Thanks to the humble publishers, we were allowed to spend some time with the long-awaited and not-so-well-kept secret of PAYDAY 3. The rumours initially made rounds across news articles and Twitter (Now X?), and the game was finally revealed at the Xbox Showcase. With the release date of 21 September 2023, it makes sense for a closed beta around this time. But is the game really ready? Is the product ready to be the worthy sequel of the well-reputed predecessor? We will try to answer some of those questions at our preview here! Let’s jump in at our official PAYDAY 3 Preview.
The Not-So-Master Race Feeling
We are really proud of our current gaming rig. And the first thing any of us like to see first in any game is the amount of FRAMES-PER-SECOND our PC can pull off. And when it is anywhere less than 60, it breaks us all apart. So we decided to go to a nearby gaming cafe and give it a shot at some of the most powerful computers, but it still couldn’t provide a complete 60 FPS experience.
Of course, the game still has a month timeline before the release, and it is still completely playable with the current experience. But with all due respect, in 2023, when games try to break the norms and go beyond the traditional occasions, it hurts when successful developers and studios fail to deliver a simple 60FPS experience in a video game for standard PCs.
Update: At the time of writing the Preview, a small patch was released which has made the game smoother and provides 50-60 FPS in many situations.
It might not be a great start to a preview, but this is how we felt outside the map, looking up and down at the graphics. Now let’s jump at the pictures themselves.
The game is definitely a significant improvement from PAYDAY 2. But we also need to remember that PAYDAY 3 comes almost after a decade. The map design feels fresh with the original feeling of having multiple access points to the same thing, giving you the freedom to play things your way. But after a decade, giving the players a fresh perspective becomes essential. However, in PAYDAY 3, it’s almost replaying the same game on a better PC.
The graphic quality regarding the FPS combat known for the epic encounters and survival has improved, but naturally, the game looks flat. The opportunity of having a limited map should’ve added more depth to the NPCs, their behaviour, design, and much more. But overall, the design and quality have only gone ahead with the date, with little to almost no attempt at bringing changes to make things more realistic.
However, since it’s a preview, we hope the additional maps of the game bring out a fresh feeling that we are still expecting from the competition. Fingers crossed!
The Overall Feel!
If PAYDAY had another name, the game would’ve been called “PLAN B”. Starting with stealth, being assisted by a comms operator letting your objectives each step of the way, adapting to your surroundings and taking chances at microseconds gives almost an infinite amount of adrenaline. But when things go south, it’s not game over. It’s time to mask up!
The favourite feeling and idea make a thrilling comeback at PAYDAY 3. But the experience does feel divided into the aspects of stealth and going loud.
As for the stealth aspect of the game, the game has better indicators to let you know who you are being observed by. However, the stealth feels slightly more accessible than PAYDAY 2, which was either super easy or extremely tough. However, there still needs to be more knowledge about how to do things before the heist. You may walk around observing what to do, but there still needs to be an objective list, a prep phase, and a place for how you may attempt the stealth aspect of the mission. But on the other hand, you are directly thrown and expected to do things yourself, while the comms operator only calls out what to do next and not how to.
As a stealth game, PAYDAY 3 must improve what other games are doing right. The stealth experience feels good; it’s pretty easy to do stuff once you know what you have to do, but the idea of doing trial and error needs to be revised.
On the other hand, the shooting part feels like a blast. The weapons response and handling are a vast improvement from the previous games. There may be more choices and variety later, but the starter rifle, pistol and even a grenade launcher collectively made the experience quite fun. The full-blown combat aspect has evolved to make things more fun for a multiplayer PVE experience. And I am confident with how the combat system feels; your friends are booked for a fun ride.
But at the same time. I question innovation. There may be more enemy variety, but at the end of the day, I fail to differentiate this game from a zombie game. I do understand humans vs. thieves, but it’s human vs human! The police are supposed to deploy tactics and evolve according to their actions. Yes, the police do things like turning on the fire safety measures, smoking, cutting lights etc. But the AI that comes to fight you in waves is almost too easy to kill across the difficulties. The only thing that the difficulty bar does is increase quantity, damage, and accuracy.
Right now, you can kill the SWAT while they rappel down buildings and take snipers off while they aim at you with a pistol. You can defeat shielded attackers simply by lobbing a grenade behind them so that they turn around, leaving them fully exposed. As for the variety, you get specialists in the form of a soldier using a stun gun to completely stun you until someone rescues you and the Juggernaut during the endgame. And trust me, it’s almost like playing L4D2 but without zombies.
The goal and objectives feel exaggerated and unnecessarily long, so the total game time can be long as well, and you can spend more time instead of having more objectives and things to do.
Our First Thoughts – pAYDAY 3 PREVIEW
PAYDAY 3 will be excellent for many people, especially for the groups who have spent countless hours at PAYDAY 2. With the combat enhanced to almost perfection, you and your squad are all set for the best gaming nights. But comparing it with the standard of games and sequels released on this date, it lacks multiple aspects. The game adds fresh objectives but needs more innovation in the game objectives and enemy variety. As for the graphics, it looks better but not the best.
We hope by the release, the FPS issue can be sorted, and the AI can be freshened out as more time is put in, but apart from that, don’t worry about having an excellent guns-blazing experience!