That's no moon...

Payday 2's recent changes give ya a reason to get the band back together
gamereleasedate: 
Friday, October 14, 2016 - 8:45pm
Even though the glory of last week's update remained largely unaccessible for the Linux audience (due to pernicious bugs and incompatibilities which have now, thankfully, been solved), this most recent iteration of the "Payday 2" universe adds tons of deliciousness - all of which is Linux-compatible.

One of the most fun (and beneficial - to us Linux users) things about Starbreeze's approach to developing their "Payday 2" franchise is that there's almost always something new being offered to enhance the experience. Be it DLC's (Downloadable Content packs) offering new characters, playable maps (in the form of heists), weapons, masks, or otherwise, every few months it seems that there's always a reason to drop whatever game you're currently playing and make the return to "Payday 2."

Even though the glory of last week's update remained largely unaccessible for the Linux audience (due to pernicious bugs and incompatibilities which have now, thankfully, been solved), this most recent iteration of the "Payday 2" universe adds tons of deliciousness - all of which is Linux-compatible.

The first (and most important, yet least-prominent) change to the game is the alteration of the skill trees. Noticeable only to veteran players of the game, the tweaks and changes to the way your characters' skills and perks work provides more than ample reason to return to P2 - especially considering that your previous skill points, money, and etc. are returned to you to re-invest. Simply trying to re-engineer my MALLCRASHERING MONSTER character (a creature with maximum handheld saw blades for cracking those ATMs, a portable minigun for destroying all that glass, and other assorted bits and bobs necessary to effectively complete and destroy my favorite mission to grind) has taken me a surprisingly enjoyable amount of time to recalculate within the new skill tree.

Of course, that's the appeal to veterans of the safe-cracking, cop-capping, teller-terrorizing, civilian-hostigitation action that fans of the franchise have grown to already know and love. For newcomers, these changes, tweaks, and additions make an already excellent multiplayer-demi-strategic-first-person-shooter-robberizing game only that much better.

Among the most noticeable alterations, of course, is the new safe-house, which - instead of accomodating only the player - now has separate areas for each of the "Payday 2" team. Each according to their needs (and specialty), the new safehouse features such delightful locales as an open bar (Jimmy's hangout), shooting range, security room, and etc., accentuating each of the character's personalities. It comes replete with Hoxton's family butler, played convincingly by a platitude-mumbling/aphoristic-spewing Jon Cleese, and a brand-new, ultra-exciting introductory cinema sequence describing the move from the old Payday Hideout to the new digs.

Cosmetic bullshit aside, the hideout also offers up one of my favorite new gameplay additions: because veteran players still keep their (now scrambled, but still useable) skill points, offshore balances, weapons collections, custom masks, weapons configurations, and other assorted nonsense, it would suck to have to play the game solely to grind the same money and mission structure even more... which is why the new safehouse is truly upgradeable.

Yes, by defending the safehouse from misguided police drug raids, players can now earn Continental Coins to upgrade each individual room and area of the safe house to their heart's content (I, of course, spent my first three hours earning enough coins to upgrade Jimmy's bar to the point that it now includes an indendutred servant bartender, eager to pour me and my mates whatever we wish).

Sure, this botched "drug raid" safehouse-crashing mission by the police results (time after time) in one of the most ridiculous plot conceits ever (basically, that the crew defending their safehouse via the murder of several hundred police officers in a well-armed apocolyptic stand-off that would rank historical comparison with military engagements from the Alamo to the Battle of the Bluge)... well... as the saying goes, with enough cash and greased-squeeky-wheels, the Payday gang's connections can be convinced that the Death Star is, in fact, a moon, and that this misguided police action, well... ahem. What police? In action? Where?

Exactly.

Ultimately, the new Payday 2 additions (to say nothing of new weapons, characters, and etc.) offers up more than enough reason to get the band back together. Just remember: that's no moon, and the drinks are on me!

-Seth "Fingers" Flynn Barkan is the author of "Blue Wizard Is About To Die," and is the host of the Best Linux Games Podcast, a weekly audio podcast covering only the best games available for the GNU/Linux Operating System. Which will own you, SUCKAH! (he can be contacted via twitter @Vegaswriter or by sending a message directly through Steam to "skookiesprite")