Payday 2: Crimewave Edition

Game review by
Marc Saltzman, Common Sense Media
Payday 2: Crimewave Edition Game Poster Image
Decent but very violent shooter plagued with tech issues.
Popular with kidsParents recommend

Parents say

age 13+
Based on 12 reviews

Kids say

age 12+
Based on 27 reviews

A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this game.

Positive Messages

No positive messages -- you're a criminal who constantly breaks the law.

Positive Role Models & Representations

You play various characters, including a new female bank robber, but constantly commit crimes.

Ease of Play

Simple controls, easy to learn.

Violence

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).

Sex

Some paintings, drawings of women in suggestive poses, revealing outfits, but no nudity.

Language

Strong profanity includes "f--k" and "s--t."

Consumerism

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.

What 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.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Parent of an infant, infant, infant, infant, infant, 6, 9, 12, 13, 15, 15, and 18+ year old Written byjacobstolman July 27, 2015

game is fun

there is no reason for it to be M if your child wants this game they should understand that its not about killing people its for getting money you dont know wha... Continue reading
Adult Written byMisha P. August 8, 2017

Payday 2 isn't as bad as GTA V or HOTLINE MIAMI or even nearly as bad as The GOD OF WAR FRANCHISE

If you are thinking of getting your 14 year old GTA V Hotline Miami or even ANY of the good of war games I wouldn't unless you know your teenager will no... Continue reading
Teen, 14 years old Written bygamer.guy August 24, 2015
It is a great game to play, deciding if your kids can play it though is up to you. If your kids already know of the drugs and violence, it doesn't really m... Continue reading
Teen, 13 years old Written byihasnogoodname June 11, 2016

Payday 2 honest review

I think that Payday 2 (in general) is literally a game of cops and robbers and it reminded me of when I used to play it with my friends when we were younger. I... Continue reading

What's it about?

PAYDAY 2: CRIMEWAVE EDITION is a refreshed version of 2013's Payday 2. This souped-up game includes the original game with improved visuals, new material (including new heists, weapons, armor, masks, and more) and previously released downloadable content (such as the "Hotline Miami" and "Diamond Heist" add-on packs). Payday 2 is a cooperatively (co-op) centered first-person shooter that lets gamers don the masks of bank robbers who plan and execute epic bank heists and other criminal tasks in Washington, D.C. Though you can try to play stealthily, there are major shoot-outs with the police, FBI, SWAT teams, and rival gangs.

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.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about the impact of violence in games such as Payday 2: Crimewave Edition. Is it OK to vicariously live a day in a gangster's life -- scratching a fantasy itch or clearly understanding it as "guilty pleasure" entertainment -- or does this kind of violence desensitize us to the real thing?

  • How did you manage to coordinate your tactics with others? Did you find it easy? What were the main challenges of working with a team of online players?

Game details

Themes & Topics

Browse titles with similar subject matter.

For kids who love action

Our editors recommend

Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.

See how we rate

About these links

Common Sense Media, a nonprofit organization, earns a small affiliate fee from Amazon or iTunes when you use our links to make a purchase. Thank you for your support.

Read more

Our ratings are based on child development best practices. We display the minimum age for which content is developmentally appropriate. The star rating reflects overall quality and learning potential.

Learn how we rate