PAYDAY 2 is a game by Overkill Software, and the sequel to PAYDAY: The Heist. It was released on August 13, 2013, for the PC and the PlayStation 3 digitally and at retail, and was released on August 16 on the Xbox 360 as a physical release only.
The game was announced in February 2013, when very little information was shared, other than that Overkill Software would work on the sequel and 505 Games would publish it. In March, Overkill began showing previews of the game to major gaming publications.
The game features 11 heists, some of which take place over multiple days and locations, and are constantly changing due to the new Crime Net system.
The skill tree system featured in the original PAYDAY has been more fleshed out, and has been compared more to an RPG-like levelling system, with four classes that players can choose to specialize in: the Enforcer can use heavier equipment and carry bags easier, the Mastermind can persuade police and civilians to assist the crew, the Ghost can disable security systems and sneak through levels easier, and the Technician class, which specializes in explosives, returns from the Wolf Pack DLC.
Similar to the original PAYDAY, heists have many dynamic events. For example: guards may have different patrol routes, safes and vaults may be in different locations, and the amount of cash and loot may be different. Some heists, such as Bank Heist , have different variants depending on the goal. ie: cash, gold, deposit boxes.
Payday 2 follows a four member crew of Dallas, Hoxton, Chains, and Wolf, though Chains and Hoxton are new characters taking up the identities of the old ones. 
Overkill has attempted to address complaints from the previous game. The console version of the game is more on par with the PC version, and runs smoother and looks much better because of the larger studio and the bigger budget. Furthermore, the game has more downloadable content planned than the previous game.
In each heist, players are required to complete objectives, usually in an effort to steal cash or valuables. The police will attempt to stop them, but players are expected to fight through them with firearms if stealth is not an option or fails.
A shout is a multipurpose action that both players and AI teammates can perform. By default, it is done by pressing F on the PC, R2 on the PS3 and RB on the Xbox 360, the same button used for interactions. It is used for:
- Calling out to a teammate.
- Ordering civilians to stay down.
- Attempting to intimidate non-special law enforcers so that they become hostages.
- Pointing out special enemies.
- As of update 10 it can also be used to spot cameras if the players are still in stealth mode.
Civilians are innocent bystanders who are present when a heist begins. They serve several purposes in gameplay.
Police will attempt to rescue civilians and get them out of the area, which might distract them from focusing on the players.
The players are discouraged from killing civilians; killing a civilian will immediately deduct funds from the player's spending cash (regardless of whether the heist is completed) and add a trade penalty to that player if he or she goes into custody. The civilians have mindless AI, and tend to run around randomly whenever there is gunfire. This makes them a huge liability, as they may run towards shooting players, stand up in front of shooting players, run through trip mines, run in circles around police, and perform other actions that can cause them to accidentally be killed and penalize a player.
The players may yell at civilians to intimidate them and get them to lie on the ground, which makes them slightly less likely to be accidentally killed by the players. Civilians who are lying down can be tied to become hostages.
A hostage is a civilian who has been restrained with cable ties or a law enforcer who has been intimidated using the Mastermind's Dominator skill. They are a means of rescuing crew members from police custody. While it is possible to wait for a crew member to respawn on Normal difficulty, a hostage exchange is significantly faster.
Once a crew member is taken into custody, Bain will automatically attempt to negotiate with the police. However, he cannot negotiate during a police assault. The amount of time required for negotiations is 5 seconds plus 10 for each civilian whom the crewmate has killed, and is indicated by the timer next to the crew member's name at the bottom-left corner of the HUD. If multiple crew members are in custody at once, then each of their timers will decrement independently.
Once negotiations are complete, the crew must trade a hostage. If a hostage already exists, then they will be highlighted in orange; if not, then the crew must either tie down a civilian or successfully intimidate a law enforcer. Once a hostage is highlighted, they will remain tradable even during an assault.
If a civilian hostage's cable ties are removed, they will attempt to flee; however, a player with more cable ties can recapture them. If a security guard or law enforcer is uncuffed, then he cannot be taken hostage again and will resume attacking the crew.
Gangsters and special units cannot be taken hostage.
In Payday 2, the role of security cameras is different from the original game. While in stealth mode, a player who stays in a camera's view for too long will cause the alarm to go off; this occurs much more quickly if the player's mask is on. An alarm will sound if anyone is killed in front of a camera or a camera notices a corpse.
Certain heists allow the crew to enter a security room and kill the operator of the security cameras. This will prevent the cameras from sounding the alarm, and even allows the players to look through the cameras. If no alarm has been sounded, enemies and items of interest that are viewed through the camera feed will be highlighted on every player's screen.
A player who is looking at the camera feed cannot see his HUD, quick-chat text, or any of the regular game messages. This makes communicating with the player operating the cameras impossible without voice chat.
An assault wave is a period of time in which law enforcers spawn at a higher rate and are more aggressive. Enemies will start moving into the heist area several seconds before the beginning of the assault wave. Each wave's duration is several minutes long, and varies according to the difficulty level. The music will also change 30 seconds before an assault starts, and when the assault starts. Once the assault wave is finished, Bain will also inform the player, and the remaining law enforcers will withdraw back and regroup to prepare for the next attack.
Negotiations for a teammate's release will not occur during an assault wave; however, players can still make a hostage trade if it was triggered before the assault, and below Hard difficulty, the release timer will continue to run, which means the teammates in custody will usually be released before other players can trade them.
Hostages can actually impede the time an assault wave starts, which gives the crew more time to prepare and get whatever task completed, though the law enforcement have a higher probability to go for the hostages when the wave begins, or if a hostage rescue team is sent in.
Only a handful of missions have never ending assault waves, specifically the overpass escape.
There are four difficulty levels, which are set when selecting a Crime.net contract:
- Normal – Risk Level 0
- Hard – Risk Level 1 (•)
- Very Hard – Risk Level 2 (••)
- Overkill – Risk Level 3 (•••)
Each difficulty level corresponds to a "Risk Level", which appears as a heist asset. As the risk level increases, so do the rewards, strength of the enemies who spawn, and length of the assault waves.
Payday 2 includes several features to allow players to customize their character and weapons. These are skill trees, weapon modifications, and masks.
Payday 2 utilizes some RPG-like character building mechanics. The game includes four player classes: the Mastermind, the Enforcer, the Technician, and the Ghost. As players complete heists and gain experience, they will periodically level up. Leveling up usually gives one skill point (with an additional point awarded on multiples of 10).
Skill points may be used in conjunction with spending cash to purchase skills for each of the four classes. The player is not restricted to one tree. Skills provide bonuses (such as increased damage or health) and new abilities (such as putting corpses into duffel bags or drilling silently).
Early skills cost 1 point, while late skills cost up to 4 points. Additionally, each skill may be "Aced" by putting additional points into it. An Aced skill may provide a bigger bonus or a different, sometimes entirely unrelated new ability.
The player may "respec" a class at any time, returning all of the skill points and half of the money spent on the skills.
Players can earn weapon attatchments and other prizes upon successfully completing heists. For longer heists, this takes place at the end of the final day. Weapon mods are either attachments (such as scopes and suppressors) or modified/replacement parts (such as new stocks, foregrips, etc). Each weapon only supports specific mods, though most mods are usable on more than one weapon.
Each weapon mod affects the appearance and stats of the weapon. Some include a tradeoff (for example, increasing accuracy but decreasing concealability), while others only make positive changes. Players should take care to look at the mod's effect on the stat bars, as some descriptions are not always updated.
After a weapon mod is found, it is placed into the player's inventory. The player may use spending cash to attach a mod to a weapon. The mod can be removed from the weapon and returned to the player's inventory at any time, but will cost the same amount to attach it again. For this reason, it is more cost effective to have two of a weapon with different mods than to take the mods on and off (e.g. owning a Compact-5 with a silencer attached for stealth and another with no silencer for greater damage, rather than repeatedly paying to remove and attach the silencer as needed).
Mod effects stack but are constrained; for example, if adding two mods that reduce the recoil of a weapon reduces its recoil to the minimum level, adding a third mod that would otherwise reduce recoil will have no effect. Careful balancing of mods can improve the weapon with no downside, if the negative effect of each mod is canceled by a positive effect of another.
Players can customize the appearance of their character with masks. Each character has a default mask, but the player has a chance to find new masks and mask parts upon successfully completing a heist.
A found mask starts out white with no color or texture and must be crafted to use. Provided the player has found the corresponding parts, he or she can decorate the mask with a material (such as wicker or metal), a pattern (such as a slash mark or a logo), and a color pair that will be applied to the pattern.
Once a mask has been crafted, it can be worn in heists, but the appearance can no longer be customized. The player may sell masks that have been found and are uncrafted for roughly $10,000 a piece.
Assets are bonuses that can be purchased using in-game money that are applied to the heist. Each heist has their own unique set of Assets, though they can only be purchased by the host of the game. Assets can be used to bolster the players resources, or make the heist easier to finish.
For example, purchasing an Ammo Bag in Bank Heist beforehand would leave one hidden somewhere inside the level, or purchasing an extra driver for Nightclub would allow the players to drop their loot off with the driver and escape without the extra weight.
- Four-player co-op.
- Crime.net – The dynamic contract database allows the player to pick and choose from available jobs by connecting with local contacts such as Vlad the Ukrainian, the shady politician "The Elephant", and the South American drug trafficker Hector.
- Dynamic scenarios – Each heist has random geometry, and sometimes rare events.
- Skill selection – As players progress, they can invest in any of four special skill trees: the Mastermind, the Enforcer, the Ghost and the Technician. Each features a customization tree of associated skills and equipment to unlock, and they can be mixed and matched to suit the player's style.
- New mask system – Players have the ability to craft their own unique mask
- New weapons - sniper rifles, assault rifles, compact PDWs and SMGs.
- Weapon modifications – optics, suppressors, fore grips, reticles, barrels, frames, and stocks affect the performance of your weapon. There are also purely aesthetic enhancements.
- Dynamic heist progression – Each job allows for multiple approaches, such as slow and stealthy ambushes, to running in guns blazing. Hit the target any way you want, and watch as the heist unfolds accordingly. Days are also added, meaning one heist could take the course of 1-7 days.
Instead of the list of heists that the original PAYDAY offered, Crime.net offers a dynamic map that rapidly offers many different contracts for heists. Each icon on the map has a randomly selected heist and difficulty, and remains on the map for approximately 30 seconds. Rarer heists usually have higher payouts.
Heists in Crime Net can be selected with an empty lobby, or be entered with a group who has already started. Highlighting a heist offer a description and reveal the difficulty, risk, and the breakdown of the payout. The white stars indicate the initial payout, while yellow stars indicate the risk level. Red heists are Pro Jobs. If the crew fails a Pro Job, it will no longer be available to retry. Some heists are rarer and more valuable than others, others offer a high payout but a higher risk as well.
Overkill Software has launched the website Crime.net in May, where players can sign up for news and promotions from 505 Games products (Overkill Software and Starbreeze Studio).
Overkill plans to release more DLC and add-on content for PAYDAY 2 than for the original PAYDAY. They will be released between August 2013 and July 2014. David Goldfarb, Almir Listo, the game Director and Producer at Overkill, announced that there will be at least five DLC packs for PAYDAY 2. A DLC Season pass has been anounced by David Goldfarb on Twitter, which will be available later on.
A DLC heist titled Armored Transport, will be free to those who pre-ordered the game at a later date.
You can also download the official manual of the game here.
Pre-ordering gave players access to the PAYDAY Loot Bag, which contains the following:
- A unique red dot sight weapon modification available for use on all rifle weapons
- A unique Skull mask
- A unique mask pattern titled "I LOVE OVERKILL"
- A unique color pattern consisting of the colors red and black
- A bundle of in-game cash.
On the 24th of June Amazon sent emails to pre-order customers stating "We've been informed by 505 Games that the Lootbag DLC will no longer be offered as a pre-order incentive on the PC version of this game". The DLC information page on Amazon now only lists the 360 and PS3 versions  however the Loot Bag DLC is still listed as available with preorders in the Steam store.
Career Criminal EditionEdit
The Career Criminal Edition will, in addition to the standard game, grant the following:
- The PAYDAY Loot Bag, which is described above.
- Two beta keys – one to keep and one to give to a friend. A beta key grants access to the PAYDAY 2 beta release, which was released on the 24th of July.
- PAYDAY 2: The Original Soundtrack – A digital copy of the PAYDAY 2 original soundtrack, available for download pre-release. The tracks are composed by Simon Viklund.
- Crime.net discount – Discounts on all in-game purchases (guns, masks, skills etc. not DLC)
- Bain's Guide to the Criminal Underworld – A digital issue of the must-have guide on heisting, written by Bain. The hunt for Baldwin continues.
- Printable heist blueprints.
Console Collector's EditionEdit
The Console Collector's Edition includes:
- PAYDAY mask
- Tyvek wallet, which looks like a roll of $100 bills
- A pair of surgical gloves
- PAYDAY 2 Original Soundtrack
As a follow up to the PAYDAY Secret ARG, Overkill Software announced in June 2013 the final prize was that selected players could contribute to the beta testing of Payday 2. Initially 20 people got the beta test invitation, earlier than others from the Payday: The Secret group, and players with beta-keys that pre-purchased the Career Criminal Edition. During this part of beta testing several game builds with different tweaks were released and tested.
PAYDAY 2 public beta keys were released 24th July to buyers of the Career Criminal Edition. This game build contained 7 playable missions over 11 levels.
Payday 2 Beta has been also released for PS3 and Xbox360 on August 13th 2013. The Beta is still available for purchase as digital copy on PS-Store/Xbox Live Store and as a disc version.
The PAYDAY 2 Official Soundtrack was released to Steam on October 16, 2013, for US$5.
- Mayhem Dressed in a Suit – 03:08
- Master Plan – 03:30
- Time Window – 02:38
- Black Yellow Moebius – 03:40
- The Mark – 06:54
- Full Force Forward – 04:10
- Tick Tock – 02:50
- Fuse Box – 03:28
- Razormind – 04:35
- Calling all Units – 02:42
- Where's the Van?! – 02:46
- Hard Time – 04:10
- Clean Getaway – 03:18
- Mayhem Dressed in a Suit (remix) – 02:36
- Let's Go Shopping! – 03:01
- Armed to the Teeth – 05:59