In this new golden age of co-op shooters (thanks Left 4 Dead!), Payday: The Heist is one of the best games you can play for hearty accessible gunplay, a gratifying long-term leveling system, and a handful of dynamic memorable heists. And this weekend you can play the PC version for free. Give it a shot and remember that you have to grind the easier missions a few times to build up your character for the tougher missions. Be sure to play with the difficulty settings for greater risks and therefore greater cash rewards. Because cash is, of course, your experience points in Payday.
Once you’re sick of the bank, which is the equivalent of the game’s tutorial, try the crackhouse a few times to see how it can unfold. And when you really want a challenge, see how many of the diamonds you can snag — they’re basically big fat xp gems that are yours for the taking! — before setting off the alarm in the Nakatomi Plaza skyscraper mission. That one is actually my favorite for how unpredictable it is. Just ask the CFO.
Although Payday: The Heist works best with three other players, you can bring along AI buddies. They won’t use any of the game’s nifty toys, take hostages, or have the common courtesy of bringing along extra ammo for you, but they do have their own infinite supply of bullets and they’re very conscientious when it comes to reviving you.
Payday is available on Steam free of charge through Sunday at 1pm California time.