Regretfully, the PS3 version of PAYDAY (which is actually published by Sony, and was originally a PS3 game) will never receive the Mercy Hospital heist DLC… ever. This is due to L4D’s console exclusivity agreement with Microsoft and the Xbox 360. A shame, yes, but let’s not forget that PS3 players did get the best console version of Portal 2, so I suppose it is as they say: you win some, you lose some!
Here is the update’s changelog. Again, if you own PAYDAY on Steam, then you have received this new heist entirely for free, so I encourage you to install PAYDAY, and give it a try!
In addition, players who have either one of the Left 4 Dead games on Steam (and have them installed) will now receive the new Special Infected masks for the four PAYDAY robbers. Dallas gets the Hunter mask, Hoxton gets the Boomer mask, Wolf gets the Smoker mask, and Chains gets the Tank mask. In addition, everyone gets a new menu theme inspired by Left 4 Dead, featuring the robbers wearing the Special Infected masks. It’s now my menu theme of choice!
But, of course, the Mercy Hospital/No Mercy heist (it’s referred to using both names in-game) is the main attraction here. I played through it with three of my colleagues at Podcast 17, and I have to admit that I was extremely impressed by the entire thing. I have always found PAYDAY itself to be fairly enjoyable, but this new heist takes things to a whole new level.
Let me first explain how much variety and replayability Overkill have crammed in this short level. Yes, you can go in guns blazing, shooting up the entire reception area, before you even manage to breach the ICU wing, so I suppose it wouldn’t be PAYDAY if you didn’t have to defend an electronic drill for 3 minutes, in every heist. But if you play your cards right, you can actually play the heist in an entirely different way. By shooting all the security cameras (which randomly and significantly change locations in each new playthrough), securing all of the panic buttons, and accomplishing other similar objectives, you get to infiltrate the hospital’s ICU wing… while disguised as doctors. But again, if you fail, you get to go in guns blazing: this is no primitive game-over affair.
And in this alternate, more stealthy side-path, finding Patient Zero actually involves solving a surprisingly complex medical puzzle – using the help of a nurse, you need to find out which one of 3 isolated patients is the aforementioned Patient Zero, the only man alive with the Green Flu virus in his system. The nurse will explain the symptoms of each patient in part, and using all that information, you will need to figure out who your target is before you can break in and steal his blood.
Yes, that’s right. A bank heist game in which you get to diagnose someone with a deadly zombie virus. Honestly, how awesome is that?
In fact, the location and identity (and sometimes, even the symptoms) of Patient Zero change in each playthrough, regardless of how you choose to perform the heist (action or stealth). The nurse will also always give you different information on the patients, each time you play, so there is a huge amount of replay value present here.
In addition, the end of the heist represents yet another randomized element that encourages replayability. Your elevator might reach the roof, where you’ll find out just what happened to Mercy Hospital before the zombie apocalypse; or the elevator might take a “forced detour” down to the morgue levels, where you’ll find out some disturbing facts concerning the true nature of the Green Flu outbreak.
But either way, PAYDAY: No Mercy does some extremely interesting and clever things with both the Left 4 Dead and PAYDAY narratives, and I am extremely impressed by how they’ve managed to blend two thematically opposing game franchises together in a very subtle, cohesive and intelligent manner. Be sure to pay attention to the audio dialogue, and the environment itself!
So overall, a job very well done to Overkill for a very solid DLC offering worthy of being a Left 4 Dead crossover! Stay tuned to the Podcast 17 YouTube channel, if you want to see me and my podcasting cohorts run through Mercy Hospital – the video should be up some time tomorrow. And why not take a look at the official PAYDAY: No Mercy teaser trailer to get a good look at how the heist looks and feels?