Overkill Software released Payday 2, their hit co-op first person shooter in 2013. It’s rare for games in said genre to continue being supported 3 years later but Overkill has continued to release new content for the game at a consistent pace. Each year Overkill hosts a 10 day event, previously known as Crimefest, in which each day brings a new update or expansion to the games players for free. After the storm of negative feedback created by last years Crimefest, this year Overkill took the event in a new direction. What Overkill ended up creating was their most successful event to date, and some of the games best additions yet.
The event, this year called Hoxton’s Housewarming Party, began with one of the games best updates yet: adding two new difficulties to the game. The game previously had various difficulties but for those of us who are frequent players of the game,even the games hardest difficulties, Overkill and Deathwish, could be completed without all that much effort. On day one Overkill Software added the Mayhem and One Down difficulties, placing Mayhem directly between Overkill and Deathwish with One Down as the new hardest difficulty. So far the difficulties are not perfect and still need some adjusting but I’ve been finding them to be an amazing change. Mayhem feels to be about what Deathwish was prior to the update where as Deathwish now feels much harder than it was. One Down brings the game up many notches, not only buffing the enemies in health but also giving them much more armor and making them much more aggressive. Additionally it cuts down player downs to one down per player before getting sent into police custody. As someone who has been playing Payday 2 actively since the games beta getting these new difficulties has been absolutely fantastic and, though I haven’t completed all of them yet, re-playing through the old heists in a way that feels challenging again has been great.
Day 2 of the event brought something that players have actually been waiting for since the before Payday 2 even released – a new customizable safe house. While originally being advertised Overkill promised that shortly after launch they would release an update allowing players to customize their safe house. Unfortunately that update never came. While many didn’t mind since we continued to receive new heists some were left very displeased. As someone who personally was never interested however I can still say that the customizable safe house is an amazing addition. Sure the safe house is nice and exploring it with my friends is neat, but the best addition was the new Trophy system. Completing specific tasks unlocks a physical trophy to be placed in your safe house. It’s an entertaining way to keep me going back and re-doing heists in specific play styles or going back to accomplish specific goals.It’s just a generally fantastic way to re-hook players to the game. This also added Safe house dailies, a new daily quest which when completed provides you with coins which can be used for upgrading your safe house. It’s a day which I expected to feel fairly neutral about, but which ended up hooking me in hard.
Another day brought a new special enemy, the Medic. The Medic’s purpose is healing and buffing his teammates – your enemies. Very quickly the medic has become one of my favorite enemies. The Medic himself is not particularly a threat to you, but his ability to save the lives of other special enemies you may be attacking and to buff them back for combat makes it so your squad must constantly do their best to find and eliminate the enemy Medics. I do think it’s safe to say that at this point the Medic does still need some tweaking, but the Medic is set to be one of the best enemies in the game. The last enemy to be released – Captain Winters – is probably my least favorite special enemy. He won’t appear on many heists and when he does he doesn’t actually really do that much. In many heists it will just be easy for our team to avoid him entirely. It’s also generally incredibly easy to kill him, as explosives really destroy him and his team rather quickly. The Medics however are constantly a threat camping around in the back lines helping out his teammates to kill you.
Of course with 10 days of updates there was a lot of content released including new weapons, masks and a new safe as well as two of my favorite additions – Game Mutators and the release of Panic Room, which was one of the best heists in the original game Payday: The Heist. While I haven’t actually been able to play Panic Room yet (my crew is temporarily away) the game mutators are a really neat addition – allowing the player to modify their game is almost any way they feel fit. Increasing of decreasing how many enemy corpses lay around after killing them to buffing or nerfing enemies as you see fit to create your own difficulty level, to even being able to set what enemy types can appear in game. Mutators created a brand new way for players to play the way they want to.
Overall Hoxton’s Housewarming Party was a hugely successful event with an almost non-stop barrage of awesome additions to the game. From giving difficulty back to the more veteran players to a new mission – new collectibles and new weapons and a brand new enemy- Overkill Software went above and beyond what everyone in the community expected. Whether a new or old player there has never been as good a time to be playing Payday 2 – something absolutely incredible for a 3 year old co-op game.
Great job Overkill! Keep up the amazing work!