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E3 2013: Busting open bank vaults with Payday 2

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payday 2Criminals aren’t nice people, but their stories are sometimes compelling. We love the Danny Oceans of the world in spite of their illegal ways. Overkill Software’s Payday: The Heist challenged gamers to pull off the perfect caper, bringing up to three friends along for the big job. This gang is getting back together, adding the Xbox Live Arcade to its list of targets. Previously the game was on PlayStation Network, where it became a PlayStation Plus Instant Collection member, and PC.

GamerTell got to sit down with Overkill and attempt to crack open a bank vault. Dallas, Hoxton, Wolf and Chains are trying to rob Washington D.C. blind in this one. Things get a bit political as the hoods declare they are only stealing money from people that stole it to begin with. This theme is prevalent in a lot of entertainment right now, but the struggle between classes is as old as time. In the latest trailer the gang refers to Robin Hood, one of the first thieves pop culture fell in love with.

One of Payday 2′s new features is CRIMENET, a system that offers numerous dynamic contracts. Heists are ranked by a star system going from 1 to 10. In the game’s storyline, CRIMENET is a shadowy organization that appears to be giving crooks a helping hand. There’s no honor among thieves, though. The mind behind the scenes has his own plans and motivation that will become clear as you play through the story.

Overkill really amped up the customization this time around. Your four person squad can gain abilities from four different skill trees: Mastermind, Enforcer, Ghost and Technician. It’s not necessary to go down one path. Skills from the four classes can be mixed and matched. You can also pick different guns and attachments for the job. Payday’s signature is the elaborate masks the crooks wear. There are so many combinations to pick from with colors, shapes and logos. I went for a Jason -ish hockey mask with a silver tint and an atom logo.

Though Payday was a game about making off with tons of money, designers felt they didn’t give you a lot to do with the cash. These additional options will give players some fun shopping options.

They asked if I had played Payday. I have, but certainly not enough to consider myself good at it. After making an E3 appointment to play the sequel, somehow it never occurred to me to brush up. It’s a good character trait that I have no idea how to rob a bank, but that didn’t serve me well here. Waltzing in with no pretense of stealth, I still almost got to the bank manager. Almost doesn’t count when dealing with heists, so I set off the alarm and made everyone watching question my Payday street cred. That’s OK, I have the people that built the game here to get me back on track.

My character had the ability to place a sentry gun, which helped me offset some of the damage I had done by setting off the alarm. There were cops on the ground trying to rush in, landing on the roof by helicopter and virtually everyone else we turned. This is going to be a blast with three friends. The police started filling the bank with tear gas, and I started to head onto the roof. In my mind I was still playing a shooter, and I could turn this around.

“I wouldn’t do that,” a wise, wise person from Overkill explained. I stuck with my team, but the good guys won and we earned no money. Did I mention this was a one-star level heist, the easiest one? Oh, I will be back, Payday 2. I will be back.

Payday 2 is coming in August to Xbox Live, PlayStation Network and PC.

Site [GamerTell at E3]

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