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So I have a problem. I like stealing things. It is a challenge to see if I can get in and get out with the goods without getting seen. One time I even stole my own pants from me while I wasn’t looking. That being said, I have to say that Payday 2 is a game I can really get into.

Payday 2 is not an open world game, this is a game where you accept a job from the menu and get set into an area scenario. The areas vary in size from a small 2 story 4 room meth house and its yard, to a train wreck and the entire mountainside it takes place on. Before entering the area you are set in a planning menu where you mastermind the heist with the information on hand. Say you select one of the bank heist jobs, you are given options such as where you want to pick up the vault drill, if you want to have a copy of the security room key set in a specific place before you show up, or if you want a tap into the security feed. Many of these options cost money and favors, however, you are limited in how many favors you can use per mission. You also have the ability to change your loadout, or gear set up, to suit the job at hand, or even just to suit your own play style.

There are two core loadouts that players typically choose from. The first being stealth. It may take a bit longer to complete the heist, and your team will be fairly slow moving throughout most of the mission. The upside to this is that you have a better chance to get away with more loot, and even receive an experience bonus for your next mission. The second is what we here at Random Encounters call, Shock and Awe. You grab the biggest, baddest gun you currently own, don your thickest armor and enact gratuitous amounts of violence upon any in your path. The police are often immediately called, but that’s expected. The loot is usually the bare minimum, if you even finish the heist, but it’s not the loot you’re after in a Shock and Awe mode. It’s the thrill of the firefight, and how your blood gets pumping.

The major draw for Payday 2 is its multiplayer capabilities. You can set it to allow just your friends, or anyone who happens to want to play that particular mission with other people. With its drop-in drop-out mechanic, you don’t have to worry about auto failing a mission because someone decided to leave. On the counter point, if you’re attempting to stealth a mission, and someone decides to drop into your heist with a shotgun and full riot armor, chances are, you’re not going to make it very far. Because the game is scenario based, you don’t have to dedicate hours of your time to it if you don’t want to. Depending on your play style and planning, even the largest missions can only take between 20 - 30 minutes per section and you are not obligated to finish every section thanks to the drop-in drop-out capability. You will however, lose out on loot from that mission. Each mission has a difficulty rating system. The ratings are: Normal, Hard, Very Hard, Overkill, and Deathwish. With each rating offering lower success rates, but increased loot rewards. (Valendro: Deathwish really does live up to its name if the police are involved.)

Aside from the missions, there is a slight RPG element to the game and we don’t mean Rocket Propelled Grenade. Although you don’t get to create your own character, you DO get to choose which character you’d like to play as. This limited option gives the programmers the ability to add depth and personality to the character you’re playing. There are currently 4 characters you can play as soon as you start the game: Houston, Chains, Dallas, and Wolf. Through completing missions, and of course DLC, you can unlock even more characters: Hoxton, Bonnie, Clover, Dragon, and more. Along with your character you also get to customize their gear (Guns, melee weapon, armor, throwing weapon, mask, and support item.) as well as their Perk Deck. The Perk Deck is where you personalize your character. How you want to be able to perform in the field, and advance as a character. As you complete missions you will gain experience and level up. This gives you points you can spend to advance your perks, and make your character better at whatever it is you like to do.

Currently, Payday 2 is available not only through Steam on PC, but also for consoles such as Xbox 360, Xbox One, Playstation 3, and Playstation 4. Unfortunately, there is no cross-platform support, so you would need a version of the game on each system, and characters do not carry over. As with most current gen games, Payday 2 comes with a plethora of DLC options. These can be as simple as mask packs, or as large as entire missions with new guns, masks, and other items. The DLC can vary greatly between platforms, as well as price range. The Steam version, for example, has community created DLC that is put out for down load for anyone owning the Steam version.

With this being said, on a scale of Derringer to AR-15: Random Encounters gives Payday 2: 7.5 oudda 10 You should play with your friends. (Caster’s Note: Would have been 8, except for the way DLC is handled on Steam and lack of console inclusion)
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Gooberjack

  • About the Gooberjack

    Alias: Bobby Spencer
    Age: 29
    Favorite Game: Star Wars Battlefront II (Xbox)
    Favorite Genre: Action Adventure
    Special Move: Pork Fat Express

    Bio: A throwback gamer from the days of yore, Gooberjack’s first gaming system was a Nintendo Entertainment system. At the time, his favorite games were Tiger Heli and Super Mario Bros. Since then, his tastes in games has evolved and expanded. Now knowledgeable in table top games, card games, PC and console games, his quest for the Ultimate Gaming Experience continues. 

Valendro

  • Valendro's Details

    Alias: John Fruitger
    Age: 30
    Favorite Game: Final Fantasy XI (Xbox360)
    Favorite Genre: RPG/ARPG
    Special Move: Unimaginable Narcissism

    Bio: While other children were raving about their new Sega CD systems, Valendro was rocking out oldschool to Atari. Whether it was blasting space boulders in space in Asteroids, bombing warships in Sea Hawk, or braving the harrowing jungles of Pitfall, his gaming ability stayed true. It wasn’t until gainful employment allowed him to purchase a PS2, that he joined the mainstream with the original Kingdom Hearts. He yearns to revive the Gaming Communities of old, promoting brotherhood and oneness across all platforms.

LumberMoose

  • The Lumbering LumberMoose

    Alias: The Wild Canadian LumberMoose
    Age: Unknown
    Favorite Game: Unknown
    Favorite Genre: Unknown

    Bio: Not much is known about this (gentle?) giant, like is he gentle? Or a giant? Okay, we do know he is a giant. His first console was a pinecone tied to a pigeon. This discovery of entertainment left him looking for more. After a chipmunk in a hole with a squirrel, bicycle horn, handful of acorns, the plastic rings from a soda six-pack, and a vinyl record couldn’t keep his attention anymore, he joined Random Encounters to see where his imagination could go.

Gaming Systems

  • Xbox 360
  • Xbox One
  • Potato-tron 3000 (Gooberjack's PC)
    1. CPU: Intel Core 2 Duo (3.16GHz)
    2. RAM: 4GB
    3. GPU: XFX Radeon HD 6850
    4. Motherboard: EVGA


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Our journey began with a phone call. We had no idea what would come of it, and honestly, we didn’t expect anything to happen. John (Valendro) had put a call in to the Springfield offices for Children’s Miracle Network simply on a whim. We’d attempted the 24 hour Extra-Life game day the year before, and though we made some donations, we felt it wasn’t enough. We wanted to do more, and BE more. With that as his motivation, John left a message with the associate director Justin Bess. It wasn’t much longer until we got word back from Justin that we were just what CMN was looking for in Springfield. We were ecstatic about this as it was our chance, as Random Encounters, to do something amazing as gamers and as a company.
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