Let’s talk games, yeah? That’s better than what I usually write here. I’m actually just putting off me going to bed since I don’t wanna go to jury duty tomorrow, but alas. I prefer to spend my time in real life as a law abiding citizen.
Might as well avoid jury duty in game, right? What a better game to do that in than Payday 2 AKA probably my most favorite game of all time. Seriously, I don’t know if anything comes close to how much time and effort I put into this game.
This made me think about my relationship to this game and other gamers in general.
Let’s start with ol’ Chas’ definition of a gamer. I consider a “gamer” to be anyone who enjoys video games and plays them regularly. Of course there’s degrees of this where people take it to the professional level or people who only play those little phone games that use energy. Hey. I don’t really care.
What I do know is that Payday 2 is a game and it is one I have spent a lot of time playing….1528 hours as of writing this. That’s not nearly as much as other people I’ve met, but that’s still like two months of game time. Two months of my life has been spent in this game.
So, I bet if you play games on PC or have had a Steam account for a while you might own this game or have played it before. If you haven’t then you’ll have a million more opportunities to get it on the cheap. This whole event that just passed had the game go free to play and to buy the game it was like 5 bucks. Anyway, what is Payday 2? At its core it is pretty much a co-op horde shooter with a crime theme. You rob banks, jewelry stores, and other places that probably have a boat load of cash. On the surface, most people might go “Oh cool! This would be great to play with friends.” Then they bumble around with Harvest & Trustees Bank loud and make all the jokes that have surfaced outside of the whole community (Blahblah Thermal Drill Blahblah Hoxton says “Wankers” a lot). They might continue to play more since this game’s pretty easy to pick up and a sort of adrenaline rush to it that keeps people playing. Soon, that rush goes away and people move on to other games. It is that moment I want to talk about as I’ve seen it with friends I tried to get into the game. It is those moments of first trying this game that goes away in 1500 hours.
This idea came to my mind when I watched a video of some guy who usually plays Team Fortress confess how much he liked Payday. I watched a bit of his video and his banter with his friends. His experience is a lot like other people. They point out things I have seen a million times (probably literally that many too), but there’s something different about their reaction to it than mine.
I’ll give you an example.
Cloakers are an enemy in the game. They wear stealth suits and night vision goggles. Their goal is to “down” a player by sprinting at them at high speeds and kick them with an all powerful kick that will “down” the player even if their health if full. At first, these guys can catch you by surprise. You hear the WUULULULULU and maybe you let out a yelp or something. It isn’t surprising. If he comes from behind and then you lose all control as the camera pans to this Splinter Cell looking guy kicking you, it is kind of shocking. I even had the sound as my morning alarm for a long time.
The thing is, newer players will have a good ol’ time with this. They’ll get a surprise and then they’ll laugh saying things like “Oh man, Sam Fisher got me!”
It’s little things like that I don’t really have any more. If I get kicked by a Cloaker, more often than not I’m annoyed because I wasn’t fast enough to shotgun him in the face, or I didn’t do enough damage. I know their signs. I know most of their spawns. They aren’t really a surprise to me anymore.
That said, I really do appreciate that people can find the enjoyment in that. Another instance is when I was playing with a friend and he wanted to look at the pre-planning map and devise a plan. Now me, I know the maps like my route to and from work. I know where things spawn and where all the doors are supposed to be. To a new player, this is all new. They get to be a master criminal. They want to look at the blueprints and say “Oh I’ll come in here. You go here. Take the guards out too.”
I’m not really sure what I am trying to say, but I will say this. Seeing less avid players react positively to things that once hooked me on this game remind me why I’ve stuck around for so long. At first it was the co-op action. Then it was the leveling. Then it was trying all the guns. Then it was the Infamy levels. Then it was completing everything on Death Wish. It kept going and going. What keeps me going now at Infamy 25-100, Death Sentence One Down Mask, and almost all the achievements? Helping others. If I can help you with this achievement, or this heist, or just act as another gun, I’m more than happy to be there. I may have my ups and downs with this game, but I’m here for the long term.