To add a little more consistency and contant to my blog I thought I’d try out have scheduled posts for every Friday on something that I would like to share my opinion on. We all know that video games are really added to with their soundtracks and there’s so much to be enjoyed about them. The feelings they give you, the hype of the moment, the memories that you carry.
So here’s my top five tracks from the very musical game, Payday 2.
Number Five – A Merry Payday Christmas
The only disappointing thing about the release of the game was the discovery that my favourite character, Hoxton, had been replaced. The new “Hoxton” (now renamed Houston) was Dallas’ younger brother, more serious, a little brattish and looked and sounded very different. Since Pete Gold (Hoxton’s original voice actor) didn’t reprise his role at the beginning it was said that Hoxton had been arrested in the time between Payday 1 and 2 and was currently serving time in prison. The first Christmas after the game’s release we had a special piece of DLC which included a Christmas album recorded by Hoxton himself in prison which was an amazing thing and it even delved into a bit of the lore surrounding his arrest, adding to the growing story without omitting him entirely. Pete Gold sung all these different heisting and criminal based songs. My favourite one being A Merry Payday Christmas which I genuinely put on every year as it’s now become a classic on my Christmas playlist.
Number Four – Break the Rules
If you wanted a track that accomplishes the hyped up feeling of getting what you want and screwing the rest, the feeling of taking revenge on someone and bringing their empire crashing down and also having that distinct 1980’s Miami vibe then look no further than Break the Rules by Simon Viklund. This was first introduced in the Scarface Heist Pack and features the return (somewhat) of Tony Montana, although only known in this as Scarface, taking down the Sosa cartel which kinda ties into the movie series. It’s a very odd crossover given the times and ages but somehow works if you don’t think about it too much.
The great thing about this track is that there’s a chance that instead of it just playing the track during the heist, the vocal version will start to play with Simon Viklund breaking out into this great, moving song which really completes the overall feeling of being the criminal you were born to be.
Number Three – Dirt & Dust
What I like about this track the most was it’s sudden surprise because at this point we hadn’t had any new Payday content for almost two years when it ended it’s post game content production. The story was over, the company was focusing on Overkill’s The Walking Dead and Payday 3 was most likely being planned. However due to financial difficulties they decided that to procure funds for Payday 3 they would release more content that tied into the story very well. Instead of making it happen after the ending they decided to make it run alongside it. Since only four characters went to rescue Bain, another four went to Mexico to take down a mercenary group to help win their war. This track just jumps at you with “we’re back!” and I thought it was amazing to hear during it’s trailer. I also really get this sense of desperation from it too since it’s towards the end of the story they need to win this and they need to win big. Failing now means failing hard.
Also that Spanish inspired music – a perfect touch.
Number Two – Backstab
Getting revenge on the person who got Hoxton put in prison took quite a while but once we got to the safehouse where he was being held it felt so right. He was in there unprepared for the sudden assault that would be launched and taught a final lesson on why you don’t fuck with the Payday gang.
To me the song kinda starts off as a cool, fast fighting song but it suddenly drops to this slower part where it builds up. This is what I imagine Hoxton’s anger and determination for revenge. It builds up so much that he throws himself into the lions den to take out the piece of shit that bought him down. They make these tracks so well that given the context of the level you can really feel something from it. Amazing.
Number One – I Will Give You My All
One of the best moments of playing Payday: The Heist was during the Diamond heist you could overhear an office party happening at the Garnet Group building’s upper floor. It plays a few songs but one of them was written before it was used in the game called I Will Give You My All by Simon Viklund. When sneaking around it gave this somewhat haunting feeling or pushed this more dramatic feeling. It’s quite hard to describe but when I played the heist and heard the song it felt different, darker and that the characters were risking their lives. It kinda just hit on how dangerous all this was, this lifestyle of crime. A perfect addition to the feeling of the game.
Now, this song wasn’t reused like it was in the original but they did bring back the classic maps. Since The Diamond Heist, another heist at a museum, already reused a version of the theme used in the Diamond Heist in the first game, they instead decided to use a remixed version of I Will Give You My All.
They could not have chosen a better song. It set the scene so well, it made it more dramatic and emotional especially given the story up to that point when they were trying to rescue Bain and fight the Dentist.
Simon Viklund as well as the developers are absolute genius’.