E3 2011: PAYDAY: The Heist hands-on preview

One of our teammates drops a bag of ammo. As you keep playing PAYDAY, you’ll experience points that can unlock perks for you to use in future heists. Some of them will allow you to improve your skill with various weapons, while others are team upgrades that provide statistical support to your friends, like increased team life or accuracy. Since PAYDAY is a very team-oriented game, OverKill is also adding a feature it’s calling “Noob Lube,” which will award players with bonus XP for protecting and helping new players who might not be familiar with all the ins and outs in PAYDAY’s various heist missions. “It’s a way to encourage experienced players to help out the new guy – and it makes it so that you don’t feel like you have to be the guy rushing ahead to do things on your own for XP,” explains Andersson – and there are over 145 level-up perks that can be earned so far.

As we make our way to the next objective, which charges us with planting cases of thermite to melt through the floor of the room with the all the loot, we make sure to shoot down security cameras along the way. By removing them, we’re making our job easier. The game’s AI will monitor security feeds spread throughout the bank. If they see you or one of your teammates alone, for example, they’ll single that player out. Swarming him and stunning him with tasers.

Above: Enemy encounters aren’t scripted, so the way FBI agents and SWAT team members try to take you out should be a little different each time

Above: Sticking together with your team is important for any successful heist

Before we jump down through the melted floor to bag up our stacks of cash, one of our teammates experiences what it’s like to be left for dead. A hulking guard stuns our partner with a taser, preventing him from joining us on the floor below. There’s no going back now, and no way for us to fight our way back to his position to help him back up. But if we had taken more hostages, we might have been able to negotiate a trade to get him back. That’s how the revival system works in PAYDAY, which seems rather brilliant.

The World Bank heist will be just one of six missions available when PAYDAY launches this summer – and they’re not all bank robberies. One mission will find you and your partners in crime raiding a drug dealer’s den. Another charges you with rescuing a prisoner from a convoy. In that one, you’ll have to blow up a bridge to stop traffic in order to bust in and extract your target. There’s even a heist that’s going to be called the “Heat Street.” As you might imagine, it’ll inspired by the famous street shootout scene from the 1995 heist film.

Above: Gameplay footage from SOE’s booth at E3 2011

PAYDAY: The Heist looks surprisingly good with higher production values than you'd normally expect from a downloadable game. It looks great when the SWAT team drops smoke grenades and the pacing during our first heist felt tight and fast-paced. We expect that lots of L4D fans will be taking a break from their journey to the safe house when PAYDAY releases. Let’s just hope everyone remembers to bring their headsets and mics when PAYDAY: The Heist launches on PSN and for the PC this summer.

Jun 16, 2011 


  • RedOutlive10 - June 17, 2011 6:53 p.m.

    A very fun idea, I always thought of a L4D squad combat game has tons of potential but there's a problem, zombies and aliens and etc are the easiest route for this kind of game because of the hive like mind that just charges forward. Now when you put soldiers in the equation the AI better be great or the gameplay will suffer, either being cheap or easily exploitable.
  • Crypto140 - June 17, 2011 12:51 p.m.

    Lets see here: Left 4 Dead style liek gameplay that is new everytime, a new kind of game based off of bank heists, and a system that encourages people to not only work with your team but rewards you for it so there will be no people who rush? I wanted this game when I first layed eyes on it, then I leanred there are different missions that arnt only just bank robbieries? Sexy.
  • rxb - June 17, 2011 12:03 p.m.

    Im kinda jealous theres no plans for a 360 version. Its a shame I love heist films.
  • insertdisk - June 17, 2011 8:09 a.m.

    I am so getting this on PSN, my headset should be arriving today too
  • TheIronMaiden - June 17, 2011 4:21 a.m.

    looks very interesting indeed
  • kyle94 - June 17, 2011 3:27 a.m.

    Looks rather interesting. I just hope Fox News never finds about it. *Sigh* I can hear it now. "Cop-killing bank-robbing simulation for kids!?!"
  • RedHarlow - June 17, 2011 3:02 a.m.

    Looks pretty dec. If the DLC Heists were free, I'm definitely in.
  • Bantha_Fodder - June 17, 2011 2:09 a.m.

    totally buying this one.
  • StuntzMcKenzy - June 17, 2011 1:03 a.m.

    @Crumbdunky It's a SOE (SonyOnlineEntertainment) game. But I wish this was coming to XBox. Time to up grade my computer.
  • crumbdunky - June 17, 2011 12:46 a.m.

    Why not Live? This is Activision published isn't it? I cannot see Sony paying much as it's on PC too so WHY keep 360 gamers, who're used to L4D1 and 2, Out? Admittedly the versions Valve made for 360 are so far behind the PC versions, esp when compared to, say, ME1 or other games on both platforms, that it feels a massive con that they're more expensive and that's even without going into mods which are what kept L4D going for longer than a week for me and the extra options you always get with a PC title. Point is, I think 360 gamers jonesing for more L4D content might gobble this up more readily than PC gamers who HAVE L4D mods and the better versions or PS3 gamers without anything similar to judge it by-and therefore crave. Just seems an odd decision by the World's favourite money grabbers to me and thus I'm imagining exactly what deranged deal there is in place which left us with the only paid for online gaming service being the only one without an Activision online title. Will pay for good, brain pain saving info OR dance madly for noodles.
  • Yeager1122 - June 17, 2011 12:19 a.m.

    Actually sounds alot cooler than i thought it would.

Showing 1-11 of 11 comments

Join the Discussion
Add a comment (HTML tags are not allowed.)
Characters remaining: 5000