A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this game.
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.
- Parents say
- Kids say
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?
- Platforms: PlayStation 4, Windows, Xbox One
- Price: $49.99
- Pricing structure: Paid
- Available online? Not available online
- Developer: 505 Games
- Release date: June 25, 2015
- Genre: First-Person Shooter
- Topics: Adventures, Misfits and Underdogs
- ESRB rating: M for Blood and Gore, Drug Reference, Intense Violence, Strong Language, Suggestive Themes
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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.