Payday 3 is releasing on September 21, 2023, and we recently got to explore and experience its closed beta. If you’re planning on getting the game and want to know more about what you can expect, here are our thoughts and first impressions of the next installment of a hit franchise.
Payday 3 Closed Beta First Impressions
Right off the bat, Payday 3 is a wonderful co-op game made especially fun when everyone involved plays it the way it’s meant to be played – by filling their roles to pull off a perfectly planned heist. Payday 3 takes place after the ending of Payday 2 where the heisters went separate ways and left their lives of crime, but something re-motivates the Payday Gang to continue the life of crime. We were happy to see that the original crew of characters Dallas, Chains, Wolf, and Hoxton, are all here. The new location of New York City is a great change from Washington D.C. in Payday 2. New York City’s narrow alleyways and busy streets with traffic made the game environment even more dynamic.
Since Payday 3 runs on Unreal Engine 4, compared to previous installments which used Diesel engine, the graphics look amazing. Hi-res textures, mask materials, smoke effects, and ragdoll physics, all look great because of the new engine. Gameplay-wise, we enjoyed playing the same iconic formula as Payday 2 but felt that 3 refines that, adding more depth to the crimes with game-changing differences like more advanced surveillance, security guards, aggressive cops, etc.
We got to play the Closed Beta with one heist Secure Capital Bank. Based on our experience, we would suggest the Bots’ AI is made smarter if possible. As of now, they simply follow you around the entire heist. Of course, the Bots were useful in gun fights since they are always around you – they will protect you from cops while you carry out your task to complete the objective. Surprisingly, the bot teammates are pretty decent shooters and will always come to revive you when you get knocked down.
Payday 3 has challenging heists and objectives. Pulling off a perfect heist will require careful planning, coordination, communication, and skills. Every heist can be done in stealth by carefully observing and understanding the environment and then making your moves – which was great. Heists get more challenging when increased in difficulty. We loved that on higher difficulty there are more security guards, surveillance cams are indestructible and cops are even more aggressive and accurate.
Pulling off a heist with perfect precision stealth without alerting anyone feels rewarding. But if things go south, there is always room for some bullets to let loose.
Cash secured from successful heists can be used to buy cosmetics like masks, suits, paints, gun skins, etc. Or you can also convert cash into C-stack. C-stacks are encrypted currency inside CRIME.NET. Once exchanged, C-stack cannot be converted back into cash. C-stack can be used to buy more exclusive weapons and cosmetics.
As of now in the closed beta, there was not much to buy with C-stack. Character and gun customizations are plenty, ranging from mask varieties to gun skins and attachments. All Cosmetics, Guns, and Paint jobs can be purchased with in-game currency gained during the heist. More cosmetics, guns, and other gadgets are unlocked as you level up such as the type of armor, gun attachments like sights, grips, barrels, etc.
Graphics & Sound
Graphics-wise the game is a big step up from Payday 2. Unreal Engine 4 really shines in recreating an amazing New York environment, character models, guns, and other textures and effects. With stunning visuals, the game is backed up by excellent sound design. Firing Rifle rings out across New York streets sounds great and the muffled sound of a silenced pistol feels as good as other stealth games.
Based on the Closed Beta we played, Payday 3 is a great game to play with friends. The game rewards you smartly and handsomely after pulling a stealthy approach to bank robbery. Avoiding armed conflicts, most heists allow for a skilled crew to ace them without the cops ever getting involved. Built and improved on the previous installments, Payday 3 looks like a big step up on the graphical side. Waiting to see what other mission structures we get to see when the game is fully released. We’re looking forward to the next beta and final launch!
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