I’d join that only had 1 or 2 players (out of the maximum of 4) and I spent too much time waiting for other people to join, only to leave the game and find another heist.
When things do work properly and you’re playing with skilled players, Payday 2 is an absolute blast. I can’t remember playing another online cooperative shooter that was so exciting and filled with a real sense of teamwork. When things start to hit the fan and everyone on the team assumes their role, there’s a tension and anxiety I haven’t felt in many other games. Is this plan going to work? Where will the cops come from? These are the questions that are always racing through my mind during the fog of a virtual heist.
The visuals are still one of the weaker points of Payday 2. Payday 2 looks like it could have been mistaken for a PS3 game. Even interacting with the environments is fairly limited. I’d frequently fire at cars and building windows only to find that almost every object in the environment appeared to be bullet proof. The new Casino Heist does add a little more interactivity as you can play the slot machines and get payouts. It’s a step in the right direction, but sadly the rest of the heists don’t follow this.
While the Big Score comes with a hefty price tag, it also comes with a good deal of solid content. While you may not enjoy everything the Big Score has to offer, the same great gameplay that captured your attention is back with even more bells and whistles.
***A PS4 review copy was provided by the publisher***
- Cooperative online play is fun
- New heists are great
- Most of the weapon packs are solid
- Poor AI still persists
- Online community could be larger
- Visuals look a generation