I purchased PayDay 2 a few days after its original launch and despite its many problems at a core level, I thoroughly enjoyed the experience. The cooperative approach to objective-based FPS missions is a fresh approach amidst the flood of competitive-based action in the likes of Call of Duty and Battlefield but embracing the competitive nature of today's top FPS games may not have been such a bad idea after all.
Although the very idea of PayDay, its innovative approach to the FPS genre and introduction of unique ideas, is usually associated with AAA studios the small development team at OVERKILL managed to pull it off. There are a number of problems that plague the game and problems that likely shouldn't appear in any type of FPS title, let alone a multiplayer one.
These problems are a mix of very basic issues that are simply not visible in most of today's top titles. The AI is atrocious at the very best of times with allies walking in circles amidst heavy fire while enemies manage to shoot you while looking in another direction. These problems persist throughout the game but thankfully the interesting approach to the gameplay mechanics themselves are enough to carry it through. There's a very basic design choice that would have saved the game from most of its problems, introducing PvP as the main aspect as opposed to the current PvE element.
Imagine a combination of Left 4 Dead and PayDay. The missions, objectives and general gameplay style of PayDay with the unique VS element seen in Valve's critically acclaimed FPS zombie horror title.
Opponents would randomly spawn as different types of police offers, tasked with working together to create difficult to defend assaults and stop Hoxton and friends from completing their objective.
Obviously the mechanics and gameplay elements would need a bit more refinement but the problem with depending on AI is there are only really two difficulty levels, stupidly easy or so hard it feels broken. Introducing other players and a decent matchmaking system into the core fundamentals of PayDay 2 would have created a far more exciting experience that would be far higher in the Steam charts today.
What do you think? Do you enjoy PayDay 2 as it is or would you rather have a more PvP-based approach?