Get in, get the money and get out
PAYDAY The Heist is an adrenaline-pumping, gritty, episodic first person shooter available to download from PlayStation Store to your PlayStation 3 that tasks you with pulling off a series of elaborate robberies. The game features a number of maps for you to master including the First World Bank, Heat Street, Green Bridge and Diamond Heist.
Each job features a number of objectives such as restraining civilians, drilling through a security gate to reach a bank vault or transporting a valuable passenger from a prison bus to a secure rooftop location so they can be extracted via helicopter. The more objectives you complete, the higher your score, which in turn rewards you with experience points that unlock multiple in-game perks. These include better body armour, finer aiming and additional firepower such as a shotgun or sub machine gun.
Alongside weapon upgrades, you can carry a number of additional items in your inventory throughout each mission including an ammo bag, a health kit or cable ties for securing hostages. It's always worth grabbing a couple of hostages at the outset of a mission by pressing the R2 button on your wireless controller to get them to lay on the ground. Pressing and holding the R2 button down a second time will allow you to tie them up.
Having hostages means you can conduct trades with the police should one of your own men be captured and taken into custody in the middle of a raid, and on some of the game's tougher difficulty settings this happens more often than not.
Four man crews
While each of the six missions in PAYDAY The Heist can be played using computer-controlled teammates as backup, the game is at its best when experienced with up to three of your friends via PlayStation Network. It's also the best way for you to earn those all-important experience points as fast as you can by allocating certain jobs throughout each mission to players on your team.
For example, on Green Bridge, where the goal is to extract a high value target from a convoy of prison vans on a bridge, you'll need to have one player managing the circular saws that cut through the van doors, another covering the rear of the bridge and two more up front repelling the police assault. Working like this reduces the risk of being arrested or killed during hectic firefights as the clock ticks down and the police send in more waves of officers.
Although the majority of the missions are based on all-out assaults on banks and city streets, the last mission, Diamond Heist, requires a more strategic and stealthy approach. You'll have to manoeuvre a number of floors in a high-rise building, all the while avoiding security guards and disabling alarm boxes.
There's a reason why developer Overkill Software saved this one until last - it'll test the mettle of even the toughest gamers out there. Have you got what it takes to pull off the Diamond Heist without being spotted?