Review: Payday 3 – A Bag Full of Goodies Riddled with Holes

All robberies, even those meticulously planned, have something in common – not always everything goes as planned. The developers of Payday 3 didn’t rob a bank, but still, some things went wrong with their production. Nevertheless, the third installment in the Pay Day series is a fairly decent game.

Story

One more time, you become a member of the titular Payday gang, and along with three comrades, you set out to rob various institutions. The gameplay of the third installment doesn’t differ much from what we’ve seen in Payday 2. The tested solutions have been enhanced with some interesting innovations, and the story itself is set on new maps.

One can play along with three other players over the Internet or solo (in the second case, you play with bots). Once again, the developers give us the freedom to decide how particular tasks are going to be carried out. As they say, the chase is better than the catch, and so is planning the best part of the Payday series.

Gameplay

To my mind, the most valuable thing about games such as Payday is the overall experience. And, I must admit, when playing Payday, one can feel that the robbery is really taking place. E.g., you spend hours planning the gig, and, in the end, one spontaneous move can make your plans go adrift. In Payday 3, you will regularly come across such unpredictable events, which add realism and are pretty awesome.

As a kickoff, we get eight new locations. That doesn’t seem like a whole lot, considering that Payday 2 had over a dozen maps. Nevertheless, the publisher, Starbreeze Studios, has already announced the continuation of the third installment. So, we can expect new locations in the near future. However, if I bought a full game, I would expect it to be complete right from the start, so this approach could be slightly disappointing.

Shortly after its release, the game had some minor problems with matchmaking. However, a few days have passed, and the issue seems to be resolved. Most of the time, you will easily find people to play with. Currently, it takes about a few minutes to scratch a squad for a robbery. However, I must point out one pretty pointless thing. Playing in multiplayer mode requires an Internet connection – that’s obvious. Nonetheless, single player mode needs it too. It means that if you want to play with bots, you have to do it over the Internet. The game obliges players to have access to PS Plus (in the case of Playstation). So, we got to the point, where playing solo requires access to a paid service.

Playing Online

I’m aware that before the release, the developers spoke of this requirement on multiple occasions. Nevertheless, to my mind, the indication “online only” does not stand for a clear communication, not to mention the fact that playing Payday 3 would become impossible in the event of a server failure.

Moreover, the third installment wrestles with some technical issues. NPC’s IQ appears to be on top of that. For example, guards sometimes fail to notice you even though you move through a private area right before their very eyes. What is more, during interventions, policemen oftentimes fall in, as if they wanted to get shot. It happens that in the heat of the fight, an officer goes to another room just to stand there and mindlessly stare. Some neutral characters have their issues too. This one time, a bank employee just stood facing the wall. I managed to explore the building, and when I got back to him, he was still stuck in the same position.

Graphics

As for the graphics… Well, maybe it’s not at the state-of-the-art level, but it’s still pretty decent. There are places and moments that take your breath away. However, sometimes it just looks like the previous installment. Some interiors are arranged in a mundane and schematic manner, but overall, it feels and looks like a modern game. The characters have been designed with attention to every detail.

It’s worth noticing that the developers knew how to handle one of the most troubling game issues of modern times – the FPS decrease. Payday 3 runs smoothly, and there’s hardly any slackening (maybe once every few hours).

Payday 3 offers what’s the best in the whole series, delivering engaging gameplay for the hours to come. Unfortunately, there are moments where the faults make you feel like you are playing a beta version. As far as I’m concerned, the developers are working on patches, so we can expect some improvements in the near future. Despite the issues, Payday 3 is still a title that is a must-have for every Grand Theft Auto fan.

Pros and Cons

Pros

  • Engaging gameplay
  • Visual effects
  • Unpredictability

Cons

  • Enemies’ AI
  • Internet connection required in case of a single player mode

The game has been released for: PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X and Series S, Xbox Cloud Gaming, Microsoft Windows (https://store.steampowered.com/agecheck/app/1272080/)

About Author
Meet Jack, a passionate gamer and esteemed video game reviewer whose journey with video games began in childhood. With a deep-seated love for gaming, Jack has dedicated countless hours to playing, meticulously analyzing every facet of gameplay, graphics, and storylines, developing an expert eye for quality and innovation in the gaming world. His vast experience encompasses testing over 1,500 games across various genres and platforms, showcasing his commitment and expertise in the field. Jack is not only recognized for his profound knowledge and insights into video games but also for his professional accomplishments. As a top-rated PRO freelancer on Fiverr (nickname: jackvonthor), he has established a remarkable reputation for his high-quality game testing services, offering invaluable feedback and detailed reports to developers looking to refine their creations. His professionalism and skill set make him a sought-after professional game tester in the industry. Jack's journey into the realm of video games began with classic consoles and computers such as Atari, ZX Spectrum, Amiga, Amstrad, Commodore, and PC. Growing up with these iconic platforms, he not only developed a deep appreciation for the evolution of video games but also gained a unique perspective on how gaming has transformed over the years. This rich history with games from an early age has equipped Jack with a comprehensive understanding of the medium, allowing him to connect with a wide audience through his insightful reviews and professional testing services.