Need for Speed Payback was announced earlier this year, showing off its new, Fast and Furious-esque, “action driving” gameplay. Moving away from simple racing mechanics (I miss Most Wanted: Black Edition so much), players will have a choice between different characters to pull off sequences which push ahead the story. As the apparent twenty-third instalment in the series, has EA and the developers learnt from their mistakes and moved the franchise back to its old roots? As usual, we’ve selected five reviews from other critics for you to sink your teeth into. Enjoy!
IGN – 5.9/10 (Full Review Here)
“Need for Speed Payback is a big, competent, and confident arcade racer but it’s really let down by its linear cop chases, its overwrought and insidious upgrade system, its dreadful dialogue, and its superficial action sequences. It feels fine and it looks flashy, but Payback really went all-in on its direct-to-DVD revenge tale and it was a bust for me.”
GameSpot – 5/10 (Full Review Here)
“Need for Speed Payback’s banal racing is only magnified by this focus on grinding. The simple, almost retro, handling model provides occasional bouts of fun, but it’s never enough to escape Payback’s flaws, with an unwillingness to let you partake in its most hair-raising moments, and a general drabness that seeps into every layer of the game. Fast and Furious, this is not; and that’s a disappointing outcome.”
PlayStation Lifestyle – 8/10 (Full Review Here)
“Need for Speed Payback feels like the natural evolution of the series, and that’s a good thing considering the game ends with a great tease for a potential sequel. While I finished the story in around 15 hours, it’s worth noting that there are a ton of side events and collectibles that I failed to collect in that time. I could see myself easily doubling my time within Payback, and do so with a smile on my face the entire time.”
EuroGamer – No Score (Full Review Here)
“Latter events require a soulless grind, and given the presence of loot boxes and microtransactions it’s easy to be cynical of why exactly your progress feels wilfully stunted.
But it’s hard getting angry at Need for Speed Payback when instead a more fitting reaction seems to be one of complete apathy. I feel for developer Ghost Games, and after its promising debut with 2012’s Rivals this clearly talented studio’s spirit seems to have been crushed by the sheer weight of Need for Speed and the corporate burden it carries. In its hands the series has gone from accomplished to flawed to this, a joyless obligation of a game.”
Hardcore Gamer – 4/5 (Full Review Here)
“EA and Ghost Games set out to make the quintessential Need for Speed by bringing in aspects that worked in the past and has mostly succeeded. The unnecessary narrative ultimately holds the game back, but it’s a blast once the world is made available to the player. The off-road racing is addicting and the search for Derelicts could remain a mainstay with the franchise moving forward. This is much less of a CAR-PG than the previous game, as players will be able to build a great library of cars much quicker. Add to this an excellent livery editor and community features, and the core elements of Need for Speed Payback will keep fans playing for quite a while.”