Payday 2 is a cooperative first-person shooter video game developed by Overkill Software. It is the sequel to Payday: The Heist. It was released for Microsoft Windows on 13 August 2013, and has a Playstation 3 and Xbox 360 release on 16 August. On 24 July 2013, a beta version for Windows was made available on Steam to users who pre-purchased Payday 2 Career Criminal Edition. The beta was then made available to Steam users who had Payday: The Heist in their Steam library.
Payday 2 involves the player and their team, which consists of either friends or randomly assigned players, performing bank heists and robberies. Gameplay has been heavily improved and expanded since its predecessor, with a number of new abilities. The game was first announced in February 2013 and later previewed in March of that year, alongside an announcement of the developer's parent company: Starbreeze Studios's partnership with 505 Games. The launch trailer for the game was released on August 13, 2013.
Payday 2, while very much the same as the original in base game-play, looks to improve on a number of flaws from the previous games in that it is a sharper and more polished experience. For instance, gun combat is improved, and the stealth mechanic from the previous game is given a larger emphasis, possibly making it a viable option in most of the 30 heists, though some are action-oriented from the beginning. Carrying loot is also modified, creating an actual loot bag which adds weight to the carrier, allowing for throwing the loot for a further player to pick up and carry instead. Carrying loot will also tilt the camera due to the added weight.
Cash loot from the game is no longer a substitute for experience points. Instead, it is used as cash for actually making purchases for character and gun upgrades, as well as items that may help on a heist, such as the codes for window shutters to prevent snipers from being able to hit the player while he remains indoors. There has been some debate as to whether this will result in the inclusion of micro-transactions, although David Goldfarb, the lead designer of Payday 2, quickly denied those claims.
New to the game is Crime Net, a brand new mission interface. Not much is known about its functionality, but it has been said that it will unlock certain heists depending on how a previous heist was finished. The "phases" system displays this in effect most accurately; players may under take longer missions, which are broken up into separate, story-connected levels called phases which can take place over a number of days. Depending both on a player's course of action, or a little luck in the random generation, the next phase may result in a different level altogether or possibly skipped entirely. For example, in the campaign "Framing Frame," the escape vehicle may not crash in the next phase if the player or players have stolen the marked paintings without being seen. Also new to the game are 4 skill trees, "Mastermind", "Enforcer", "Technician" and "Ghost", each featuring a deep customization tree of associated skills and equipment to master, and they can be mixed and matched as per the player's preference.