Raid: World War II is the spiritual “successor” to Overkill’s Payday 2. You will come to find, however, that this “successor” has very little in the way of success.
Initial impressions of Raid: World War II were poor. Very poor. After watching the beautiful cinematic trailer, I booted up the game to be greeted by early PS3 era graphics. Disappointing. Upon playing the tutorial I began to feel a strange sense of deja-vu.
Afew matches later I realised the reason why: Raid: World War II is Payday 2. That may seem a strange statement, after all they are both seemingly different games, however, please allow me to elaborate. The shooting mechanics in Raid are copy-and-pasted from Payday 2. No aiming reticles, hip-firing and sprinting around dodging bullets all create fast-paced, blood-pumping, adrenaline-fuelled fun. Whilst this formula works in Payday, in Raid it feels very out of place.
The weaponry is probably biggest reason why the gunplay just feels so wrong. Whilst Payday 2 has an assortment of fast-firing SMGs, LMGs and even akimbo pistols, all culminating in what is an almost comic book styled fast-paced thrill ride. Raid, however, (forced with the confines of it’s time period) has slow and cumbersome bolt action rifles. There is a huge clash between what the game so clearly wants to be (Payday-style fast paced fun) and what it actually is (slow and boring).
One of the many things Raid shares with Payday is it’s game engine. Payday 2 was built on the infamously poor Diesel Game Engine, an engine originally intended for racing games (hence the name). All the characteristic “features” of diesel engine are present and correct. Huge amounts of multiplayer lag, glitches galore and constant crashes are commonplace. Despite literally running on a racing engine, the game’s cars handle very poorly. Driving in Raid: World War II feels akin to skating on an ice rink while wearing a bomb disposal suit. Slow and out of your control. Moreover, the abysmal optimisation ensures that even the best PC’s will struggle with the veritable slideshow that is Raid: World War II‘s FPS.
Most of all, Raid: World War II just reeks of laziness. The reuse of the Diesel engine has allowed the developers to copy copious amounts of Payday 2 into their supposedly “new” game. The features that weren’t directly copied, such as the stealth system, have just been made worse. Stealth in Payday 2 was carefully sneaking around with silenced pistols, answering guard pagers with baited breath and tense moments when you’re on the verge of being spotted. In Raid all it takes if for one guard to glimpse you out of the corner of his eye and bam! Gunshots. Sirens. Frustration.
Raid and Payday are both games that rely heavily on replayability. The randomised elements of maps and RPG style skill-trees that so gripped players in Payday are no longer present, instead what remains are a few samey maps and a mediocre class system.
The real cherry on top of the laziness sundae that is Raid: World War II is the direct copying of maps from Payday 2. This is seen most prevalently in the map “rogues gallery” which is a literally 1 for 1 copy of Payday 2‘s jewellery store. The only difference being the slight texture changes and the removal of some cvillian NPC’s (probably because they were too lazy to actually program new civilian actions).
Raid: World War II is an shamefully poor attempt at a money-grab. A downgrade to Payday 2 in literally every way coupled with a price tag almost 3 times that of Payday 2(£30.99 vs £10.99) make Raid: World War II a game you should definitely steer-clear of. The only thing Raid does right, is making you want to experience Payday 2 all over again, and remember what made that game great.