After rebooting Need for Speed two years ago, Ghost Games knew if it was going to compete in the modern racing world, they were going to need to take some drastic measures with the series. Thus, they looked at other games and other mediums for inspiration and have come up with a campaign that is both narrative heavy and action-oriented. Elements from familiar racing games like the Forza Horizon spinoff series, and slow-motion impact cams that look like they might have been ripped from The Fast and the Furious franchise, serve as window dressing in a tale about revenge enacted through racing in the brand new Need for Speed Payback.
I had a chance recently to go hands-on with the first few hours of Need for Speed Payback‘s campaign on a PS4 Pro, and capture the first couple hours of that campaign and show it to you here. Although the first hour is a very linear experience, once it sets up all the pieces of the story its trying to tell, the world and its potential opens up. Also, as a fair warning, the audio in the below video will sometimes cut out for a minute or two due to copyright claims on some of the in-game music that we needed to remove before we could post the video.
Payback brings back fan-favorite elements like car customization and drifting challenges, alongside straight up start to finish style races. You’ll also have plenty of opportunities to run from the cops. Although the game looks very pretty, and the cars handle well enough in Need for Speed’s take on what we’ve seen from other racing games, the big concern comes from the RPG-elements the game is trying to introduce.
It’s no surprise that an EA game is pushing a heavy microtransaction angle, and in order to “level up” your car’s primary parts to reach a competitive status, you can either grind in the world, or take the shortcut with real world cash. Just how much grinding will be necessary is yet to be seen, but our brief time with the game has already brought up some serious concerns. In the meantime, check out our video, and stay tuned for our full review of Need for Speed Payback in the coming weeks.
Need for Speed Payback will release on November 10th for Xbox One, PlayStation 4, and PC.