Need for Speed Payback Review
There is no honor among thieves or that’s what we are told. When you are part of a crew whether you are friends or family, it is a strong bond of trust. Until that one person destroys that bond putting you all in chaos and now the city is against you as you regain your street cred by one race at a time. Welcome back to a new Need For Speed where it is all about getting that Payback.
I already stated that this is a game that is about revenge, but we can dabble in a bit more detail. There are Tyler, Mac, and Jess who are a crew and a damn good one if you ask me. They were on a mission to steal an expensive Koenigsegg from a wealthy businessman because there is something special under the hood. Things go well until they reach the meetup point to find their mechanic Rav down and Navarro the Fixer stealing their prize for “The House” which is a huge organization that many racers have reasons to be afraid of. After you dodge the cops it is time for you to start your plans to get back at Navarro and stop the house for good by taking on different categories in racing. With me so far? Good.
For any Need for Speed Veteran you will have your favorites and so far the latest have been not bad. You will have to master different genres of racing practices with Drift, Runner, Race, Off-Road, and Drag. Ty deals with Race and Drag which it should be self-explanatory. Mac deals with Off-Raod and Drifting and Jess deals with being a Runner.
Now you will need to get a particular car in each category and tune it specifically for that class. Things are pretty easy from here on out since you use Tokens to upgrade. Now thanks to a fellow racer MurderousMickeyfor giving me a few tips when it comes to Tokens. Here is the trick, you will get tokens that you can keep on the side and when you got to a tuning shop you can trade 3 at a time to upgrade the tokens to a higher number. This is a fast way you can get your car to the max settings, now it is a trial and error situation as long as you pay attention to what you upgrade. If you have a card that is lower than the first upgrade that one first so you can get a good roll.
Save your tokens and be sure to trade them in when you upgrade to a better card. If you played Need for Speed 2015 the cosmetics are still the same and you have Stance Tuning as well as the decal customization and the special vanity items.
The one thing I give Payback is that each car will feel different and most racing games seem to have trouble writing that code in there. If you are driving around the world in a drag racing car, you will not be able to take on turns properly. So far the all-around vehicles are Off-road, Race, Drift, and Runner to an extent. Runner is more about toughness with your vehicle as you use it to ram cops, so it is built more like a tank, but still has all the speed that you need.
There will be times where you run into random NPC racers in the world that you can challenge, but be sure to have the right car. I learned my lesson trying to race someone in a drag racing car and on a straight road I had them beat, but once a turn came about they had me beat. So, choose your cars to run around the world properly. Also, those NPC races remind me of Tokyo Extreme Racing where it was like a fighting game where you have to stay in the lead for a length of time to end the race. Stay in first and get 100% and you are golden.
NFS Payback does not fail to please the eyes as you venture off into Fortune Valley taking on the scenes as you race between the desert to the city and the mountains. As you weave through different areas you will see how it comes alive from the nice night and day cycle which was missing in the last Need for Speed. Also, the added addition of player personalities while you race. The commentary alone is worth as you get congratulated on great driving or scolded for poor performance. Even in some mission where you race against team bosses, they will comment on you and your character will fire back. I missed that and enjoy it when it happens. They even respond when you make an impact or land too rough.
The derelicts are the key factor of NFS: Payback this time around as you seek special cars and put them back together. Once you find the first frame you will get clues to four other pieces located in certain areas on the map. Speaking of locations your map will give you access to all things dealerships for each genre of race, gas stations to fix your car, tuner shops and many challenges that are across the map.
The damage that your car takes doesn’t happen right away. You would have to crash quite a bit to show some scars and windows breaking before you can tell, but nothing serious happens with your car other than it looking like it came out of the destruction derby.
The community is filled with creative gamers hooking up cars with some impressive designs either from movies or they put their own spin on it. I like cycling through and finding a few hidden gems that have you delete a decal to reveal a special design like what was done to this Mustang. That is quite creative.
Once you are done with Fortune Valley head online to test everything you learned against the PVP environment. But honestly, you will already be doing that with the famed Autolog feature that gives you personal challenges to beat your friends time online. Sadly the game world is not online all the time, but that is not a bad thing since the 2015 version had that feature and if the servers are down you can’t play the game. It is still early so we might get something in future updates to change that for gamers that want the full online open-world feel.
Microtransactions are there, but they are not a pay to win situation in the sense that it is 90 visuals and only 10% where you can receive token items for engine upgrades. So far I have yet to pay for anything outside of the season pass purchase. I do earn basic loot boxes but only had two premium cases because of the deluxe edition. I don’t see any other way to get a premium case other than buying the currency. I will show you the pricing below.
Need for Speed Payback lacks in a few areas where one being the customization I enjoyed in tuning my car. I can set any cars with proper tuning which is limited to only the Token Cards that do the work for you. I like the idea of making a car be balanced where I can have a drift car also able to drift. An off-road vehicle also races normal or be a runner. I guess they wanted gamers to just worry about the racing while taking away the learning aspect of tuning your car properly.
I never liked when any racing game doesn’t give you a chance to fix a situation that you are in. For example, if you go off the road slightly the game will auto correct you and set you properly. I can understand if I go off a cliff, but if I go slightly off course do not fix me. It seems like it is a glitch at times because it picks and chooses what might be a severe crash vs. others.
Still having little garage space has always been a pet peeve of mine. I am in an Airport hanger and yet can only house five cars? No thanks.
All and all NFS Payback delivers a great storyline that I enjoyed from the Underground and Most Wanted series by showing us some colorful characters and a badass female protagonist who seems to be the muscle of the group. The storyline is pretty lengthy with amazing cinematics. I have to say they did a great job with the police activity which was lacking in NFS 2015 being that the cops were not as aggressive and weren’t a challenge to make you want to be chased. This time it seems they have robocop behind the wheel with some serious hazards that can disable your car if you are not careful.
In the end, I give Need for Speed Payback 4 out of 5 paws. Hopefully, most of you caught the black Friday sale on PSN, but if not head on over to Play-asia.com to pick up your copy today and yes if you purchase or browse through our website it does help us out in the end. As an added bonus I plan to give away a copy of Need for Speed Payback through my Twitch stream soon, so hit that follow and stay notified of further details. I hope to see you racers in Fortune Valley and thanks for checking out our review. – Beast Out –