I’m not afraid to admit that my experience with the Payday series has been limited. After spending the last week fulfilling my wayward dreams of scoring big in the world of organized crime in Payday 2 and its combined DLC, however, I can say that I am officially hooked.
Payday 2 is a game all about scoring the next big heist. Players band together with friends and even strangers to organize and execute varying degrees of “heists:” jobs that involve everything from meticulous stealth and planning to all-out, guns-blazing hostile takeovers.
All of the various heists in Payday 2 (to which there are well over 30 thanks to a combination of "The Big Score" DLC and free updates included in the base game) often have multiple paths to take to achieve your goal with experience point awards going to the team that can perform certain missions in complete stealth.
Speaking of inventory, Payday 2’s selection of gear is already massive and with the "Big Score" DLC bundle, players have access to even more variety from spatulas and barbecue forks ("Butcher’s BBQ" DLC pack) to broadswords and English longbows ("Gage Chivalry" DLC pack.) While all of the new weapons included in the DLC bundle bring a certain level of whimsy and humor to the game, others include some impressive numbers for the damage and knockdown potential. During my short play through I found myself laughing at the absurdity of knocking out a security guard with a metal barbecue spatula as my “professional criminal” carried on with his work.
I do want to preface that most of the DLC weaponry and gadgets are locked behind a level cap. It seemed as though some of the more interesting variety of weapons and gear were not available until the player reached an overall level of 10 or higher. But even with that limitation in place, I felt it acted more as a milestone or a goal to work towards. Every successful job netted me more experience to inch me closer to the Empty Palm Kata melee weapon ("Gage Ninja Pack" DLC) that I so desperately wanted to equip. There’s something primitively satisfying about palm striking a guard into submission.
Along with the huge variety of weapons and gadgets, the Big Score also includes a plethora of new missions that even go so far as pulling off a heist during an Alesso concert ("The Alesso Heist" DLC) or attempting to rob a high-end casino ("Golden Grin Casino Heist" DLC). While a number of them were not readily accessible to me during my play time due in large to the randomization of missions available from the level-select screen, the "Point Break" DLC was certainly nostalgic. Anyone that’s a fan of the 1991 film will certainly see a few nods throughout the missions. All of these new heists seem to add to the replay value of the game and with new characters supplementing the overall roster (5 new characters in all) there will be enough diversity in your crew. Everyone from Sokol, the Russian-born hockey player ("The Sokol Character Pack" DLC) to Jiro, the Yakuza hitman ("The Yakuza Character Pack" DLC.)
I, personally, found myself running around as Keanu Reeve’s John Wick, because who doesn’t want to be John Wick? The character and his signature Chimano Compact pistol are available as part of a free update included with anyone that owns Payday 2: Crimewave Edition.
Overall, though my experience is growing with the Payday 2 franchise, I’ve found the content to be a potentially major enhancement and incredible value to an already enjoyable game. Each pack can be purchased separately from the bundle and are listed with price below. As a Payday 2 novice, I felt as though the content was a welcome addition to the arsenal and availability of missions throughout the game. With so much added, I’m still sifting through all the content and too much of a good thing isn’t always bad.