EA has been looking to restore the series to its glory days, and Need for Speed Payback is a part of that effort. Need for Speed Payback is an open-world racing game with lots of different types of races, and an offline single-player campaign. While playing this game, we were constantly reminded of Forza Horizon 3.
There are various reasons for this, not least of which is Fortune Valley, the fictional city based on Las Vegas where Need for Speed Payback is set. Fortune Valley is split into four massive areas for you to just drive around and explore.
You can go off-roading, drive on narrow city streets, or head out to one of the highways and push your car to the limit. This is quite similar to the open-world experience we saw in Forza Horizon 3, down to Barn Finds where you could find hidden classic cars and restore them. In Need for Speed Payback, this is called Derelicts and it requires you to find four parts apart from the main vehicle itself. This is a fun mode that gives you a lot to do apart from racing, but it does get a bit tedious because you need to locate five parts per vehicle to restore each car.
Tyler is great at racing, Jess at evading cops in the city, and Mac at off-roading, so you take turns playing as each.
The story mode begins with Tyler putting together a gang for a heist and inevitably, things go horribly wrong. The gang splits up and Tyler exits the racing scene until he can try to get revenge. It's a safe enough narrative, but the game isn't able to do much with it and suffers from a weak story, poorly written dialogues, and an unlikable protagonist.
Your chief rival is The House, an organisation that has taken over Paradise Valley, and it ensures that every race is rigged.
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Our protagonist finds this revolting and decides that The House needs to be taken down. The bigger problem with Need for Speed Payback is the amount of grinding required to progress. You could start a tournament with a level car and the next race could ask you to upgrade it to level This means an investment of around 30, in in-game currency. Mordecai mentions that they aren't there yet and that they're in the middle of nowhere. He then tells her that they're telling scary stories, and Margaret says she has one of her own. After Mordecai puts her on speakerphone, Margaret begins telling her story.
Mordecai, Rigby, Margaret and Eileen are going to the movies. They try using the cart, as Margaret's car was in the repair store, but Benson and Skips commandeer it to patrol the park for hooligans. Eileen calls a cab to drive them over, but a mysterious bus arrives before the taxi does.
They board the bus, which turns out to be a party bus, but as the bus moves forward, everyone on the bus starts aging. It is then that everything falls into place: the bus they are on is a supernatural vehicle, which affects everyone's time.
Need for Speed Payback Review
The group attempts to get the bus stopped, but everything they try breaks, before Mordecai puts it in reverse. They think they're okay, but they then start de-aging rapidly. They then find a hatch on top of the bus, and climb out of it as they are now babies, but even as they all jump off in celebration, they continue to disappear into dust. Margaret's story also frightens Pops, and Benson once again tries to shut the story telling down, but Skips ends up crashing the van, as he was too busy trying to defuse the situation to notice a truck heading towards them.
They end up avoiding the truck, though, only to crash later. As they ride in the truck on the way to the party, Mordecai and Rigby manage to convince Benson to let them tell one more story, but Benson decides to take the reins of this one. Mordecai and Rigby are tasked with wallpapering the entire house after a hole is shown in the wall outside their room. A TV, which was in the hallway for unknown reasons, turns on to a commercial for Jan the wallpaper man, who offers to do his next wallpapering job for free.
The two are reluctant at first questioning the commercials legitimacy , but are somehow convinced after Muscle Man mentions that he once bought hand grenade replicas from a TV ad that turned out to be real. Mordecai and Rigby agree to call him. Later, the expert arrives and Mordecai and Rigby go into their room and play video games.
Eventually, Mordecai and Rigby leave their room to check on Jan's progress, but everything goes wrong when Jan starts wallpapering a scared Pops to the wall. Mordecai and Rigby rescue Pops, but hear Benson's distant cries of "Help! The room seemingly gets smaller as they go along thanks to an optical illusion , and they're eventually trapped in a small area.
Rigby starts panicking as he is seemingly claustrophobic and starts tearing at the walls, ripping holes in them to reveal an exit. The three begin ripping through walls, until they eventually enter a cave where Benson, Muscle Man , Skips and a delivery guy are tied to the ceiling with wallpaper.
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See, Payback has a Destiny -style random loot system. Normal racing games work like this: You race cars, you earn money, you use that money to either buy better cars or upgrade your current vehicle with new parts—a more powerful engine, grippier tires, a lighter-weight frame, and so on.
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This is how Need for Speed has also worked for years now. Not Payback! Say you do a street race in Silver Rock a. This is all then tallied up in ways that are again completely impenetrable to the player, and your car receives an overall rating. Lower-end cars have a rating of about Fully-upgraded cars mostly top out at , with a handful of cars going up to Well, you have a few options a Run old races again and hope something good drops.
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You can sell them or trade them in for Tokens, but if you buy a new car it starts from scratch and you need to repeat any of the previous options to build up an entirely new set of Speed Cards. But then you hit the grind. In a normal racing game this would be exciting. Given the padding built into the system, this means you could feasibly finish that tier with your cars anywhere from about up to Most of you will probably finish closer to the lower end of that range. And heaven forbid you bought a new car or decided to use your newly-repaired derelict instead of continuing to use that crappy Honda you got at the start of the game.
Again, all of your cards are locked to the car you earned them in. Not even the division! And what sucks is that the underlying racing is actually pretty great. Taking a mountain pass, effortlessly drifting around a hairpin turn, reaching the bottom and cutting across the sand to hit the next checkpoint, triggering your Nitrous boost and weaving between traffic—it gets my adrenaline up. What did it benefit Need for Speed to get rid of under-the-hood customization?