Why 'Need For Speed Payback' Is A Step In The Wrong Direction

Need for Speed Payback Key Art
The latest Need For Speed game has been revealed EA

After a brief hiatus for 2016, Need For Speed is finally coming in November. Although the franchise has been around for more than 20 years, the 2015 title marked a major redesign, combining an open world and a story mode that revolved around five icons of the underground racing community. It was a very interesting concept, and despite the cringey scripted dialogue that received mixed reviews, it made the game a lot of fun.

READ: 'Need For Speed' Review For PS4

For 2017, EA is bringing us Need For Speed Payback and there's a lot to like about the new game. In the 2015 title, while the nights of Ventura Bay is players complained about the permanent night mode that's only joined with recurrent dreary rain. This time, Need For Speed Payback features a full-day cycle and a new location called Fortune Valley that includes settings like a city, the desert, mountains, and canyons to keep the open world feeling fresh and expansive.

Finally, while the 2015 Need For Speed featured strictly tuner cars for the road participating in various types of races such as drifting, sprint, or drag racing, the cars in 2017's Payback will be split between race, drift, off-road, drag, and runner.

And if the new vehicle concepts feel reminiscent to another driving game The Crew, EA wants to take the "crew" concept even further in Need for Speed Payback

However, while it's certainly commendable to see a studio repeatedly try to implement a storyline to a racing arcade, the premise of Payback not only feels familiar, but passé. Need for Speed Payback introduces us to Tyler Morgan, a street racer and his crew must take on The House, a cartel that rules the city’s casinos, criminals, and cops. What are the odds Tyler Morgan's crew includes some Vin Diesel looking dude in a muscle tank and another guy with jokes as bad as the ones from Roman Pierce?

As The Fast And Furious franchise is headed towards its ninth installment, the only impression mainstream fans have regarding tuner car culture are dangerous street racers with gaudy rides involved with criminal organizations. Sure, it was an edgy premise, but we've seen it ad nauseam for over a decade. Fast and Furious became a pioneer for car culture in entertainment, but it shouldn't be the only recipe.

Say what you will about the dialogue in the 2015 Need for Speed title, but at least the game introduced fans to real-life influencers of the tuner community as NPC in its game. To resort back to the old Fast and Furious gimmick is a lost opportunity to add more dimension to tuner car culture.

Are you a fan of the new Need for Speed Payback? Let us know your thoughts in the comment section below.

Need For Speed Payback arrives Nov. 10 on PS4, Xbox One, and PC. Players that purchase the Deluxe Edition will receive exclusive in-game goodies, and provide early access starting November 7. Last but not least, all players that pre-order Payback receives a special Platinum Car Back featuring uniquely tuned vehicles including a custom Nissan 350Z, Chevrolet Camaro SS, Ford F-150 Raptor, and Volkswagen Golf GTI Clubsport.

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