“We’re here to draw some blood from a guy they have in quarantine.”
That is the objective of the mission and your contact spells out the plan to you in important detail to guarantee your victory. Unless the random number generator results in a stranger getting into the elevator with you drowning out your contacts plan, leaving you with no idea how you are supposed to pull the heist off. Ah well, you can improvise.
Overkill has released part of its new DLC for Payday: The Heist and if you have played Left 4 Dead you know exactly where you will be. Crossing over with Valve’s zombie apocalypse game, the heist takes place in Mercy Hospital, but not during the outbreak that Valve’s game is famous for. Instead it takes place before the infection takes the city inside the hospital where patient zero was believed to have been in the game.
There are two ways to start the map. At the beginning you are told you need to disable security cameras and then look for the patient’s information in the computer and files. Along the way you also need to keep a person on the phone busy when they call. If you don’t disable the cameras or don’t find the information in time an alarm goes off and you need to get to the objective the old fashioned way; drilling the doors open while fending off the cops and eventually the swat team. Regardless of how you get in however, once you reach the patient the real fun begins.
Upon first hearing about this campaign I was excited but did not expect the map to be more than a tribute to a popular and addictive zombie game. Instead what was delivered was a carefully crafted and brilliant tribute that embraces the best of both worlds. While a bit smaller than in Left 4 Dead, Mercy Hospital’s fourth floor is an almost exact one to one replica only cleaned up all nice and fancy. Don’t worry, it doesn’t last, once the army shows up the destruction will make the map look more like it’s Left 4 Dead counterpart and it is glorious.
This replication provides the campaign with a lot of nice and fun memories and being able to play it in a different way makes it refreshing. It’s a mix of nostalgia and newness that make it enjoyable, but does demonstrate a small problem with Payday’s gameplay. The tight corridors make the fighting chaotic and while this can be fun for a little while, it can make completing the map tedious. While most maps on Payday do have tighter areas there are plenty of open locations with plenty of cover to maneuver. No Mercy does not have that which can make the map ridiculous at times, especially if you have to take the plan B route. The spawn rates for certain enemies may need to be adjusted to accommodate this. Either that or shorter assault waves (only for this map though).
Despite this however the map is an incredible collaboration that makes Valve’s DLC pale in comparison. From the one to one replica to some really impressive easter-eggs, to the frantic and fun, yet flawed gameplay, the map truly is a great time. Fans of Payday and only Payday will find this to be a great yet flawed addition to the game. Fans of both Payday and Left 4 Dead will be begging Valve to make the storyline in this heist canon.
Seriously Valve. Make this crossover canon.
(Unfortunately Mercy Hospital is only available on the PC version of Payday. However both PC and PS3 users will be able to enjoy more Downloadable Content in Overkill’s next DLC: Wolf Pack.)