Payday 2, the latest from Starbreeze Studios, is a decent first-person shooter for Nintendo Switch. While it succeeds in some areas, it also manages to fall flat in others, making it a less-than-average bank-heisting experience worth skipping.
There’s really no story involved in Payday 2 other than you and a group of like-minded individuals conduct a series of heists together. It was a little disappointing to realize that there was no story behind Payday 2. I was really hoping to sink my teeth into some context as to why myself and company were hired to commit such crimes, but instead I was just told my next assignment and was sent on my way.
Payday 2 offers a handful of assignments that are to be completed, each bearing their own level of difficulty and loot. To its credit, some assignments are more difficult than others, but each happen to be exciting in their own regard. For instance, I chose to run into an art museum guns-blazing with the objective to steal a few paintings. Running and gunning was a bad decision on my part – I learned that the hard way. Once the alarm struck, police were on the scene and I was eventually gunned down by an array of rooftop snipers. In essence, the higher the difficulty, the more likely it is for officers to become bullet sponges.
Trying to stay alive during gunfights is an easy task to accomplish in Payday 2, but trying to see your enemy and kill them is a different story. For example, Payday 2 can serve a visually challenging experience at times, especially when you’re playing an assignment that takes place at night. On countless occasions I found myself squinting in an effort to see my enemy. Doing this actually hurt my eyes; even while playing the Switch in portable mode, it was difficult to see rival policemen and SWAT team members. I also tried to adjust the visual quality within the game’s settings, but the option to do so is not available, which is mind-boggling and ridiculous.
After completing assignments, the player is given some money to burn on extra weapons, armor, and apparel. I actually had a good time browsing through the endless amount of items that were at my disposal. I didn’t really want to purchase alternative masks, or even cool-looking gadgets; instead, I focused my spending on awesome new rifles that I would later take with me to complete objectives. I really did appreciate the fact that I could customize and personalize my bank robber as I seen fit. This brought some form of ownership to the experience, which is ironic because the entire game consists of stealing from others.
Although Payday 2 is an early first-person shooter to hit the Nintendo Switch, it provides an average experience that’s worth skipping. The level of character customization is great and brings a sense of ownership to the adventure, but enemies are incredibly hard to see at times, often leaving the player squinting after every shot fired.