A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this game.
No positive messages -- you're a criminal who constantly breaks the law.
Positive Role Models
You play various characters, including a new female bank robber, but constantly commit crimes.
Ease of Play
Simple controls, easy to learn.
Violence & Scariness
You shoot many weapons: pistols, machine guns, shotguns, and the like. Enemies cry out in pain, fall to their deaths. Large amounts of blood seen, as well as body parts. You'll mostly kill rival gangs, police officers, but you can kill hostages (generally penalized for killing civilians).
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
Some paintings, drawings of women in suggestive poses, revealing outfits, but no nudity.
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Strong profanity includes "f--k" and "s--t."
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Products & Purchases
Includes downloadable content (DLC) such as "Hotline Miami" and "Diamond Heist," but players don't have to pay for these add-on packs.
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Contains scenes with illegal narcotics. Gamers prep, sell the drugs, including meth and cocaine.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Payday 2: Crimewave Edition is essentially a bank heist simulator and is full of inappropriate content. Players can rob banks with others, shoot and kill rival gangs and police officers, kill hostages if need be, and deal drugs in some other missions. Along with plenty of violence, blood and gore, there's also strong profanity, drug use, and women in suggestive poses and outfits.
Is It Any Good?
Though it won't win any "Best of" awards, and the potentially disturbing content won't make this game a parental pick, Payday 2: Crimewave Edition offers a lot of bang for the buck. It's not worth picking up if you already own the previous game, unless you really want to play it on newer consoles, and there are other issues, but it proves fairly fun when playing with online friends. There are new heists, such as "The Big Bank," "The Butcher," and "The Dentist," all of which are loaded with safe cracking, loot stealing, hostage taking, shooting, and vandalizing. There's also a new perk system and skill tree for greater character customization, a new pre-planning feature to prep strategies prior to missions, and nearly 100 weapons and almost 150 customizable masks. The co-op experience is gratifying, as is the progression/XP system and the healthy number of character slots to choose the right team for the job. The game's music soundtrack also is worth noting.
That said, there are assorted issues, such as graphical bugs -- awkward character models, "clipping" issues (where players can get half a character's body stuck in a wall or safe), and fallen enemies that seem to float in the air instead of fall to the ground. There also are some single-player A.I. problems, where your computer-controlled teammates disregard the objectives and do whatever they want. But if you can overlook these issues and you're a fan of this genre, Payday 2: Crimewave Edition is a decent bank-robbing action game at a decent price; otherwise, this might not be right for you.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.