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Payday 3: Opening up a new world

The Payday series has always relied on unique labels such as robbery and violent crime to maintain a loyal following in the gaming industry. Since its release in 2013, the second generation of the game has been continuously operated by the production team Starbreeze for 10 years. The game has shed the label of the first generation of hardcore infiltration, and has continuously injected vitality into the game and community with various imaginative talent branches and skill combinations, highly customized robbery processes, and exciting multiplayer battles to break through the armed police.

On September 21st, “Payday 3” was officially released. This IP, which has lasted for more than ten years, finally has a new starting point.

In the official version of the game, there are a total of 8 levels, 7 of which can be completed by stealth or even without killing anyone. Compared with the second generation, this game divides the map into multiple areas, public areas, private areas, and restricted areas. As long as players do not wear masks to enter combat mode and do not do suspicious things such as unlocking in public areas, they will not be detected by security guards and the public. If they are discovered by security guards for the first time in private areas, they can also stand in the yellow circle and eventually be guided to the public area. In these two areas, players can freely scout and familiarize themselves with the structure of the map. In the scouting mode, players can engage in most interactions such as picking locks, welding, and obtaining items. Most of the interactions have also been changed to mini-games, making the immersion of the game stronger.

The production team has also made some optimizations in the details of the game, such as no longer having a limit on the number of ropes that bind civilians, and killing civilians no longer directly deducting existing cash, but reducing rewards at mission settlement. The obstruction value has been cancelled, and the speed of security detection will no longer be affected by different weapons worn. These small designs have significantly improved the game experience and smoothness.

The overall design of the game’s map missions tends to be linear, and the conditions for tackling problems are relatively simple, which also makes the game lack some immersive simulation genes. However, under the Main Task, the game also fills many side quests in the map to give additional collections and rewards. In addition, the rich skill combinations in the game can bring more ideas for tackling problems, which to some extent makes up for this deficiency.

As a shooting game, I have to mention the shooting feel first. The feel of this game has been greatly improved compared with the previous one. The action of the character holding the gun is more powerful, and the hit feedback is more obvious. Unfortunately, the sound effect may be limited by the cost and not perfect, resulting in the plastic feeling of the gun. In addition, there are no obvious shortcomings.

The armor in this game can no longer be restored through unlimited “breathing and healing” like in the previous game. Although the armor still has this function, if it is broken in a short time, it needs to rely on the armor pack to refill. The ammunition dropped by enemies in this game has also become less than in the previous game, so the rationality of ammunition management and team support pack arrangement in the game has become more important. The game greatly enhances the importance of cooperation between players, while canceling the Health Point mechanism, and the player’s mobility has been significantly improved.

This also greatly increases the upper limit of the game’s operation, bringing greater space for individual abilities to make up for the disadvantage of lone wolf players.

The enemy’s refresh is also more rhythmic. In the early stage of the battle, only some large-headed soldiers and shield-wielding soldiers will be refreshed. As the game time and tasks progress, the difficulty of the battle will gradually increase. In the final evacuation stage, more types of elite enemies will refresh and obstruct the player’s footsteps. In order to cope with the high-intensity battles in the later stage, the game also has a mechanism of gunfire weapons. After accumulating enough energy, players can call for airdrops to obtain a super weapon to relieve the pressure brought by higher-intensity battles. However, the official version still has relatively few super weapons. Hopefully, future updates can bring more choices to players.

The types of enemies in this generation have also increased. While elite enemies such as second-generation snipers, Tasers, and explosion shields have been reserved, gas bombs and colliding armored soldiers have been added. The much-criticized “Ninja Police” in the previous work has also been changed to continuously take damage after hitting instead of falling directly.

Overall, the difficulty of frontal combat in this generation has increased compared to the previous generation, but the fun of dealing with enemies and the upper limit of player operations have become stronger.

The external cultivation of the game has always been one of the important factors that have lasted for generations 2. This game summarizes talents into skill trees. Players can equip three professional characteristics, each of which has subsequent derivative branches that can be unlocked by completing tasks and achievements to obtain experience points. Currently, the number of skills provided is relatively rich, which is also the main source of fun for the game’s final content.

Weapon proficiency is a new system added in this generation. Players can unlock new accessories by completing tasks with their current weapons to level up. Overall, it is somewhat similar to the Gunsmith system.

In addition, the game also has a large number of masks, clothing, weapon color schemes and other highly customizable appearance content to provide players as personalized unlocking content.

This game also brings optimization to team communication during online play. In the game, if players in the team obtain key items and markers, the security guard will display them in the comments, and provide the main behaviors in the game as preset information to improve the communication efficiency between players in the wild team.

When a bonus skill is activated, the game will also annotate it at the bottom of the screen. Ammunition packs dropped by enemies during battles will also be changed to personal pickup, and the situation of wild teams competing for ammunition will no longer occur. Especially in the matching mode, the rooms in the game will no longer have homeowners, so that malicious passersby teams will no longer appear. This enhances the experience of lone wolf online players, allowing players who do not have friends to play together to experience the fun of game cooperation.

Compared to the previous game, the graphics of this game have definitely made some progress, but the thin light and shadow make the overall game graphics lack layers, and the facial expressions of the characters are stiff and the scene destruction lacks polishing. In addition, the current optimization of the game still needs to be improved, especially in relatively complex combat scenes where stability has decreased, which makes the overall viewing experience of the game somewhat lackluster. I think the AI of this game is a small flaw in the game. The enemy’s vigilance logic seems to only stay at the visual level, and the behavior logic of NPCs is also very dull. No matter what the player does behind the enemy, except for shooting, it will not be detected. In some cases, the enemy may even appear to be alert through walls. Coupled with some bugs of missing mission props, the stealth gameplay of this game seems a bit out of place.

Payday 3 draws on the excellent parts of the previous generation and adds more modern elements. The overall foundation of the game is solid, and the gameplay pace is more compact. The imperfection of the enemy AI is one of its few shortcomings, but as one of the top IPs in the genre and the excellent continuous operation performance of the previous work, I am still full of expectations for the future of the game.

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