‘Payday 2’ Tie-In to Transform ‘Hardcore Henry’ from Figurative to Literal Video Game
As for whether it’s the best or the worst, audiences’ mileage has varied wildly, but Hardcore Henry is certainly the most unusual action flick set for release this year. The upcoming thriller centers on a Six Million Dollar Man-type who awakens from the long sleep of death to find that cybernetic technology has granted him a second chance at life. Also, his wife has been kidnapped and he’ll need to use his newfound powers to murder Eastern European dudes until he finds her. Also also, Sharlto Copley (from District 9 and, less so, The A-Team reboot) is the only person left on Earth not trying to kill him. Also also also, and this is the big one, the film is shot entirely from the first-person perspective.
The unorthodox visual gambit has invited comparisons to the world of video games, and specifically the first-person shooter, or FPS. Some have used the video game descriptor as a pejorative, some take it at face value as a non-qualitative judgment, but either way, that figurative comparison will soon be made perfectly literal by a tie-in with the popular FPS Payday 2, according to a new report from Deadline.
Last week, the game made a new bit of downloadable content available featuring Copley’s character Jimmy, as well as a trailer for the game from Hardcore Henry director Ilya Naishuller. On March 31, however, that partnership will go one step further, with the Payday team incorporating two “Hardcore Heists,” add-on missions with plenty of intertextuality between the movie and game. Payday players will be able to download the new content via Steam and other major distribution channels, but those parties purchasing tickets to Hardcore Henry in advance of its April 8 debut will also receive a free code to download Payday and the relevant DLC.
Hardcore Henry: valuable shot in the arm for a stagnating action genre, or harbinger of doom in the tradition of The Blair Witch Project as vanguard of the found-footage deluge? With your allocation of dollars, you make the decision!