PAYDAY: Crime War review: A potential buried deep within

The Crime War has just begun...or did it end already?

PAYDAY: Crime War is the debut of the PC/Console heist series PAYDAY on mobile. Developed by PopReach Corporation, PAYDAY: Crime War takes in the exact concept of its PC/ Console counterparts. As a co-op PVE, PVPVE heist shooter the game made its arrival grandiose by promising a on-the-go experience while staying true to its source PAYDAY game. How much it delivers on the promise is something we’ll attempt to discuss and conclude in this PAYDAY: Crime War review.

A complete heist of stability

PAYDAY: Crime War is not too graphically impressive as we’ll discuss later in this PAYDAY: Crime War review. However, despite not being a looker, the game also has a not-so-stable performance. Graphical bugs, clipping, movement stick freezing for a second and a few dips in FPS are just very common here. Even on mid-high spec devices, this game can’t perform smoothly at all times and that’s an issue.

Payday: Crime Wars Australia, Payday: Crime Wars
Image via PopReach Corporation

Bearing a PC/ Console hit franchise name on a game bares some responsibilities which weren’t handled with much care in this case. However, there was already an update during our time with the game that fixed some performance issues so it might be safe to assume it could launch at a relatively better-performing state. Graphically the game felt okayish, not impressive or bad. But looking at the modern-day mobile games, the graphics could have been a lot better. The sound effects are fine and go well with the game.

Lack of content hurts the launching pad

Every online co-op or PVP game at the time of launch is less impressive in terms of content and slowly fills the multiplayer game with content that is understandable and acceptable as well. However, in the case of PAYDAY, it’s exceptionally minimal the amount of content in this game available (although the game is at a very early phase of launch).

payday crime war victory
Image via PopReach Corporation

If the game doesn’t overhaul its variety of game modes, additional challenges, and franchise staples like the cop vs robber mode it’s extremely stale and might just hurt the game at launch. This aspect of the game definitely can be redeemed with regular and timely updates however, when it launches it should have way more variety in terms of game modes.

The in-game AI is exceptionally brain dead

PAYDAY: Crime War is a PVE and PVPVE game so naturally the enemy AI plays a big role in it. Especially in the PVE aspects of it, as things stand the AI is extremely dumb and seems to spawn sticks in weird spots, as well as stage you for a good 5 seconds before firing.

The AI is so brain dead it’s very apparent from the moment you jump into co-op as they have little to no strategy of cohesive attack whatsoever. The so-called SWAT team can’t seem to find their way past the reception desk of a jewelry store at times. This causes less meaning to every heist you complete cause the game doesn’t pose any challenge to you, let alone co-op partners.

Image via PopReach Corporation

An overhaul in difficulty is extremely necessary

PAYDAY: Crime War, as mentioned above doesn’t bear a very challenging combat due to which the entire difficulty falls on the objectives which as of now aren’t challenging at all, especially with co-op partners. In order to make the game fun a more intense scenario or objective is required.

Most of the game modes in this game are way too easy as you’d just need to barge in take money with a generous time limit and get out and finish some easy-to-kill cops. This needs to change or mix up with either game modes like Cops vs Robbers or more strict time limits. The game isn’t much fun or satisfying however, bear in mind this could all be fixed with future updates or on the launch.

Janky controls restrict the flow of gameplay

The core gameplay loop of PAYDAY is pretty intact actually however, the janky controls slow down the free-flowing nature seen in the original games. The game doesn’t have input delay but you’ll often notice a disconnect between what you want to do and what transpires on the screen.

payday crime war shooting mechanics action gun fire
Image via PopReach Corporation

This is primarily due to the movement button not being tuned to the flexibility of mobile screen movements or the sharp turns you’ll need to take a lot of time to check for enemies, which is pretty common in fps titles. Button mapping is standard and you can tune almost all of it to your liking it works fairly responsively though not without some jank.

The game makes you go through the same old microtransactions

Mobile games are usually expected to come with microtransactions and this game isn’t stranger to that as well. However, they are numerous but not aggressive. The game reminds you when you start matchmaking that you’re playing it for free with it being written right next to “Ready”.

PAYDAY Crime War shop
Image via PopReach Corporation

Small things aside there is some play-to-win stuff behind a paywall such as body armor that affects the gameplay heavily. Others aren’t that effective. The blatant pushing of microtransaction is a bit too much in this game though as when you open a pack you’d get a timer after which you’ll get your stuff however, if you want to open the package right away then you have to pay with gold ( A currency in the game).

Final Verdict

PAYDAY: Crime War, as discussed in this review, has suffered from many technical issues however, the core PAYDAY DNA is very much present in this game, and the structures, although primary, are very much present in this game. It has a lot of potential as we definitely recognize the efforts put into making this experience mobile-friendly and bringing in the staple main characters of the original Payday.

The game right now is not much engaging or but however, it can turn up a lot with some tweaks and updates and this game can be much more fun. Meaningful progress, variation in game modes and a bit of challenge thrown into the gameplay mix are pretty solid as of now. Sticking around with this game might be worth it because when tuned correctly the PAYDAY formula is still top-notch.

PAYDAY: Crime War is a very content-dry game currently with few game modes and very janky gameplay doesn’t help it either. The game has some promising elements such as the theme and setups however, the core gameplay fails to deliver any sort of challenge due to the current state of AI and controls.

The game, however, has a lot of potential and microtransactions aren’t as pay-to-win as of now so it can be a very complete experience with numerous and meaningful updates. However, we’d definitely recommend checking the game out in some time as this PAYDAY on-the-go formula alone should stir up excitement and with some polish, it could be worth it.

PAYDAY: Crime War review by Gamingonphone

Gameplay Mechanics - 6.5
Graphics and Music - 7
Controls and UI - 8
Free-to-Play Elements - 8



PAYDAY: Crime War is a very content-dry game with few game modes and very janky gameplay doesn’t help it either. The core gameplay fails to deliver any sort of challenge due to the current state of AI and controls.

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