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Payday 2 Nintendo Switch is a Situational Purchase

If you’ve come here expecting a full fledged review of Payday 2, you might be a tad disappointed. While we will definitely touch on the gameplay elements, it is a game many years in the making and YouTube will ultimately be the best example of what the game has to offer, thanks to the numerous game play videos. Instead, the focus here will be on how Payday 2 translates to the Nintendo Switch. With a game so reliant on voice communication, can the verbally inept Switch provide the gameplay experience required to make Payday 2 a good buy? Let’s take a look.


Payday 2 is a heist exploration title where you are given a specific objective, and are required to pull that objective off, ultimately stealing something  – potentially funds, information on how to counterfeit money, or even works of art. There are a variety of different environments you can play in and around, which keeps the mission types fairly fresh. Since almost all the DLC from the PC, PS4, and Xbox One versions is available here – although I still question why it isn’t ALL available here – there is lots to do, may heists to complete, and different reasons to try an old heist again and again.

Each Heist will be noted as to whether you can completely it completely in stealth or not; unfortunately, my stealth skills are definitely sub par, so very rarely was I able to complete a mission without being spotted and bringing down hordes of cops and swat operatives.

When playing solo, Payday 2 is fun. It’s not amazing, but its definitely fun. Leveling your character up, earning money, buying weapons, and tricking out your safe house are all things that will keep you playing heist after heist. When looking at what Payday offers out of the box, there is definitely no shortage of game play options. Frustration will likely set in from time-to-time, especially when your AI companions don’t act and work in the way you want them to, making stealth missions with other characters particularly hard. That being said, once you get into a firefight with police, the AI performs remarkably well – perhaps too well in my opinion – as their aim and takedown counts were always astronomical.

Anyone who has heard of Payday 2, however, will know that this experience is best played with friends, and while you can do this on the Switch, it’s subpar to the other options, when it comes to internet play.

Payday 2 requires solid voice communication to be successful, especially when trying stay undetected. Since Payday 2 doesn’t use the terrible Switch voice chat via cellular devices, there is actually no way to communicate with random players when trying to do heists via an internet connection. When everyone is in separate locations, Payday 2 simply doesn’t work. Playing with real people is ultimately better in certain situations than playing with the AI, but can also be more frustrating. AI companions are, for the most point, pretty predictable. But when you put 3 or 4 intelligent, self thinking humans, the chance for disaster is actually increased.

The Nintendo Switch version of Payday 2 does have one major advantage: local play. If you have friends or family with copies of Payday 2, having the ability to play this game anywhere – from in my living room to at a family function – is a huge bonus. We obtained two copies of the game for this review, and I used one and a fellow writer and relative used the other. We have gotten together a lot over the last two weeks, playing Payday 2 in coffee shops, over lunch at McDonalds, and in a myriad of other places. If you can maintain a great connection between the two devices, the experience is phenomenal.

What this all comes down to when it comes to purchasing decisions on Payday 2 is what situation you will often find yourself in. If you want a competent, single player heist game on your Switch, Payday 2 will work. If you know many of your local friends and family will be getting their own copies of Payday 2, it works. But if you are planning on going online often, to play with other people from around the world, it simply does not work and picking this game up on PC, PS4, or Xbox One is a much better decision.

What is your situation? Let’s talk Payday on social media!


Article By

blank Adam Roffel has only been writing about video games for a short time, but has honed his skills completing a Master's Degree. He loves Nintendo, and almost anything they have released...even Tomodachi Life.

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Twitter: @AdamRoffel