May 29, 2017 Last Updated 11:00 AM, May 29, 2017

Payday 2 Proves that all games need John Cleese

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Before my recent addiction to Elder Scrolls Online, Payday 2 was my go-to for brain unplugged relaxation.

It was a staple of my gaming diet until around about this time last year. When all the unpleasantness with microtransactions came up, and I decided to take a break from the game. Then, earlier in the year, Overkill Software bought themselves out from their publisher and removed the microtransactions. And made Ron Pearlman a playable character. (Technically, Ron Pearlman voices a playable character… But let’s be honest it’s Ron Pearlman playing Ron Pearlman).

Now, one year later, they have decided to rename their yearly “Here’s a bunch of free stuff” event. And add John Cleese as a supporting Butler character. This is a marked improvement.

One of my main critiques, of every video game I’ve played since I started my ESO habit, is a lack of John Cleese.

There’s also other, smaller things, like new difficulty variety, masks, possibly guns, and likely a new level. But really, the main crux of this update is the sorely needed addition of John Cleese.

Though, in all honesty, the new difficulties look to be the most exciting addition so far. With the stated intent to add a bit of middle ground between the rather hectic deathwish and the controllable overkill. That middle ground is Mayhem, which is proving to be a bit of a challenge to me. It certainly adds something that I’ve felt has been missing from the game. Also, a rather masochistic “One down” difficulty was added, in which one down is all that’s available before being taken into custody.

Other updates include new masks, a new throwable stun grenade, an upgradable safe house. The stun grenade looks to be interesting, granting a wider area of effect than the current explosives. So it’s liable to add some nuance in the desire for damage vs. getting bullets off for a few moments. The new safehouse has unlockables that allow you to do things like calculating DPS and other fun features that fill in for some add-ons…

Also, it has John Cleese.

Slated upgrades to come over the next six days include more masks, a new enemy, new weapons, the addition of mutators, new skins, and a new heist. Which is promising. Were I to speculate on which characters might get added… I’d say the new enemy is a medic, and the new heist will be a Safe House that serves as a Halloween nightmare. And I'm mainly basing my claims on the icon for the new enemy you'll find on the event website, and the heist…

Well, a new Safe House in October… Kinda makes sense. If you’ve been out of the loop for Payday 2 for a while, it might be worth checking in again. There’s been a steady stream of updates and content over the years that have kept the game and community alive. If you’ve been curious to give it a try, now’s the time. It’s free until the 16th to play. And 75% off on Steam for that time too. With DLC discounted as well.

Overkill have sent a large message alongside these updates. There’s been a lot of speculation since June as to what the future of Payday would be. With the 3rd installment hovering over the horizon. And the controversial safe issue behind them. The community’s been a bit uncertain as to where things stand. Though a trailer shows that they’ve been working on a rather sizable amount of free content. And with a rather sly remark by Cleese at the end, they seem to admit that they’ve made some silly mistakes in the past. Payday’s won back my wholehearted support, and my attention for the next few days.

Chris Hardwick

Christopher M Hardwick is a nerd in Austin, Tx. Trying to make a living being funny about nerdy game things.

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