Payday 2: Crimewave Edition – Review
Follow Genre: Action, RPG
Developer: OVERKILL Software - a Starbreeze Studio
Publisher: 505 Games
Platforms: Xbox One, PS4
Tested on: PS4

Payday 2: Crimewave Edition – Review

Site Score
Good: Great fun with friends, varied objectives, sound design
Bad: Light on story, dumb AI, no ability to choose commands
User Score
(2 votes)
Click to vote
VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 9.5/10 (2 votes cast)

Ever had the fantasy of robbing a bank together with your buddies? Or maybe you just want to make a serious impression where everybody will remember the original mask you wore. Payday 2: Crimewave Edition gives Xbox One and PS4 users the opportunity to awaken their inner bandit. Get ready for some action, people!



Payday 2 is not a game you’ll be playing for the story. Let’s be honest though, story isn’t the main reason you want this title, is it? No, you just want to put on a mask and have a blast with some buddies.

As there is no real storyline to follow, there’s not much else to do than to give a little background information on the main gang of criminals. Some familiar faces from the first Payday make their return and are ready for bringing even more mayhem. Dallas, Chains and Wolf will sound familiar to the people who’ve played the previous title but there’s one big difference. The fourth member, Hoxton, is apparently in jail so Dallas’ younger brother takes his place. The gang basically works for a certain fellow who goes with the name of Bain. Bain helps the guys to settle down in Washington D.C. and sees to it they have enough work to do. Of course, work here isn’t a simple desk job but doing heists and bringing in the big money.

The Crimewave Edition of Payday 2 comes with all available DLC which means you’ll be able to play with a lot more characters. Clover, John Wick, Hoxton and Bonnie are a few of the characters which stand at your disposal. Remember though, story wise, Payday 2 doesn’t seem to be the title you’ll want to get.

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Payday 2 is not a new game as it already came out on the PC, Xbox 360 and PS3 in the past. The Crimewave Edition features some upgraded graphics but don’t expect the game to come anywhere in the range of games like The Order 1886 or The Witcher 3. The game looks good enough but the graphical update didn’t magically transform it into a title which uses the complete capacity of the next gen consoles. Still, the more cartoonish art style and the lively game world look enjoyable and the somewhat lesser graphics don’t matter that much as the key to fun lies in the gameplay.


The game offers a fine soundtrack with some good beats when things are about to go down. Voice acting is mostly limited to one of the four guys (or girls) shouting instructions and contractors explaining the basic objectives for an assignment. The music in the background isn’t distracting in any way and it makes the game a lot more exciting. Hearing the police arrive from quite a distance adds greatly to the realism. Partly because of the decent sound design it’s so much fun to create chaos while still trying to perform an almost perfect heist.



Before I talk about the actual gameplay, just a heads-up. The game can be played offline if you don’t have a decent internet connection to work with but it won’t be half as fun as the online multiplayer. Not only is it a thousand times more enjoyable to plan heists to perfection with your friends, the AI is pretty horrid here. Expect to do almost all of the work on your own in offline mode as the AI won’t help you carrying bags or doing anything useful aside from pumping lead in the approaching police. A couple of times, one of my AI comrades was just standing at the entrance of a jewelry store, minding his own business while I was desperately trying to get all the jewelry in the escape car under heavy police fire. Thus, playing offline is in fact possible, but just not recommendable.

Payday revolves completely around heists and completing them in the best way possible. You can either choose to go in guns blazing and start shooting everything that moves (not recommendable as you might need some hostages to save your skin) or you could opt for a more stealthy approach by disabling cameras and taking out guards in a quiet manner. Going stealthy is a lot harder though so a good planning beforehand is definitely needed.

When you successfully complete heists, you’ll earn skill points which you can spend in one of the 5 available branches, depending on what kind of a player you are. The Ghost skill tree will be the one you need if stealth is your thing or if you like the no-nonsense approach more, try the Enforcer skill tree. Like this, every player can add greatly to the overall team effectiveness so it’s best to be as diversely as possible in your team setup.


A heist usually starts off in front of the building you need to infiltrate and as long as you don’t wear the mask, scouting the area is not much of a problem. Want to use weapons? Then put on that mask and start shouting at civilians to lie down! Taking hostages by tying up their hands is very useful as they can be used as leverage when one of your teammates gets taken into custody. Beware though as the police will try to free them when the opportunity arrives. Next, the game tells you what objectives need to be fulfilled. These can range from getting money out of a safe to burning a bunch of it. It’s great to see how the game tries to keep things as varied as possible so getting bored with Payday 2 will take quite a while.

The gameplay is pretty smooth and throughout my time as a criminal, I didn’t encounter any game breaking problems. The only annoyances are the dumb witted AI which only seems out to sabotage you and the lack of commands you can shout to your fellow teammates. Replace those computer steered characters with humans and that first problem is solved immediately (if you don’t have a troll in the team at least). Although you can shout to your teammates, you can’t choose a command. Your character just shouts something like: Dallas, over here! But that isn’t always the thing you want to say.

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Payday 2: Crimewave Edition is a blast to play with friends but it knows some hiccups. First of all, the graphics are good but not great for a game on the next gen consoles. Furthermore, the AI is incredibly dumb and not useful when playing offline. Still, the Crimewave Edition will keep you occupied for quite a while and the game tries to keep things as varied as possible. If you voted yes on the question in the introduction, then this is the game you’ll want to get.


VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 9.5/10 (2 votes cast)
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Payday 2: Crimewave Edition - Review, 9.5 out of 10 based on 2 ratings

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