Payback Review & Discussion

Dec. 7, 2017, 6:12 a.m.
Story: A really crigney and cheesy story which is quite bad. One of the worst stories you can play in a NFS title. Full of plotholes. In the beginning Nevaro (The "villain"), blows up your house along with you and your car as you walk towards your house. She could`ve just killed you if she waited a little. In another one of the missions you pick Nevaro up and driver her around to spy on her. I mean you could`ve just drove her into a lake or something. Disable her airbag and crash. Nope. You let her go. So much for wanting revenge whatever it takes. Also in NFS 2015 as friendly as everyone was you got the sense that the whole thing was illegal. Here you go up against street leagues which very much feel like Pro Street mostly because there are no free roam cops to chase you whilst you`re in a race to give you the feel that, what you`re doing is illegal. The feel when you got in NFS 2015 when they shouted "COPS COPS COPS!" you will never get in Payback. Plus the voice lines whilst doing basically anything tend to get annoying hearing the same conversation about burgers and fillers between story missions.

Progression: When the game first came out the progression was good. It promoted playing the game and you werent handed money for practically everything. You had to grind for parts, for money and you didnt get too much money out of it. Then they rolled out an update ruining all of this. Now if you do a few races you`ll be completely fine with money and wont struggle at all unless you go on a crazy spending spree. Legitimately you can now buy for example a stock E46 as most of us would want to do a MW 2005 Player car build (as cliché as that may be) and buy all the parts for it in the tune-up shops straight off the bat if you did a little grinding in races to get your derelict or whatever car up to a good level. The fact that you have cars locked off is also a really great idea. Not saying its very difficult to unlock those cars as all you have to do is progress through the story and chapters (racing gangs you defeat)are relatively fast and done over quick as each has an average of 5-6 races which isnt a lot but it is certainly good.

Replay Value: Payback doesnt have a good single player, which it was marketed over. That doesnt too good for its replay value. Now you may argue there are challenges and such all around Fortune Valley. While that may be true and does add a lot of replay value, you are not gonna find yourself creating countless of new saves like you did back in the day with the older games to replay the game from the beginning. And while derelicts, bait creates and maxing out cars, building cars and wraps and autolog give replay value, most of the autolog and multiplayer, you are going to miss out on if you dont have friends who play Payback you`re most likely gonna miss out on these too. Now I`m not saying there is no point and zero replay value. There certainly is room for improvements.

Cops: Where to start. In my article in May where they were first releasing information and other details regarding the game, we got rhinos, more aggressive police and just an overall overhaul for better pursuits. Then the game came out….. And boy were we disappointed. No. Freeroam. Cops. You do have to mention that these are one of the best cops in a Need for Speed game if not the best ever. When you do get chased by cops you are in thrill, they are aggressive, box you in, roadblocks, helicopters. you do not get a break from them. One word describes them perfectly: thrilling. Now there are certain aspects which there could be improvements made upon. Like a busted meter. I for one dont understand how you can know how close you were to being busted if its just a filter that is being applied or why you were busted. Just overall a busted meter would be nice. Also a pursuit heat level meter woul`ve been nice. Because so far what is happening is that at the beginning of the game with lower end cars you get Crown Vics then as you progress further and get better cars you get Charges and Corvettes after you. Not much elevation really. Another bad point is even though we were all psyched when we heard rhinos are back but I doubt we knew that they`d sort of ruin that too with big text in the middle of you screen alerting you of incoming rhinos. There are certainly bad parts but the overall cops are really good.

Cars: There is a neat list of cars. A good variety of cars from eurocars to supercars to pickup trucks. Just a good bunch. There is a problem with balancing. Now there will always be stronger cars in every game. Cars that are overpowered. As of launch it is the Koenigsegg Regare and the Porche 911 RSR is STILL pretty overpowered. Also while I get that not all cars can be put up into the max level (399) that writes off so many cars for online multiplayer and jsut otherwise. The previous game had this mentality of "get your favourite car and max it out and race with it". This seemed to have completely changed. And for reasons I totally understand and get but its still not the best system.

Multiplayer: No freeroam multiplayer? No private lobbies? No party modes? Drag? Drift? multiplayer cop chases? Another big selling point of the last game was online free roam. If you had friends you could join eachother`s world and just prat about and have fun. There is n one of that here. You got a map which is one of the biggest maps of a Need for Speed game ever only to have it all for yourself. All, alone. In a HUGE world of stuff to do. Makes no sense. A ranked mode has been added to this NFS. And while its great an all a non contact rule into ranked would improve it massively. Why> you may ask. The answer is one word: RAMMERS. They plague every single racing game. And its impossible to get rid of them, unless you have non contact races. Which should be added to ranked multiplayer. Another big thing. Since not all cars get to the max level (399) you cant race your favourite car online and have a chance at winning. If you want to win dominantly you`ll have to use the Regera or the RSR.

Physics: SOOOO MUCH BETTER. Not the offroading. The handling has been improved massively. I dont mind break-to-drift. Thats what the game was made for that. Built around that. There is no way of moaning about it. I myself while do prefer grip handling model but this game is like that. And it os nowhere like MW 2012, Rivals or NFS 2015 where you HAD to drift mad angles in a grip race and lobby to be fast (or drive an RSR). The handling is fun, responsive and not twitchy and random like in the other game where the car would just snap mid drift and you would find yourself driving into a wall straight on at ridiculous speeds. Offroading. Where do I begin. In my opinion it shouldnt even be in Need for Speed. I dont think it fits the genre but its in the game and its not too bad but I still dont think it should be in the game. The offroading is exactly like NFS 2015`s drifting physics. I for one love to be in control of the car. And here you are not. It goes everywhere. Now I know offroading is different but its not uncontrollable. There wouldnt be FIA rally races and championships and hundreds of drivers if offroading would be uncontrollable. And yes this is an arcade racing but then why not make it more fun. Because I am not having fun when my car goes totally uncontrollable offroad. Drag races are fun. Period. Althought I dont know who had the idea to have drag cars do circuit races, I dont know but it is NOT FUN. Drifting this game. I love it. Period. But looking away from this, there is an overall massive improvement. 

Customization: Prettttyyyyyyyy good. You can mix and match stuff. Restrictions are still a thing. But that is only because they dont fit together. While some cars do lack a little but but even the hyper cars have decent customization. But the fact that they added, neons, airbags, horns (???), and other stuff. I`d say its really good. Not much else to say apart from that it is NFS 2015, which was really good, and improved.

Microtrasactions: With the recent uproar of microtransactions in EA`s games, I think it has been implemented really well into Payback. There is absolutely zero advantage you gain in any aspect if you buy shipments in this game. And while I do think that microtransaction have no place in a Need for Speed game as I think its really unfair and not a nice thing to lock off neons, airbags, tire smokes behind a paywall, it has been implemented rather well. You can still get  shipments from doing free roam challenges and gaining stars, leveling up. And even after reaching max level you get parts so that balances this whole system out.

Misc: Crashcams. Get out of my game. It belongs in Burnout and while it has been in NFS for some years, its still has no place in these games. There are problems with clipping in the world. There are moments you just go up into the air if you just go over a curb in a weird way. There aren`t many city tracks but there is a few.

Overall: While everything is surely a step forward from the previous, it is still unpolished. These things can be fixed after launched but they should have released it more polished. This game is still generally one of the best NFS games we had in a while. I really enjoy the game and it is a solid, good game, worthy of being called a good Need for Speed title.

If you have any other thoughts please share them. If you dont agree with me on something. Share it. Lets discuss it.
Dec. 8, 2017, 1:23 a.m.
I didn't ever play Payback, but saw some videos on YouTube:

Story: Passing missions will be too hard, because racers, FVPD and The House are teamed up together just for your blood, while in freeroam, you won't see even a FCV, like you're a big head there.

Progression: In my opinion, it's not bad, because by passing a few missions, you can get new cars at dealership.

Replay Value: No comment.

Cops: You're right. They are too aggressive, like cops of GTA V. Specially about SWAT cars, when you got rammed by them and you would get arrested easier. The most hated issue for me is about Corvettes. They can disable your car engine by an EMP, so they are from Seacrest County or alien cops. Police Corvettes are so pretty, but who cares, when they're want your dead body.

Cars: Supercars are a few and since supercar fans are more than others, they won't buy this game.

Multiplayer: I'm just know online mode has broken and it's awful.

Physics: It's too cool for take down. I mean taking The House cars and cop cars down, but not about jumping. Jumping is as freaky as Asphalt 8.

Customization: 10/10, That's all!

Microtrasactions: if you can get more score from Challenge Series, it's good.

Misc: I really hate crash cams, because after ending scenes, you would get damaged wrongly by a car and be stopped totally or running on spike strips, since AI sucks.

Overall: Since this is an exciting game about the story, I like it. If I don't like races, I'll enjoy takedown missions and cop missions instead. :)
Jan. 20, 2018, 4:41 a.m.
Ahh, Payback. The latest entry in the Need for Speed franchise. Got some solid hours on it and here's my opinions:

Story: Some plotholes here and there, but it's not THAT bad. My only gripe is how at one point they seemed to be exiled from the city but you could still enter it without any issues with cops (because none of them are in freeroam, more on that later). Navarro is not really a well established villain and we never really get any definitive explanations on the background of the characters besides a few lines during missions or, in some cases, freeroam.

Progression: I definitely agree with the newer update hampering progression. Heck, the abandoned cars make it worse: you could obtain a car going to level 399 from the start of the game (be it the RX-7, Skyline 2000GT-R, 242 DL, Amazon P130, or M3 Evolution II), and it's for free - the only thing you have to do is grind for performance parts.

Replay Value: The game will make me come back for one reason: customization (more on that later). There are a lot of activities as well, but they're mostly filler. I enjoy replaying the "Skyhammer" mission though.

Cops: I love their aggressiveness - it gives some sort of challenge. But yeah, I agree on the fact that they aren't available in freeroam (makes the vibe of racing cars too legal, a-la ProStreet) and that there are only a few levels of cop cars (Crown Victorias in cars from level 100-199, Chargers - sometimes with Killswitches - in cars from level 200-299, and Corvettes - accompanied by Chargers - in cars from level 300-399). It's also kind of disappointing where all cop chases are scripted events and are just basically "drive from point A to point B, you'll get away from them if you're 500 meters from your destination."

Cars: I like the variety of cars. From compacts and tuners all the way to exotics and hypercars - there are still some cars I haven't tried. The inclusion of off-road cars is also nice, but it isn't fitting for a Need for Speed game.

Multiplayer: I haven't personally tried multiplayer (as I lack an Xbox Live Gold subscription), but from videos, the lack of online freeroam is really disappointing, but I'm glad it's coming later this year. They have added in Drift Speedlists on the Speedcross update, though.

Physics: I haven't played NFS 2015, but from the looks of it, it's decent for this game. The cars grip on the road as they should, and the "tap-brake-to-drift" mechanic isn't entirely bothersome, given that you can actually entirely disable it on Race and Runner cars. Off-road cars don't really have a place in an NFS game (as I've said), and their handling is just terrible - you constantly fight to get your car in a straight line, making races with League 73, The Free Ember Militia, and Hazard Company really gruesome and controller-tossingly frustrating.

Customization: The amount of combinations you can have - oh, all the options you can. A full Rocket Bunny kit with some Voltex side skirts on a 350Z. BN Sports bumpers, Origin lab fenders and skirts, and a Seibon hood on a 180SX. Nismo rims for Nissans. Wide bodykits on hypercars. It's almost endless, besides the restrictions on parts not fitting each other. The only issue is how some cars which are known to be very customizable have very limited options, such as the S2000, and Civic Type-R (1999).

Microtrasactions: Well implemented and not much of a cashgrab as the uproar on Star Wars: Battlefront II. Well, sort of. Purchasing shipments rewards cash and part tokens, which, in turn, can nab you better cars and better parts sooner. It doesn't really impact much, though - we're only racing cars, there aren't powerups or abilities than can take you one notch over an opponent online.

Misc: Resetting after crashes can finally be disabled, thank heavens. Some bugs here and there (i.e. can't lower BMW cars with the new M Performance parts), but isn't really game breaking. They sadly disabled the remove parts trick, though. I was gonna build a roofless Miata.

Overall: Not bad for a Need for Speed game. Could be done better, but hey, it could be worse.

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