Payday: The Heist provides a promising idea but is ultimately weaksauce

One of the more active games among those on my Steam friends list is Payday: The Heist. Having picked it up during the December sales I have to admit, I’m a little disappointed.

The general premise is good and the missions seem well enough structured but the actual implementation feels weak. The starter weapons really lack any punch and after a couple of missions and level ups, I’m still stuck with them. I find it all the more frustrating as I’m up against opponents with shotguns and fancy tazer weapons. Aside from lacking any real bite or sense of accuracy, the default weapons run out of ammo far too quickly making it a struggle of conserving ammo against waves of SWAT. The apparent lack of automatic reload is quite noticeable. I’m all too used to shooting one, maybe two enemies then scurrying to another spot and taking out another. However, in Payday: The Heist I find myself having to stop mid way, or more likely engage enemies only to have no ammo and a long reload timer.

The whole combat system seems weak, slow and to be honest, rather dry. Whats more frustrating is that it can be a little random with enemies spawning out of nowhere and killing you in a flash. I understand that having to keep guard is part of the game but when you’re forcing the player to reload every two seconds, don’t surround them. This perhaps wouldn’t be so bad if they attacked in the waves that are called out, such as assault in 10 seconds. That however feels a bit meaningless when you’re battling to stay alive against the wave already! I’ve also found that the ammo collection doesn’t quite work. Enemies are usually huddled together when you’re engaging them so when you inevitably run low or out of ammo the only way to get more is a suicide run in amongst the SWAT, or just wait and hope you survive it out.

Maybe I’m being a bit impatient but I found the game rather slow and sluggish. Without doubt I can see potential and why the game could be really enjoyable, but I just can’t get past the fact that it feels weak and at times, rather slow.

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