05th Jun2018

‘Payday 2’ Review (Nintendo Switch)

by Phil Wheat


I was so looking forward to playing Payday 2 on the Nintendo Switch, I really was. For one, I’d bought the game a few years back on the PS3 but my the laser died and wouldn’t read discs anymore so I never got to play past the first mission… So given that this was a game that had – essentially – passed me by AND it was now available on my favourite current-gen console, Payday 2 was high on my must-play list. And unlike other gamers and reviewers, who I know complained about the lack of multiplayer voice chat and had a general malaise when it came to the entire multiplayer experience with this game – I don’t care about that aspect of Payday 2. As someone who hasn’t played online multiplayer since the days of Gears of War 3, I could care less about how the multiplayer experience performs, for me its all about the campaign, the solo missions and how – in this particular case – an FPS title translates to the small screen of the Nintendo Switch.

Honestly, it does so remarkably well.

The gameplay and story structure is still the same: Rob banks together, starting out small, with a minor arsenal and a few masks. But soon you’ll earn more money and start climbing the ranks. How you play the game is up to you. There are plenty of difficulties to choose from and weapons range from pistols to flamethrowers – and that also means you can either play Loud or Stealth and adjust your load out to fit your playstyle. To alter the game even more you can dive into the different Perk Decks and Skill Trees. Each will provide a different experience and you’re sure to find a fit.There are a ton of heists with different settings and experiences. Everything from classic bank heists or robbing a diamond store to robbery on a moving train or setting a mall on fire – and each heist differs as you re-play them.

And taking a leaf out of the Crimewave Editions of Payday 2, there are over 250 masks in-game and there’s more than 150 weapons that can be customized with mods, boosts and types ammo to be used with each type of weapon. Finally, there are plenty of skins, patterns and materials to create a style for each player.

In essence what I’m traying to say is that this iteration of Payday 2 is exactly the same as the already available versions, with seemingly no compromises made in bring the game to the Nintendo Switch – which is both a blessing and a curse. You see, and I’m talking about handheld mode here, with such attention to detail and such a small screen… Well let’s just say Payday 2 is NOT a game made for the handheld capabilites of the Switch. The smaller screen means that the difficulty level in combat (in particular) is amped up by the poor viewing area. Which means unless you’re holding the Switch right up to your face, you might struggle to target your weapons correctly – made even worse when you have to aim for a specific part of the body due to your “enemies” wearing armour, flak jackets etc.!

To be fair though the game did already suffer admittedly already poor collision detection, is rendered even worse thanks to the small viewing area. Which means for me, at least, headshots become less a fun aspect of the game and more a torturous task. Said poor collision detection was THE one thing that really frustrated me to no end… If, like me, your patience can grow thin with video games then buyer beware!

But other than that quibble, Payday 2 is – for all intents and purposes – exactly like its big console brethren; and that includes the PS4 and Xbox One reduxes! Yes, there may be the odd slowdown with the frame rate and some of the visuals (in particular when you head out onto the streets during a mission) lack the punch of the major console editions but otherwise this is a faithful, and more importantly, handheld port of the original game.


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