Overkill’s monthly side job has updated for the new month, and this time it’s a brand new challenge. Old Memories reads: “Dallas is thinking about the good old days and he would appreciate if you did too. Complete Rats job on Overkill or above, using AMCAR and Chimano 88 with no skills and 2-piece suit.”

This is a pretty clever reference actually, because Overkill knows players are going to speedrun the map in order to minimize the risk of going in nude, which is exactly what people used to do back when Rats was a treasure trove of XP in the early days of Payday 2. Nowadays plenty of other heists have taken that title away from Rats (most notably its bastard child Cook Off) so this run was indeed a nice nostalgic look back into familiar territory.

I completed it solo, since we’re halfway through the month and I doubted I’d find anyone competent in pubs who happened to also still need this side job. If you likewise haven’t completed it, and you don’t already know the tricks for speeding Rats, I recorded my run for posterity:

(Watch this instead if you’d prefer the video without commentary.)

My initial motivation was to get that weapon boost reward since boosts are the one category where I’m severely lacking. They drop as weapon mods, meaning with every heist I’m a little closer to maxing out my reserves for the fiddly things (the game only lets you carry 2 of any weapon mod before it won’t drop that mod again). But actually, it was only after this run that I remembered Overkill recently reactivated a new way to get card drops; my old friend Offshore Payday is back, and once again I shamelessly liquidated the entirety of my bank account farming cards faster than you can say “Jewelry Store speedrun.” Now I’m hemorrhaging Concealment, Stability and Accuracy boosts, and cannot be happier.

Speaking of actual old memories, Counterfeit and Undercover just came out for Payday 2! The Wolf Pack 2.0 just came out this week, bringing back both of the paid DLC maps from Payday the Heist, along with a secondary GL40 (clearly inspired by its predecessor being a secondary) and a nailgun that, bizarrely, you bludgeon with instead of shooting.

Let’s talk for a second about the first Wolf Pack. Even now it stands as the best DLC ever added to an Overkill game, coming with two heists, 25% more guns, a brand new skill tree, 48 more reputation levels, a brand new deployable and setting the precedent for letting non-owners play when an owner hosts. (Not to mention Payday 1 was a much smaller game with extremely specialized firearms so all this stuff really stands out). Adding 33% more content into its game, it felt worth the money and a shining example of how DLC should be done. And now Overkill’s gone and added yet another reason it’s groundbreakingly awesome; owners of the first Wolf Pack get the new one for free in Payday 2!

And ultimately I can say I’m satisfied with the DLC as a whole. Counterfeit is my favorite heist from the first game and I love that a new generation of heisters are going to experience it. Much like the new First World Bank, they drastically enhanced the gameplay with the ability to cook your own meth print your own phony money, not to mention added a lot more civilian dialogue, which is always a plus in my book. Mitchell has custom lines for when he’s a hostage, something I’ve never seen before.

There's enough good things that I can almost forgive THIS DRILL NOW JAMS...
There’s enough good things that I can almost forgive that THIS DRILL NOW JAMS…

Unfortunately the Payday 2 artstyle really shows its limitations here, as it tries and chokes on rendering the single most vibrant heist from the first game. The blue tint isn’t doing it any favors, and in general the harsh lighting and chromatic aberration just kills the atmosphere. Look at the bikini civilian for a specific example:

Payday 1 / Payday 2
Payday 1 / Payday 2

It’s weird how the second game has better textures, but the first overcompensates with some truly stunning lighting and shaders that really brings the world to life. Luckily, the new Undercover provides a contrasting victory, since the first game’s Undercover had a depressingly dull pallet consisting entirely of Max Payne hallways colored next-gen brown. The sequel colored the furniture somewhat and added a few new world-building events, like a murder of crows you startle on the roof.

The female FBI agent from the webseries makes another appearance. Guess she survived Hox Breakout.
The female FBI agent from the webseries makes another appearance. Guess she survived Hoxton Breakout.

So all in all, this DLC gets two thumbs up. I’d probably have purchased it even if it hadn’t fallen into my lap for free, if only so I could host Counterfeit whenever I wanted. And of course so that I can wade into battle with Piglet/secondary GL40/frag grenades/Potato Masher. It’s like I’m playing the TFC Demoman!

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