Payday 3 did too good a job of silently releasing a stealth trailer, so the devs had to prompt fans with bad poetry

Starbreeze is gearing up for the release of Payday 3 in September, a sequel that is not so much reinventing the wheel as just giving it a huge polish. Fans have been largely positive about the look of the new title beyond one big sticking point: unlike the previous titles this is going to be always online and a service title, and people don't like that one bit.

The protesting against that aside, Payday 3 basically doubles-down on expanding and refining a bunch of Payday 2 systems that are present but not really all that fleshed-out. A major one is stealth which was at one point quite an effective tool until being nerfed into the ground, meaning every heist ends up in a shootout.

Payday 3 released a video showcasing its stealth mechanics five days ago, but decided to play into the theme by hiding it. If you go to the Payday 3 website and watch the gameplay trailer, but turn down the volume during it, then the stealth trailer fades in and replaces it. It's a really neat idea even if a bit fiddly. Alternatively, visiting the page in an incognito Chrome browser will show the stealth trailer.

The dev team did such a great job of making this stealthy, in fact, that after four days of silence it ended up having to prompt players into finding the video. Which it did via the medium of poetry, and the less said about this doggerel the better.

Obviously the McGonagall-like qualities here are down to the poem trying to clue-in players on what they need to do. "Try to be quiet" and "turn down the gage" [sic] refers to the webpage method, while "drop the burrito" is clearly waiting for you to rhyme incognito.

Yes, very nice. As for the trailer itself, the best thing about it is how utterly goofy the Payday gang look when crouch-moving around. I'm not being facetious when I say movement like this is an element of games I absolutely love, and it confirms to me that Payday 3 is going to be a videogame-ass videogame.

It also showcases the advancement in mechanics in order to make stealth a viable option, with the team ripping off an art gallery using a skylight to avoid various security systems, taking out guards where necessary, cutting glass over a tense few seconds, and tossing the loot back up to other team members before everyone silently scarpers. While stealth is in Payday 2 it's not really a viable option, but it does seem like in Payday 3 you will at the very least be able to use it to get a head start before the heavy squad comes flooding in.

PC Gamer's Tyler Wilde has played Payday 3 and did indeed try out the new stealth mechanics: before everything went completely wrong. Don't get me wrong, the collapse of well-laid plans into Heat-style shootouts at grand scale is going to be part of Payday 3's magic formula. But it's a good sign that stealth is a viable tactic this time around, rather than an in-joke on team.

Rich Stanton

Rich is a games journalist with 15 years' experience, beginning his career on Edge magazine before working for a wide range of outlets, including Ars Technica, Eurogamer, GamesRadar+, Gamespot, the Guardian, IGN, the New Statesman, Polygon, and Vice. He was the editor of Kotaku UK, the UK arm of Kotaku, for three years before joining PC Gamer. He is the author of a Brief History of Video Games, a full history of the medium, which the Midwest Book Review described as "[a] must-read for serious minded game historians and curious video game connoisseurs alike."