PAYDAY: Crime War, the mobile game adaptation of Overkill’s popular co-op heist series, has now soft-launched on both the App Store and Google Play in select regions. For now, it appears that only a handful of regions have access, and I can confirm that the UK is definitely one of them.

As first spotted by Android Police, the game’s US beta was announced last Friday over on the official PAYDAY: Crime War Facebook page. According to the post, the beta will run for a limited time only in the lead-up to launch.

This one’s been a long time coming. In fact, it was first announced back in June 2016, with the first gameplay popping up in May of 2017. I was a little sad to hear that the game leans more on 4v4 competitive play than the more traditional heist co-op action the series was built on. You can check out the game's old visuals in the trailer below, though the latest version has since ditched the slightly cel-shaded look.

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The cops v robbers idea reminds me of the old Kane & Lynch ‘Fragile Alliance’ mode. That one took the concept even further by having a player-controlled undercover cop work alongside the robbers before eventually turning on them. It was great fun, and, while I’m here, Dog Days deserves a reassessment.

By the looks of it, Crime War has gone full-on with the free-to-play monetisation, which is both disappointing and somewhat unsurprisingly. From its hands-on preview, Android Police mentions the inclusion of loot boxes, ads, IAPs, etc. The second game in the series was no stranger to microtransaction controversies, but it doesn’t seem like much has been learned.

On a more positive note, Crime War looks quite nice. Here’s to hoping it plays well, too. I always struggle with first-person mobile ports, as evidenced by my Dead By Daylight Mobile review, though I’m hopeful that the additional development time means it’s actually fun to play.

If you’re interested in checking it out, you’ll find PAYDAY: Crime War available for download now from both the App Store and Google Play in select regions.

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