PayDay 2 game director and former EA Digital Illusions dev David Goldfarb has announced he will leave Overkill to form his own studio. Based in Stockholm, the as yet nameless enterprise already boasts four staff. It's part of Goldfarb's determination to "abandon AAA", preferring instead to work on new titles that shrug off in-vogue development trends.
Veteran Payday 2 players will know that at a certain level—it happened to me around level 70 or so—you’ve unlocked all the guns you want and maxed out the essential skills. From there on, the game is still fun, but there’s not much left to do. There’s even less to do after devoted heisters to grind to level 100. Well, no more—the latest Payday 2 update adds an option to reset your skills and levels, start over, and become Infamous.
Developer Overkill Software has been uncommonly dedicated to communicating with fans of its recently released heist shooter Payday 2, absorbing feedback, and releasing sweeping overhauls of game systems. Payday 2 was solid but had a few problems when Craig reviewed it, but since release, Payday 2 has been updated 13 times, receiving a new heist, new masks, a rebuilt economy and unlocking system, new skill tree descriptions, and numerous balancing tweaks.
Overkill also frequently answers fans on Twitter with screenshots of new characters and plans for future updates. In a lot of ways, this continued support and free updating of a game is the kind of attention we’d see from the team behind an MMO. A Halloween update has already hit, and more free content is on the way. David Goldfarb, game director at Overkill, says that they plan to continue to support the game for the foreseeable future.
In theory, the job was easy. But then again, aren’t they all? Me and three other wiseguys would hit this bank, break into the vault and make off with the cash housed within. Being the people person that I am, my job was to make sure none of the customers got any funny ideas about being a hero, calling the cops or whatever.
So after I’d killed the security guard outside and sweet-talked the dispatcher on the other end of his pager, I’d waltz into the lobby – all calm and serious, like – and start tying up those innocent bystanders. In the meantime, our safecracker would kindly persuade the manager to hand over his keycard, shut off the security system and get drilling on the vault, while the two other members of our operation searched for any civilians we’d missed in the backrooms and kept an eye outside. Easy, right?
Idea for preventing all future crimes: install trackers in those creepy plastic masks that are only ever used by budding criminals. They're a clear giveaway that a heist is about to go down. That's a lesson still to be learned by the guard in this teaser for Overkill's Payday 2. He's far too nonchalant for someone being approached by a guy equipping a sneering stars and stripes face mask and wearing surgical gloves.
Shortly after Payday devs, Overkill, announced that they were working on something with Valve, rumours began to pop up suggesting that that something could be a prequel to Left 4 Dead. That might sound like a promising idea, but it isn't happening. Valve developer Chet Faliszek put a swift "woah, nelly!" on those rumours in a chat with PCGamesN.
"I want to make sure that people don't think the prequel is coming," said Faliszeck. "If that happens, then it will make this other thing we're doing feel uncool, when the thing we're doing is really cool."
In many ways, Payday: The Heist is very similar to Left 4 Dead. You team up with three friends, you fend off hordes of enemies and try to stay alive. But, in a few important ways, they're very different. In Left 4 Dead, a throng of zombies are trying to keep you out of a safe room, in Payday, you rob banks, take hostages and mow down legions of cops. According to a post on the Overkill blog, spotted by VG247, the Payday devs are working with Valve on a collaboration that will bring both concepts together.
Payday is that bit in every heist movie since time began where the poo hits the fan. At some point, our gang of four criminals in clown masks were hunched over a table in a smoky room, working out their every move with mathematical precision. Now they’re trapped in a crumbling building with the loot, every policeman in the world is kicking in the front door, and their only hope is to survive long enough to make a miracle. And then do it again on a harder difficulty setting, because Normal mode is for wimps.
So far in Payday, we've mostly seen the chuckle brothers stealing gold from bank vaults. The mission shown in the latest trailer replaces the gold with a valuable prisoner, the bank vaults with police security vans, and the old fashioned getaway car with a balloon and a seaplane. It goes to show that hardened criminals are a mad sort, and not especially punctual either. Payday: The Heist has been slightly delayed. Overkill say it's "a move to ensure players and fans of our promise and vision to produce high-caliber games that deliver the best quality game experience."
We'll get to tell civilians to GET DOWN ON THE FLOOR later this month when Payday goes on sale at £14.95 / $19.99, and can be pre-ordered now on Steam and Direct2Drive. Check out our Payday: The Heist preview for an insight into the mind of a clown gone bad.