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cover-Payday 3

Wednesday, November 22, 2023 3:46:25 AM

Payday 3 Review (MilkWater)

Simply not worth your effort, time, or money.

Its worth noting that I've played an unhealthy amount of PAYDAY 2. After many hours of PAYDAY 2 I came to realise the games flaws, but few of those flaws were objective problems. so when PAYDAY 3 dropped, I went in with new expectations.
PAYDAY 3 is very different from 2, and that's by design, which I respect. So I'll avoid comparing the two.
Currently, the game is still without a content update, insane given its been two months already. Furthermore, due to Starbreeze underestimating server costs, the game was practically unplayable for the first few days in some regions.
Multiplayer Functionality: 21/100
Heist and objective CO-OP in PAYDAY 3 is very good, with many objectives benefiting people working together and splitting up to complete them, something I love in other CO-OP games.
So whats the problem? Pretty much everything else!
The party system is a pain to use, and causes a lot of unnecessary stress.
Apart from that? With friends the CO-OP is to reiterate, outstanding. However, PAYDAY 3 Pubs are to put it simply, not an option.
Due to the games astonishingly low playercount, Dead Game finding players in pubs is a lost cause. Only some heists on certain difficulties have consistent player counts, and even then this games social features are downright hostile.
Text chat is limited to when players are in a heist, not the lobby screen or end screen. Furthermore, text chat is not worth using as a large portion of the games playerbase, that being console players cannot use chat or even see text chat messages. Also, no voice chat. This makes CO-OP more or less a lost cause in pubs.
And worst of all? No server browser. Unacceptable for a game like this. your only choice when choosing a heist is difficulty, meaning if you are dropped into a stealth lobby when you wanted to play loud, too bad, not like you know if people want to play stealth or loud until the heist starts either due to the lack of lobby chat.
And once a heist is done? GET OUT, no text chat there, no Steam links, and you are on a minute timer anyway, leaving no way to continue playing with a party you just played with. For a multiplayer game, its astonishingly lonely huh?
And no, the Team AI Bots are not good, in fact I'm convinced they are designed to "encourage" players to avoid playing the game solo by being borderline detrimental in most cases.
Long story short, with friends, pretty good, although clunky, however in pubs? Don't even bother.
Visuals: 77/100
To my knowledge, the visuals for PAYDAY 3 are mostly outsourced. Outsourcing is not inherently a bad thing, and in this case it might be why the game looks so damn good.
The outsourced artists clearly understood the memo, that being to make a world worth heisting. Making a place as depressing as New York and making it look as miserable as it does takes a special kind of skill, from the clutter, the invasive billboards, and hostile urban design, and yes the "grittiness" all looks outstanding stylistically. Its not a style that will click with everyone, but its admirable none the less.
Effects are outstanding too, with many textures taking permanent damage from explosions and bullets. Animations are a mixed bag, with reload and firing animations being a little too rigid and rough, but this is a point of taste like the environment design.
Progression: 4/100
It stinks.
I'm not exactly breaking new ground with that comment but WOW, this games progression is so bad it brings the whole game down with it.
No XP from heists, instead we get a challenge based system. This is a concept I'm not completely averted to, BUT THE CHALLENGES ARE ASTONISHINGLY BAD.
Challenges include... Competing every heist 150 times in stealth and loud for a total of 2400 heist completions, getting 1000 kills with every weapon, placing 100 of every deployable, that kind of pointless tedium.
If you are not going out of your way to get kills, there is a very high chance you could go 5+ heists without earning XP.
I almost don't know what to add, as this has all been said before, so here's something new.
The infamous armor system's problems are directly linked to the progression.
Yeah, that might be a new one. I find that Payday 3 is a tactical game with armor being a resource, but since kills are good for XP, this leads to armor becoming much more important with players frantically getting as many kills as possible for XP taking excessive damage in the process. I cant blame them, i do it too.
Another key point is once you are done with a weapons kill challenges, STOP USING IT, you are not gaining XP after all, this leads players to using guns they just don't want to use and ditching guns they love.
Worse yet, money loses all value within the first 50 hours too. The secondary currency, "C-Stacks" are dirt cheap at their lowest price too, meaning if you are patient, they are just as useless.
I've got more to say, but this is a review, not a thesis, so lets move on.
UI: 7/100
Hostile , no other description.
The main menu is beyond bland and clunky, no flair, no descriptions for weapon stats, online related content is on a timer. Its all just awful. SO awful my complaints will likely end up sounding pretty esoteric, so I'm just going to leave it as "the worst UI I have ever used".
Soundtrack: 82/100
With the departure of Simon Viklund, (the composer for the first and second PAYDAY games) Starbreeze was gonna have a hard time filling the rift left by such a talented composer. However I'm glad to say that Gustavo Coutinho has fit into their new role perfectly.
While Gustavo's compositions for PAYDAY 2's final DLCs bordered on overbearing and only good in moderation, PAYDAY 3's soundtrack is for the most part reminiscent of what made the early tracks of PAYDAY 2 so damn good.
Stylistically, the soundtrack is quite varied too, with some synth heavy tracks balanced out by other more traditional instrumentation. Although I'm still more than open to hearing some of Gustavo's more bombastic tracks later down the line.
There are a few duds, like the main menu track, but overall, VERY promising.
Gunplay: 73/100
Compared to the often cheap and outdated gunplay of PAYDAY 2, PAYDAY 3's gunplay is much more modern.
Although worth noting is that its surprisingly tactical, with split gunkick and recoil stats, each with horizontal and vertical stats respectively, ADS and sprint to fire modifiers, and other assorted stats to fine tune.
Despite this, weapon modifications all affect each gun in very minor ways. I often find the differences between modification setups barely noticeable, which is a damn shame, as the framework for good gun modding is still there.
Luckily the weapons themselves are all very distinct, with varying recoil and spread patterns which leads guns with otherwise similar stats feeling very distinct, and some guns just feeling "right" for different people, which I quite like.
Enjoying PAYDAY 3 is a challenge, so many distinct problems bleeding into every part of the game leads the overall experience feeling "cold", like the game just wants you to play something else.
Content wise, i genuinely think the current variety of skills, weapons and 8 heists is decent, but not worth the high asking price.
And whats good about the game just isn't good enough, especially given this games budget, and whats bad is a dealbreaker for most.
I struggle to see this game getting content updates past the first year. Once the quota of promised DLC is finished is Starbreeze really gonna give this game another chance? And even if they do, what about players?
Still, even if this game is just downright bad, I still find ways to enjoy it. I'm allowed to enjoy a bad game right? It's just a shame that I believe that's all it will ever be.
A bad game
Overall rating: 41/100