The first game I went hands-on with at the official start of E3 was PAYDAY: The Heist, a PSN and PC title from Overkill Software that lets players attempt bank robberies, take hostages, blow up vaults and escape from the fuzz before they either kill or arrest you. I wasn't expecting anything too extraordinary when I first grabbed the controller, but after the 30-minute demo I was just about sold on this title.

In the demo I first had to enter the bank and decide when to start the robbery. I was told to steer clear of any of the armed guards, as it would create suspicion the closer I walked near them. Once I got to the bank manager I was told to put my mask on and get the robbery underway. From there I had to tie up the bank manager, take down the guards and proceed to set up the drill to open up the gated area where the vault was kept. During that time myself and my henchmen (which I can control using the shout button to throw commands) had to take down any of the police forces that were trying to take them down and prevent the heist from being accomplished. In one occurrence one of my henchmen was taken by the police, so I had to release one of my hostages in order to regain my compadre.

After I opened the gate I then had to find the entrance to the office where the vault was under. With cops, SWAT and other forms of armed forces coming at all directions it was easier said than done. As I couldn't kill any of the innocents (as that will make the difficulty level spike and cause some lossage of points) it wasn't as if I could go silly-nilly with my bullets. Careful aim and precise weapon usage is the key to doing well with the game, and thankfully the control scheme is well-suited to doing just that. Once there was enough of a clearing I was able to enter the office and melt the floor, creating an opening to enter the vault and start stashing the cash.

After the cash was stored in the duffel bags I had to escape as quickly as possible before I was taken out by the armed forces. The difficulty level skyrocketed once I pocketed the cash, as the cops were coming from every direction, even the roof. Once my team was able to take down the police I had to set an explosive charge, blow a hole through the wall and escape through a neighboring building and shoot a couple more cops before making my escape in a garbage truck.

The demo itself was solid from start-to-finish, thanks in part to a fine control scheme, solid graphics and challenging gameplay. If this is what we can expect from the full game then players will have no trouble forking over the PSN cash to have an experience in vein of such classic heist flicks as Inside Man, Point Break and the opening scene from The Dark Knight. PAYDAY: The Heist will sport six main levels, co-op modes and endless replay values, as no two level experiences will be the same. More levels will be released via DLC, as well as new equipment and weapons that can be used in your missions. Though no official release date has been announced it can be speculated that it will be out sometime in the second half of 2011.

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