PAYDAY - A First Look from E3

Ten Ton Hammer got a first look at PAYDAY, an intriguing heist game where players attempt to pull off the perfect job in FPS fashion.
Apart from the day of the week we all look forward to and a chocolate bar, what is PAYDAY? This was the very question I asked when I visited the Sony Online Entertainment Booth Tuesday afternoon. The developers from Overkill were happy to answer that question for me.

Published by SOE, PAYDAY is at its very core, a heist game. Think Die Hard, Point Break or even elements of the Matrix and you'll have a bit of an idea what awaits in PAYDAY.

payday: the heist

payday: the heist

This action packed FPS is completely co-op as you and your teammates try to pull off a heist. And, if you're the lonely type, worry not, your team will always be four members and the computer will control any of the teammates that are not controlled by a real player. While the game is not cross-platform, it can be played on the PC or PlayStation 3 so you'll have plenty of opportunity to bring friends or make new ones if you so choose.

There will be six different heist scenarios at launch with more heists being offered later as DLC. Out of the box the missions will include a bank heist, a prisoner transport hijacking, a corporate party (DIE HARD!) and an on street shootout much like the one seen in the movie Heat.

payday: the heist

Playing through the bank heist was what really got me hooked on this game. It does play like one would expect a FPS to play out with different weapons, ammo, health packs and the like, but the story unravels as you try to rob the bank. First, you'll need to get the bank manager under control. You can do that either by wounding him or by threatening him with your voice. That's right, your in-game voice is a function and a highly useful one. Intimidate hostages or even police with your commanding voice. Do it well enough and you may even be able to convince a cop to cuff himself.

After capturing the bank manager, the plan rolled on as we planted explosives, drilled through some doors and other mini-missions one would expect to have to perform in a heist. It wasn't without challenge though. Eventually the Police were able to get into the bank and begin an assault. When that happened we had to stop what we were doing and regain control of the bank. Should one of our teammates get injured or captured, it would be up to the rest of us to either heal him or trade a hostage for him.

payday: the heist

payday: the heist

To the disappointment of my teammates I kept forgetting to take out the security cameras. Due to my negligence the cops were often able to move in on us unexpectedly.

So what happens after you complete all the heists? Does it have any replay value? Very much so. The game includes RPG elements which allow for character advancement. The more heists you perform, the more levels you gain (up to 85) and the more abilities you unlock. These abilities can come in the form of faster reload time, better accuracy, more damage and other abilities that will allow you to perform better and faster. All of these abilities come in the form of advancement trees so it is up to the player to decide which areas they want to improve in first. Eventually it is possible to max out in all branches, but for the sake of optimization a player may choose specific paths to unlock first.

The game is scheduled for launch later this year so keep an eye out. If you're like me, being part of a heist is a very hard thing to resist.

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