When I sat down and played OVERKILL’s PAYDAY: The Heist at E3 2011 I fell in love, as many players did.  Here was a first person shooter that had missions designed after famous movie heists!  Dane Cook once said in one of his standups that we all want to be in a heist, slightly wounded in the leg, limping down the street saying “Where’s the van?” and in the heart of most first person shooter gamers that is what they are dreaming as they watch Heat then start tearing it up in their favorite FPS.  Some players who prefer a Sci-Fi approach scoffed at this game while others, like me, treasured the plastic Heist mask and waited for the game to come out.  It was short, but it was oh so sweet.  I kept playing the missions over, doing different things, almost always getting shot up a bit but working my way through location after location just trying to get away clean.  Then having satiated my desire and thoroughly assaulted the game’s content I moved on to other games with heists still dancing through my head.

Then OVERKILL did something stunning, especially to a zombie nut like myself, they collaborated with Valve and gave us Mercy Hospital… for free.

Here is a quick synopsis:

The Mercy Hospital Heist is finally here! We have collaborated with Valve to bring our beloved PAYDAY fans a completely new heist, free of charge! Set in the Mercy Hospital – made famous by Left 4 Dead – everyone’s favorite robbers are out for blood. We also have some extra candy hidden in there for those who just can’t help ending up in the hospital.  If the regular difficulty levels won’t do it for you, don’t forget that you can play the Mercy Hospital Heist in the new OVERKILL +145 difficulty. We promise you that this one will leave you gasping for air…

But wait, the infection seems to be spreading: not only do our beloved players get a new heist for free, they also get new zombie masks AND a new zombie theme! Oh, the horror! New related challenges and Steam achievements will be released in an upcoming patch.

    • NEW HEIST: The Mercy Hospital Heist is available to everyone who owns PAYDAY on the PC.
    • NEW MASKS: Players that have “Left 4 Dead” or “Left 4 Dead 2” in their Steam library and have it installed on their computers, are awarded the new zombie masks. Wolf and the gang can now disguise themselves as the walking dead.
    • NEW THEME: Players are now able to choose a new theme inspired by our favorite undead.

It was the perfect gift, if you had already invested in the game on Steam they rewarded your faith with free content and quality content at that.  Now you got to experience a heist in the Left 4 Dead world!  It was too much to ask for another free pack, OVERKILL needed to make some dough too and let’s face it, we didn’t just want more heists, we wanted more features.  So along comes a clever way to bring on more content, one that will hopefully be done for the whole team and not just for one character whose name lent itself to poking fun at how every group of men now call themselves “The Wolf Pack.”  We get a chance to follow the exploits of one of the team on other jobs: The Wolf.

Key Features:

PAYDAY The Heist Wolfpack  lets players take on the role of hardened career criminals in constant pursuit of the next ‘big score’. Load out with an array of brand new weaponry including the new STRYK pistol, automatic AK rifle, or the GL40 grenade launcher which aims to please, as you execute two intense new heists and 48 new levels.

  • New Handgun: The STRYK Full Auto Pistol
  • New Primary Weapon: The AK Automatic Rifle
  • New Secondary Weapon: The GL40 Grenade Launcher
  • New Deployable Equipment: Sentry gun – based on internet blueprints
  • 2 New Heists: Undercover (transfer money to your account from the IRS) and Counterfeit (secret operation in the Sunshine State)
  • New Skilltree: Become the Technician. Raise your level cap to 193
  • New Player Upgrade: The Tool Kit – so you can interact faster
  • Hosting Ability: Invite friends to play in the new DLC maps even if they do not own the DLC themselves
  • 6 New Steam Achievements: Ready to be unlocked by the ones that got what it takes

Graphics And Sound (Atmosphere):

The graphics are excellent and the sound is hectic and crazy just like you would expect in such a situation.  You have your intel guy in your ear giving you static burst updates on the police movements and when something goes SNAFU, while listening to your guys shout to each other and tons and tons of gunshots.  It is all crisp and clean and the graphics are nice and neat pulling you right into the action.  Listening to the sounds can be key to a quick reaction too, you can hear where the police are and when a drill gets unplugged.

Gameplay:

Game controls are standard keyboard FPS style with a few extra buttons thrown in for necessary additional actions.  And the action is hot and heavy fast.  The game lets you know at the beginning of the mission what percentage of players in the world have beat the mission on that particular difficulty level, which gives you a hint they made the missions nice and brutal for this addition.  You might want to even start at the beginning and work your way up again, not just because it is fun but the tighter you get your skills wired the farther you will get into the mission.  Plus you want to level so you can unlock as much as possible and have a hopefully better survival rate.  The great thing about this game is you get addicted and want “one more try” on and on since each time you get the heist a little tighter wired and figure out a better plan of attack each try.

These missions fit right onto the game seamlessly so that it doesn’t feel like a sequel or DLC but rather just the next gig, though these new gigs also come with a whole bunch of fun new weapons that will have you working at it over and over just to get them unlocked.  Let’s face it anytime you can set up a sentry gun in a game you dang well want to!  I can’t remember an example of a game where I wasn’t excited to set up the turret and this is certainly no exception.

At the time of posting this review I haven’t beaten both the missions and I haven’t unlocked everything, if I waited until then you would have had to make the decision for yourself long ago or just planned to pick up a pack of DLCs because OVERKILL is making sure that they stay on top of releases so that right about the time you feel ready for some fresh maps and new weapons they arrive.  I have played it enough to know if I should recommend it though.

Last Call:

Buy this.  The Wolf Pack DLC is both affordable and fits seamlessly into the game so that you are simply expanding your experience, continuing your career. These maps are amped up tough and feel like a natural progression from the other map making me think that OVERKILL know what they are doing with this game and for every big heist in a movie we can eventually expect a map here to match it.

Trailer:

Gallery:

                              

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Ripper71

Dustin "Ripper71" Thomas has been a staff writer with GamingShogun.com for over five years and has taken on the role of editor with a brief stint as Editor-In-Chief. He is also a co-founder of @IsItOctoberYet where he covers haunt nightmares and amusement park fun.