When I first purchased PAYDAY: The Heist back in October of 2011, I spent my first hour of gameplay cursing at my monitor as the game would barely run on my old laptop. If someone had told me that I was going to be avidly playing it in 2013, I would have laughed in their face. But here we are more than a full year after the release of what many critics wrote off as an “almost great” game. And while those critics are entitled to their opinion...they are wrong.
PAYDAY accomplished exactly what it set out to do. It provided a re-playable cooperative experience with some light but in depth RPG elements like weapon upgrades and unlocks. What's more, it did so without resorting to making a modern military shooter. Granted, it wasn't perfect but the flaws were only skin deep, such as the voice acting which is lovingly teased by pretty much anyone who has played the game.
Maybe I’m just a sucker for objective-based co-ops, but doesn't anyone else get burnt out after hours of League of Legends or Black Ops 2? Granted competitive games seem to be “the haps” right now, but I think there is a serious demand for some relaxed co-op action. I would even argue that the inclusion of co-op allows players to overcome some of the flaws of the game.
Resident Evil 5 for instance was generally ill-received, but my experience with that game was nothing short of a total blast...simply because a friend was involved. I couldn't summarize the plot of Resident Evil 5 to save my life but what I can say is that when the credits rolled the only thoughts in my mind were, "Man, I really wish there was more of this game.”
I think the reason I feel so strongly about PAYDAY is because of how sure I was that I hated it when I first bought it. But my opinion couldn't have changed more drastically over the course of my sixty-plus hours logged in that game. Free DLC helped, of course, and the unlocks definitely held my interest to a point but what really keeps me going are the people I play it with, my friends. Providing a casual cooperative platform for friends to create their own hijinks in my opinion, is one of the smarts investments a developer can make right now.
Long story short, if you haven't taken the time to check out PAYDAY: The Heist, you can do it on Steam for just $19.99 and it's more than worth your money.