Check out our impressions from Chapter 2 of Need for Speed Payback.
Ghost Games and publisher EA have always wanted the Need for Speed series to be one of those franchises where you never really expect to drive fair, but be more of an action-oriented movie style experience; where high-octane explosions, insanely killer cars, and some of the craziest driving mechanics rule the land. So it’s no wonder why the game describes itself as an “edge-of-your-seat action-driving fantasy.” And it’s all for good reason.
Need For Speed has always been there to fill in the gaps between beautiful and architecturally sound racing simulators, like Forza, and even more arcade-style racers like DriveClub. And though Need For Speed continues its context under the arcade-brand, it’s definitely more of a thriller with action-style gameplay mechanics. With interesting courses and fun ways to go about driving around, Need For Speed: Payback is giving back this time around.
"Need For Speed has always been there to fill in the gaps between beautiful and architecturally sound racing simulators, like Forza, and even more arcade-style racers like DriveClub."
Of course, whatever I just said above doesn’t mean everything is quite original. The preview version of the game starts off in Chapter 2, where I played as the game’s hero named Tyler Morgan — who is teamed up with his crew (for the preview version I’m teamed up with a woman) to take down ‘The Highway Heist”. We learn that a cartel known as “The House” has taken… something from me — but I have no idea what that could be; and I’ve got to drive to take it back.
But first I get to customize my car in the garage. The small ‘preview’ selection of cars includes the likes muscle cars, speedsters, classic, and modern variations all looked incredible. When selecting a vehicle, you are given option such as Paint & Wrap, Visual Customization, and Adjust Stance. Paint & Wrap has a huge selection of colors on a color palette to choose from, well over a hundred different colors overall. The wraps are pretty much company brands you can cover the car in. You can also change out a number of different features, such as the hood, rims, bumper, body type, etc. Will some of these features be locked in the final version? I’m not sure, but what was available from the start was a good amount of options.
I selected the Regera – Koenigsegg, a silver speedster that can go from zero to 60 in 2.7 seconds. It’s a beautiful piece of machinery. As I started the mission, a voice prompts me that The House will have force protecting the convoy, and I’ll have to stop them any how.
I start off heading through the canyons; the desert is arid, the draw distance and background is beautiful. As I floor the gas, I set the nitrous to give me some much necessary propulsion to get me to my rendezvous point that much faster. And of course, while doing so I careened right outside of the road and went flying into the desert landscape. Dust goes flying and bushes go bending as I concentrate on charging back toward the asphalt. Unfortunately, the game does not want you to leave the road as severely as I did. In fact, as I left the road I had three seconds to get back on or the mission was going to fail. It was sort of odd, because it makes the game that much harder for people who may be new to racers or just want to have some fun, or take a shortcut.
"Need For Speed: Payback is a beautiful looking game, with smooth car mechanics, cool car customization, with some insane action mixed in. "
The Regera – Koenigsegg’s handling is superb — and though I’ve never driven one in real life, it felt quite smooth. Banking around corners is a lot easier when you don’t boost your car with nitrous, so I took it easy and decided to go right around, letting slightly off the break with ease as I reached the rendezvous point.
The next task was catching up to the semi truck before it reaches the tunnel ahead. Here the game goes from cut -cene to gameplay seamlessly and it all looks really good. Now the forces that are guarding the semi truck are in speedy cars as well, and I have to take them. But not with guns or rifles. By maneuvering my vehicle just right on the driver’s rear corner, I can headbutt the opposing car, forcing it to flip over and become out of commission, Burnout style. Without any trouble at all, I was jamming my vehicle into the enemies’ rears and flipping them like it was nothing.
I soon find out that the thing The House has stolen is a car…it’s the player’s super car and once I defeat a few more enemies by flipping them over, a cut scene shows my friend, who’s been driving with me, mounting the semi truck and taking back my car.
Overall, Need For Speed: Payback is a beautiful looking game, with smooth car mechanics, cool car customization, with some insane action mixed in.