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Paz

Need for Speed Payback- Putting cards under your hood for horsepower

1 post in this topic

The multiplying villainies of E.A do swarm upon it

 

Well we all heard of it. Need for Speed Payback. Some of us tried it, some of us did not because it's E.A so there's an immediate chance that they are going to screw it up. And shocking or not... they did. After a friend shared me his account so I can play it (he won it from a bag of Lays Krax since there's some promotion here in Romania) so after 21 hours (yes. The story takes only 21 hours or less depending on how quickly you get through the story bits while grinding for parts- ehem I mean cards-) I want to talk about this game since I was really hoping for an improvement over Need for Speed 2015. Let's begin shall we?

Need for Speed Payback is the most recent game of the sadly dying Need for Speed franchise developed by Ghost Games and published of course by.. E.A Games. (don't call them Electronic Arts. Call 'em more like Early Access Games) 2015 had a real roll of a cheese in form of a story, with characters that tried to be friendly and such. I personally was amused by Manu. Here... well the characters are not really that great. And I'll soon explain why. The story of the game is like this: You play as 3 characters, depending on what races you do: Tyler Morgan, Sean ''Mac'' McAlister and Jessica ''Jess'' Miller. Tyler is the leader of the trio, with a strong desire to win races and bla bla bla. He loves racing, for short. After being betrayed by the game's antagonist Lina Navarro who joins The House, a crime syndicate which deals in races and cars and car technology (I'm still flabberghasted by the ''Cars that drive themselves'' tech), has the police under its control, and proving to be such a greedy and outright arrogant bish, Tyler calls in the other 2 so he can take down The House, humiliate Lina and bring Fortune Valley back to its former glory. The story... it honestly feels like Need for Speed Undercover but done much better. I was actually ok with the story in this game. It's not great (because... come on. It's a Need for Speed game. Even though Underground 2 and Most Wanted were so good with their stories but E.A completely forgot what NFS was about after Carbon) but not awful either. Tyler and his crew uncover what The House does during the story, you sort of get attached to them (well, at least with Mac who's a pretty cool dude) and actually feel like humiliating Lina after proving how frigging arrogant she is. There are however, other crews from The House that you must beat, for me the most infuriating one being The One Percent Club and its stupid-ass leader Natalia Nova, who's like an infuriatingly worse version of The Kardashians. She actually got me angry at some point due to her shit-talk. I'm not kidding. Her narcissism is beyond infuriating and I felt some real satisfaction after beating her and her Huayra. If anyone else felt this and humiliated her, I'm proud of you good sir or madam. The voice acting... it's passable. It's not god-awful. The actors actually did put some effort here if you ask me. But for some reason Manu and Spike were a lot more memorable for me. Not really due to the photorealistic graphics that made me feel like they're really there or something but because they were pretty nice. Here, our protagonists sometimes make weird remarks when it gets sunny or dark. It feels kinda weird honestly. But whatever. 

Graphics? Well for some reason this one decided to not go for the photorealistic graphics of the 2015 one which were actually really sweet to behold. I'm not sure if Ghost went for worse graphics to bring some nostalgia or because they were a bit lazy. The graphics honestly do not really match the 2017 standards if you ask me. 2015 had a really good idea with the photorealistic graphics but here they go back to Rivals-like graphics? Oh well. The detail on the cars though is quite good. The detail is there. Even the open world is pretty nicely detailed. It's nice to see a car getting dusty the more you drive offroad, the damage detail is allright even though it takes quite a crash to see some real damage on your car. One such example being the back windows breaking after a hard crash or a really long jump. I do wish this game decided to still go for the photorealistic graphics though. I'm honest with you. Even if the detail is there, the overall look makes it look outdated. If you ask me, 2015 had superior graphics because... yeah. Photorealistic graphics. Unfortunately though... EVEN THOUGH THIS IS A 2017 RACING GAME IT STILL DOESN'T HAVE INTERIOR VIEW. EVEN THE CREW DID IT AND THAT GAME WAS LESS ENJOYABLE DUE TO THE GAMEPLAY THAT WOULD MESS YOU UP QUITE A BIT SOMETIMES. The customization options for your cars are pretty neat btw.

Allrighty, now for the gameplay. This one honestly decided to go full arcade. The driving feels like Most Wanted. Or Undercover. Can't really tell. The idea is that it returns to its older roots. It doesn't force you to go mostly for drifting like the 2015 one did since if you try to go all grippy you feel like you're driving a car with bricks for wheels. So it's a welcome change, at least in my opinion. Your car still relies on drifting during corners but only if you want to keep your speed up, which is not really that much of a loss. The physics... allright. Not much to talk 'bout here. OH WAIT, I aaaaalmost forgot. The way you get your frigging car boosted is not.. you know, car parts, but instead CARD parts. Yup, after every single race you don't get only cash and XP for your level but also... 1 out of 3 random cards. Throw the dice and see what you get. The card can be: Head, Block, ECU,  Turbo, Exhaust and Transmission. From the next brands where you can match 3 pieces together to get a Brand Bonus: Americana (Nitrous + Air), Carbon (Acceleration + Air), Chidori (Acceleration + Brakes and a few Sasuke jokes), Nextech (Speed+ Brakes) and Outlaw (Speed + Nitrous). Since you have 6 parts you can have 2 total Brand Bonuses so have fun, with the most obvious being Chidori with Outlaw for high-tier cars, Carbon with Americana for Offroad vehicles and so on. Choose what you like. Oh did I mention the fact that you still don't have interior view for your cars? Oh I did mention it above? I'm doing it again because E.A and G.G just won't do it even for the next one. 

The activities you have to do in this game are not that interesting. You have your standard Circuit and Sprint but heeey Drag makes a return. Along these you have what I call ''Sprint Pursuits''. Remember when open world Need for Speed game like Most Wanted, Carbon, Undercover, Most Wanted 2012, Rivals and the 2015 reboot had cops you can engage in pursuits by going at high speed near them or even smashing 'em? Yyyeah, this game DOES NOT HAVE THAT. What the hell??? You can only engage in so-called ''cop chases'' if you either locate a crate on the map or decide to play one of the story missions where you must escape from the cops. Why the fuck did Ghost or E.A take such a decision is something that I cannot understand. Were they too lazy to have police cars randomly drive around but instead let crew members of the rival crews roam around?? Where's the logic? In fact, I see that they didn't even bother to add a Pursuit System. Even during these so-called 'chases'' where you can surprisingly still wreck cops, there's no real reward. Maybe if you count in the cash you get at the end of it, with or without a bet you're given at the beginning of the race which can give you a bit more cash, which NEVER ACTUALLY GETS BETTER? Now let me complain about this one bit:
 You know this big race Tyler and the others mention during the story? The Outlaw's Rush? Well it should give you quite a lot of cash at the end since it's the final frigging race and it's also pretty long? Well PISS OFF. You get still 12 500 cash, along with a bit more of a bit less cash if you succeed with the respective bet ! THE BIG EVENT, THE ONE YOU WORKED FOR 21 FRIGGING HOURS, IS TREATED LIKE ANOTHER STANDARD SPRINT GODDAMN IT. Not giving you... I dunno. 500k at the end of it, or even 1kk, SOMETHING TO MAKE YOU FEEL REALLY FRIGGING REWARDED. You feel satisfied for humiliating Navarro and ruining The House's business but niuuuup, when you see how much cash you get from the very last goddamn mission that takes quite some time to do that feeling of achievement is immediately ruined. Like taking a huge slap over the face. Good, done with my rant.
The other activities you can do include Speed Traps, Drifts, Jumps, Derelicts (aka ''Search for the part of that car''), smashing through Billboards and... and this is just bizzare... collecting poker chips. Woooooooptedooooo. These activities quiiiickly get boring especially when you play alone. And I mean really quick. I was actually getting frustrated when accidentally going through some Speed Trap. It's like they are forced down your throat. You just can't avoid them.

Nooow let's talk about 2 things here: The customization (excluding the ''cards'') and THE MICROTRANSACTIONS. Because of course Need for Speed needed that. It's back in this game for your cars and they are quite vast. I'll be sincere about this. You can make your cars look pretty sick either by doing your own wraps or choosing wraps done by other players. P.s: The BMW M3 GTR wrap is already in, so if you want the good old BMW and make it like the M3 GTR, go on. However, the customization feels a bit weird here. The bodykits are gone, instead being replaced by parts that match. For example combining the front bumper with a rear bumper will give you a specific bodykit sort of. As I noticed on the BMW M3 E46 while searching for the GTR bodykit. Yeah, I love that car ok? Along these you can also customize... and you'll understand why I decided to mention the microtransactions here... the tire smoke, the horn, even the underglow of your car. But these parts drop only from ''Shipments''. You get Basic ones by leveling up, while the Premium ones... require Speed Points. What are Speed Points? The currency you pay real money for. Yes, even if you already spent 60 bucks for this thing it ain't giving E.A any fucking satisfaction. (like it did for other studios. I'm looking at you Activision and 2K Games) This... is so gross. Prices for 'em? Well they range from 5 bucks to the price of another goddamn game. Yes, they actually had the audacity to go there. You can get Speed Points if you are really desperate for pink tier smoke or high-level card parts. I noticed that this is becoming an absolutely disgusting trend. And I mean literally disgusting. I usually don't swear but when I'm angry I do. AND I AM. E.A want to jump on the goddamn gravy train too. All this goddamn greed today's TRIPLE-A studios have is beyond vicious. No wonder Joe snapped when he saw 'em. It's gross. It's really gross. I was thinking about buying this game on Christmas but... honestly, screw that. Oh, did you know that more cars and story bits will be added to the game in the future? Yeah, I found this out too from someone. Explains the PC port which many people say it's bad.

Need for Speed PayUsMore could've been a decent Need for Speed game honestly. It had the potential. But E.A doesn't want to understand that people just want the franchise to return to its roots. This one kinda does it but not enough. I wanted it to have those photorealistic graphics honestly as the 2015 reboot looked pretty neat with it. I wanted this one to be more of a Need for Speed Carbon sequel so we can know what happened after Darius got beaten since the protagonist in that game actually had some history there before going to Rockport City. Or hell, even a Need for Speed Underground 2 sequel would be frigging amazing if done right. (too bad E.A killed Black Box too...) But nop, E.A just don't want to listen. They think people are okay with their new games when SO MANY PEOPLE SCREAM AT THE TOP OF THEIR LUNGS THAT THEY WANT A PROPER UNDERGROUND 3 GAME. This really gets infuriating. Seeing microtransactions starting to crawl in the Need for Speed games too is becoming pretty gross honestly.

It's another by the numbers NfS game honestly. It's pretty enjoyable only if you play with someone, repeat the story or try customize cars for your pleasure so you can actually have a reason, but if you don't play for these 3 reasons well good luck trying to squeeze the fun out of this one. For all that it offers... it's barely worth 20 dollars honestly. Not frigging 60. You really think E.A that asking people to pay 60 dollars for a game that lasts 21 hours because nobody wants to do the boring stuff is of good value? NO. A 60 DOLLARS GAME HONESTLY SHOULD GIVE YOU MORE THAN 60 hours. AREN'T GAMES SUPPOSED TO HAVE A BALANCE OF QUALITY AND QUANTITY? This game seems to favor quantity. And it ain't great quantity. Don't even think 'bout spending 60 dollars on this game. Just don't. Ok? Good. Glad I made this clear. If you got it from a Lays Krax bag it's even better.

My final verdict for Need for Speed Payback (PayUsMore) is a 5 out of 10.

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