Not many games manage to capture the thrill of robbing a bank like the Payday series, not that we’re familiar with the feeling anyways. The third mainline installment in the franchise, Payday 3, was announced in 2016, and since it’s been so long and with all the Marvel’s Spider-Man 2 hype, it wouldn’t be surprising if most people gave up on it.
However, 2023 has yet again proved to be the best year for video games as we finally have word on when Overkill’s next big heist takes place. If you’re curious about when Payday 3 is playable and what’s changed over these past 10 years, then look no further as here are all the latest updates on the game.
When’s Payday 3 Releasing?
Payday 3 is scheduled to be released on September 21, 2023. Unlike the previous entries, it’ll be launching on the PS5, Xbox Series X/S, and PC simultaneously.
The launch of Payday 3 has been a long time coming for Overkill. The Swedish developer was first acquired by a native competitor, Starbreeze Studios, and then when Overkill found funding for their ambitious The Walking Dead game, its extremely mild reception left the entire company on the brink of bankruptcy. But you wouldn’t be reading this article if they didn’t persevere in the end, and that’s precisely what happened.
Starbreeze successfully secured a deal with Koch Media, and now they are on course to release Payday 3 later this Summer. However, there’s another significant change in this highly anticipated sequel—it will adopt the games as a service (GaaS) model, which means plenty of microtransactions are in store. Rest assured, these transactions will be limited to cosmetics only. I would say it’s shocking, but long-time players already agree that the entire series is basically built as a live service.
What Engine Is Payday 3 on : Switching To Unreal Engine 5
This will also be the first time in the series that a mainline game is not built on the Diesel Engine. Payday 3 will instead be utilizing the Unreal Engine 4 which makes it possible for the console ports to release on the same day as for PC.
Interestingly, the development process will continue post-launch and Payday 3 will be switched to Unreal Engine 5. How Overkill and Starbreeze Studios will make that happen, I don’t know, but they’re stressing it’ll be a very smooth transition.
Payday 3 Arrives Day One On Xbox Game Pass
After the cryptic teaser trailer we saw earlier in January, Overkill Software went dark, that is until Payday 3 made an unexpected appearance during the Xbox Games Showcase held in July. A gameplay trailer was featured in the event, among many other games like Starfield, Cyberpunk 2077: Phantom Liberty, and Persona 3 Reloaded.
Despite the gameplay trailer being revealed at Xbox’s Showcase, it will be coming to PlayStation, albeit Xbox owners have the sweet upside of having Payday 3 available day one on the Xbox Game Pass.
Everything New In Payday 3 — The Story, Gameplay, & Cross-progression
The story of Payday 3 picks up several years after the ending of the last game where the gang parted ways and went into an early retirement. However, an unforeseen event stirs them back into action, reuniting the squad once more with their sights set on a new target—New York.All the original Payday characters, Dallas, Hoxton, Wolf, and Chains, will be returning, so for those worried about a reboot, worry no more.
Besides the original heisters, Payday 3 will have two additional playable characters. We don’t know who they are yet, but the devs have promised they’ll announce it in due time. Gameplay is what you’d expect from a Payday sequel, the same for the most part but with more guns, gadgets, new ways to rob a bank, and more heat on your back.
The visuals are where remarkable improvements have been made. Better lighting, textures, and level design, it’s a huge upgrade over the last game, though if you’ve played games like God of War or Death Stranding, Payday 3 will feel like a top-of-the-line PS3 game rather than one for the current generation of consoles.
But I’d still suggest letting that slide since, unlike most games, Payday 3 has a price tag of $39.99. That’s nearly half of what you’d normally pay for a AAA game on launch day. Then again, it does have microtransactions, so maybe it’s justifiable after all.
There Is Cross-platform Support, But With A Hiccup
Thanks to the Unreal Engine 4, Payday 3 will come with full cross-play and cross-progression support at launch. You’ll be able to play with friends regardless of what device they are on or play on any of your devices while retaining your save data. That’s a giant thumbs up since most multiplayer games lack this feature, but there’s one big problem with the game itself.
You’ll always need to have a stable internet connection to access the game, even when you’re playing solo. It’s hard to grasp that train of thought since the previous games had an offline mode, and is there a point to having an internet connection if you’re going to play alone anyways?
Rocksteady’s upcoming shooter Suicide Squad: Kill the Justice League also needed an internet connection to access its dozens of hours long story mode, however, the decision was bashed by so many that the studio has decided to delay the game by a whole year. While the press release said it’s for further polishing, insider reports claimed that they’ll be removing the always-online requirement as well.
Payday 3’s case is no different. It’s being subjected to backlash for this as we speak, though whether it will be removed or not is another matter. As of now, the release date for September 21, 2023, remains unchanged. We will have to wait until then to observe fan feedback and the developers’ response.