When you’ve got a movie that wants to pretend to be a video game, it makes a lot of sense to convert that movie into a video game. Hardcore Henry, the forthcoming first-person action film, promises to be all the fun of a Call of Duty entry with none of that bothersome button-mashing or interaction. Now the film’s producers partnered with Starbreeze to make a murderous extension that doesn’t need to stand on its own, in the form of DLC for Payday 2.
Payday is a constantly evolving franchise that pits robbers against cops in a series of escalating plot devices. The integration will be made available on March 31 and will also feature two new heists inspired by the film, Hardcore: The Boiling Point Heist and Hardcore: The Murky Station Heist will be free for all Payday 2 players.
There will also be a host of new player skins, based on the multi-avatared Sharlto Copley characters from the film.
This is a great call, pushing the movie tie-in as free DLC instead of asking gamers to spend money on an untested property hastily pushed out the door by a third-rate developer, as has become the norm. This follows in the footsteps of an earlier marketing attempt that unfortunately got cancelled, to tie-in Joss Whedon’s The Cabin In The Woods via free DLC to the Steam series Left 4 Dead.
Hardcore Henry is told from the perspective of a man who wakes up in a Moscow laboratory to learn that he’s been brought back from the dead as a half-human, half-robotic hybrid. With no memory of his former life, he embarks on a bloody rampage across the city in order to rescue the woman who claims to be his wife from a group of armed thugs. We have some thoughts on the matter. Still, this shows a genuine understanding of the target audience, and certainly the mid-range Payday series will also get a well deserved bump from the trans-media promotion.