Same Difference: PLAYDATE Edition

Same Difference: PLAYDATE Edition

sKanDLe has a playdate with GTAV and Payday 2.

Do you know what a playdate is? No, it’s not as sexy as it sounds. It’s when parents have decided that their kids needs to have other kids to talk to. When I was young, we just went and played Pokemon, but now that’s too dangerous because it leads to anime or something.

Why am I telling you this? BECAUSE IT’S IMPORTANT! I was going to do a Same Difference on the two great crime games, but I had to “playdate” my stupid cousins. So this time, you lucky people, you get to have comments from not one, not two, but three members of the sKanDLe extended family:

In the red corner we have Janine, a girl who plays on a PC, a total snob, basically. And in the blue highchair, we have her little brother, Floyd.

And what games are we going to be looking at? Well, I was a little worried about showing them these rated M, but then I realised something. If Mom says I can play “M” games because I’m mature enough, then I’m mature enough to decide if Janine and Floyd can, so nyeah.

Well, in the green corner, we have Payday 2: Crimewave Edition by Overkill Software. And against it, in the yellow corner, we have the Grandaddy of crime games: Grand Theft Auto 5 by Rockstar.

Now, I know that you’re wondering: something’s wrong with doing games this far apart, but the PC guys just got GTA and we just got Payday, so it balances out. Also, it shuts Janine up, because she can play Clover and swear like a girl.



A few FACTS about the contenders first:

Payday 2 is a mission-based first person shooter that lets you choose what jobs you do, while Grand Theft Auto has two different games. The first is a story about three guys who run a sandbox third person driver/shooter, while the second is a story about one guy who runs a sandbox third person driver/shooter.

In Payday 2, you’re a group of bank-robbers who are trying to put together a big score while your boss is trying to make sure you’re ready for a really big bank. Which seems like the end of GTA, where the group has split up after a botched job and are preparing for one last heist.

FACT: A thousand words makes up a picture

One of the big differences between the two games is the amount of words used.

In Grand Theft Auto, all of the characters have their own books to read for everything they say. Once you’ve heard the stupid pilot, Lester, or Simeon babble on, you’re thankful for the serenity of Gerald. Lamarr especially just talks trash all the time.

Your character, though, is as mute as a Valve MC. They make jokes about it, but it really feels like they lost something there. Your character busts some good moves, but they never seem like yours.

Payday 2 goes the other way though: you don’t have a choice about whose voice you have, but you can choose any of the 8 characters(including 2 girls who have these strange British accents) and they talk about everything. Everything is “goddam” this and “damn that,” which is pretty cool, but after a while you notice something strange.

See, in Payday 1, they used to talk to each other, calm each other down and stuff. Now it’s just Bain talking, and that’s where the games come together again. In Payday 2, you are always interacting with Bain and doing what he wants you to do, while in GTA, you’re being talked to by Lester or Lamarr or someone else telling you what to do.

Janine: I like Clover because she swears like a girl.

Floyd: muthafucka


FACT: If music is the food of love, what’s the drink?

Again, there’s a big difference between the two games. Payday 2 has banging tracks written by Simon Viklund that get all edgy when you set the alarm off and all soft when things are peaceful. Each track is based on each mission, with the really good tracks being on chase missions like “Hotline Miami” or “Watchdogs.”

GTA uses two different versions of its music. Normally, you have a car radio, which has loads of radio stations that play whatever music suits the DJs. There’s also the mission music if you turn the radio off, which is all creepy electronic stuff that suits you creeping up on people.

Each has their problems, though. GTA‘s stations need re-tuning every time, which is a pain, while Payday 2 only ever plays one tune per mission– no matter how much bass you have in it.

Janine: I like Big Bank music because a woman shouts at a man and he shouts back.

Floyd didn’t really get any of the music, but he loves Soulwax FM.

FACT: All clocks stop 86,400 times a day

This is something that really gets on my nerves. Like really really, and it’s far worse in GTA than PayDay 2.

Why limit what you can do and then time it?

Seriously, the amount of races I’ve done in both games where I’ve fishtailed out and it’s gone “OMG YOU SUCH A FAIL” and thrown me out. It happens more often in GTA, but it hurts a lot more in Payday 2.

If you’re doing the car dealership heist, you’ve got four minutes to do it. If you fishtail once or have your stupid cousin get spotted on camera, you lose that entire mission.

Equally, if you’re racing on GTA and you get knocked off on a tight corner, it takes you AGES to get back on track. Which is reasonably fair, because you don’t have any blue shells, but not when it starts ticking down and says “DNF” because you’re 10 seconds behind first place.

We’re not talking someone who’s trolling here, just someone trying to finish the game, and because of a time limit, you suddenly can’t. That’s weapon-grade Reagonomics for you.

Janine: Cousin gets upset when you beat him. That’s why he races Floyd.

Floyd: vroomvroom


FACT: When you can play a game between playing a game, something is wrong

Janine carries her tablet with her everywhere. It may be pink, which sucks, but it’s got some pretty cool games on it. There’s one called Adventure Capitalist which is like Cookie Clicker but with money. All you have to do is spend a few minutes on it per hour and you get lots of fake money to buy more fake money with.

And you know when we play that the most? When we’re waiting for games to finish loading.

Now, I have to move Floyd’s controller at times, but he’s getting the hang of it. The people who aren’t getting the hang of it are the games manufacturers.

Let’s say I want to start a race with Janine. This is what I have to do:

Press up for phone, select Jobs, select Race, select Type of Race, wait, select Done, select Closed, select Invite, select Friend, select Janine, back, back, back, select Music, buy stuff, select Done, select Done, select Infernus, select DJ pose, select Done, select a big amount to bet, select Done, wait for the cars to appear, wait for the flag, and then race.

Now, I may just be an awesome dude, but “I want to race against Janine in my awesome car on a track” is that tough? But you can’t do that, not even if you’ve just finished a race against her. You have to  do loads of selecting and loads of waiting.

Same with Payday 2: you’re literally waiting for someone to roll a die and bring up the mission you want to do. You can’t even select it. That’s waiting until the game lets you do something. That’s possibly why you need to be 18 to play the game, because you’ve got to be used to waiting around being bored. I don’t have time to be bored.

Janine: I like to look after my angels, they’re the key to the job.

Floyd: Zzzzzzzzzzzz

FACT: Reality is for real people; I like unreality

Do you know how hard it is to get off the couch while you’re watching TV? Pretty easy if you’re not ancient, right?

Not if you’re playing Grand Theft Auto.

How about buying some cool stuff to put around your pad? Pretty easy, I guess.

Not if you’re playing either game.

The big thing about being a criminal is that you can change your situation. That’s what makes a criminal, and especially being able to do some Fungi Shoe so that your crib looks pretty pimped out. Get a pinball machine or something in there.

What does neither game do? Yep– you can’t change your crib at all.

Janine: I don’t like to look out of the window as it scares me.

Floyd: do exploshuns more


FACT: Gamification is making games into chores

You know what I like to do when I boot up a crime game? I like to commit a crime.

I don’t like the idea of having to complete my daily award by balancing on my nose for six seconds while wearing a Desert Eagle down my trousers, even if it’s going to get me lots of fake money.

But you log into either game, and it hits you with this Daily Objective garbage.

Each game wants you to perform a crazy achievement mission EACH DAY just to build up enough money to do things. That’s work, and worse than that it’s cleaning up after you didn’t make the mess. No one asked you to do these things, they just give you a cookie if you act like their little puppy. Like going on ****ing playdates.

Janine: My mum gives me a candy bar if I brush my teeth at night.

Floyd: want to see exploshuns

So, sKanDLe, which of these games are better? And what did Janine think?

It doesn’t matter which is better; that’s not what this is about! This is about the Same Difference in BOTH games.


What happens if you try and complete these games lawfully? You can’t. What happens if you try to nip into a building across the road and nuke the building? You can’t. What happens if you grenade the bad guys carrying the briefcase? The briefcase drops, unharmed.

You’re just following a script here. They’re talking about the illusion of choice when you don’t have any. It’s like when Auntie comes in and says, “Do you want to look after the kids?” and you say, “Not really, Auntie dear, I have a well-wicked column to write” and she threatens to take your console away and you say, “That’s not fair” and she says, “Tough.”

You have to do it their way.

And if you try to do it another way? Then there’s big warning signs and sirens that say “YOU ARE NOT DOING THIS THE PROPER WAY.”

Wat? I’m not doing crime the legal way? That’s not even ironic, that’s just pure Bromley.

You want me to play a crime game? Give me a way to commit a crime that you haven’t allowed. That makes it a REAL crime, not just play acting one.

As for Janine and Floyd? Well, their dad works for Chicago JCB, and after playing Clover for a few hours, it’s gonna be fun the next time they see a bulldozer IRL.

I’m outa here. Peace.


TL:DR; Sandbox games shouldn’t be about the box, it should be about the sand.