The Point Break Heists DLC Brings the Heat
There’s been a lot of controversy around Payday 2 in the last year. Back in October, microtransactions and “pay-to-win” items had been introduced – something that they promised players would never happen – and there was an almighty uproar. A couple of months ago, Starbreeze Studios, the developers, actually bought the rights to the Payday franchise from 505 Games, who were publishing the game Microtransactions have since been removed, and all is apparently well again.
In the middle of all that, the Point Break Heists DLC was released on the third of December.
What’s in the Box?
The biggest features are the new heists, of which there are two. “Birth of the Sky” has you stealing bundles and bundles of unmarked bills – par for the course – but wasn’t par for the course is the spectacular manner in which you’ll be escaping with them.
Loading them onto a cargo plane, you’ll then push them out of said plane in mid-air and skydiving after them. When you do land, hopefully safely, you’ll need to secure the pallets and ensure that the fan-favourite contact Locke can collect them without issue. This is a flashy, spectacular heist. It may not be fun to replay a hundred times but it definitely leaves a lasting impression.
The second heist is called “Beneath the Mountain”. While not quite as flashy as “Birth of the Sky”, gameplay wise it has more to it. In this one, you’ll be executing a daring raid on Murkywater’s underground, cold-war era bunker. There are lots of narrow corridors and heavily armed goons around, and it feels like an 80s or 90s action film. Here you’ll be breaking into their heavily guarded vaults and making off with the loot in typical PayDay 2 fashion.
The other major feature is the introduction of a new, powerful sidearm, called the “Baby Deagle” which, as the name suggests, is a compact version of a Desert Eagle. What’s important about this weapon is that it allows you to take heavy duty firepower on pure stealth missions without harming your concealment score. This is something that previously wasn’t possible, and it now opens up a bunch of new options for older heists. Starbreeze Studios have also added four new weapon mods alongside the Baby Deagle.
Also added are four new melee weapons. A diving knife, machete, ice pick and - wait for it - a selfie stick have been added to your arsenal. Use the selfie stick. Do it.
Rounding out the additions are four new spooky looking masks, some patterns, materials and a bunch of new achievements.
Value for Money?
Point Break Heists is currently priced at £4.99/€6.99. That initially doesn’t sound like a lot – however, the DLC with Payday 2 comes thick and fast. There are approaching 30 separate pieces – and the business model that 505 Games and Starbreeze Studios used before this summer made it so long-term players of the game would have a compelling, if not making it almost a requirement to buy them for players to avoid feeling left out. This is the case again, with the powerful Baby Deagle handgun which carries out a role nothing else in the game can.
On its own, the price isn’t that much – but the habit they’ve gotten into of pricing game-changing equipment behind a £5, sometimes more, sometimes less wall means that acquiring the full experience will cost you well over double the price of the base game.
Luckily, if you’re not a fan of stealth missions or you can cope with them capably enough already, you don’t need to buy Point Break Heists to play the new heists, as long as you can team up with some friends or make friends who do have it, as they can host a game on the new maps and you’ll be able to take part.
Release Date: 03/12/2015
Available on: Windows, PC Download, Xbox One, PS4
Play the Game
Looking to the Future
Starbreeze Studios have already announced that Payday 3 is coming. Whether that means the rate of DLC for Payday 2 will slow down, no one is really sure yet. Controversies aside, Starbreeze Studios have created some innovative and exciting crossover projects with previous DLCs, including one with Hotline Miami, CS:GO and even hiring Giancarlo Esposito, otherwise known as Gustavo Fring from Breaking Bad.
If this is something that they can work into Payday 3, I’m excited for that game. I wouldn’t, however, be disappointed if they scaled down the number of DLC and made these collaborations bigger, proper expansions that offered a little more for the money in the grand scheme of things.
Payday 2: The Point Break Heists is a weird DLC to rate. If it were required to play the new heists, I’d say it’s well worth the money. As it isn’t (unless you don’t have any friends), you’re really only buying it to get guaranteed access to a single, powerful weapon and four melee weapons that aren’t really remarkable outside of one of them being amazingly silly.
The new heists are fantastic, I’m just not sure that, in an ever-expanding catalogue of DLC, it represents good value for money – especially if you’ve already bought several of the previous DLCs. That accumulated cost of a single game would certainly make me question whether the score is worth it.