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Payday 2 is here. The game from Overkill Software and 505 Games has officially launched. The title has been a passion project for the developers and is one of the most highly anticipated games to release this year, despite not having a $50 million dollar marketing budget or a ridiculous advertising campaign.

One of the biggest motivators of marketing for Payday 2 actually came from gamers doing Let's Play sessions. This unique form of advertising kicked off after David Goldfarb held some live demonstrations of the game at this year's E3, where Gaming Blend's own Ryan Winslett managed to get some hands-on time with the highly anticipated title. From there, the beta and the livestreams did all the advertising that was needed to convince core gamers that Payday 2 was a must-buy.

I was completely sold on the game watching some of the videos where people would try not to screw up and then someone screws up and then the whole thing goes south. I also love the intense moment-to-moment decisions required when the parameters change. In most games it's always the same thing, it's always the same route and the same obstacles to overcome... here with Payday 2 you'll be dealing with levels that sometimes have alternate doorways, alternate camera positions, alternate guard patrols or other knickknack entities that could either help you in the heist or hinder you like one bad, angry rash.

In addition to requiring a lot of precision, patience and a good sense of timing, this is one of the few games where teamwork is essential. It's not even a matter of “I'm good enough to solo” it's a matter of “you need your teammates or you're screwed”. There are a lot of different meta aspects of the game involving skills and traits that make or break the success of a heist and anyone who loves the meta-game challenges present in old-shcool titles like X-Com and Rainbow Six or SWAT 4 will love many of those same elements present in Payday 2.

The game sports four different playable classes, each with their own strengths and weaknesses that will need to be exploited in order to pull off the perfect heist... or survive the perfect disaster.

Overkill also took some strong liberties with stage progression and randomization – completing the heist is just a part of it. Players will sometimes have to deal with being chased down by police; they'll also have to deal with the trade-offs or exchanging goods for the pay day. These events can randomly occur in varying ways taking place over the course of “Days”, which is almost equivalent to the way older games would have multiple stages per level, ala Megaman.

Payday 2 is currently available right now for PC and home consoles in North America. You can grab for only $29.99 on PC or pay just a little bit more for a disc-based copy on the Xbox 360 and PS3. Need more info? Feel free to visit the official website.
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