Need for Speed Payback is the latest entry in the Need for Speed series and it manages to impress everyone with its unique gameplay, fun mechanics and some really nifty tricks. The story is very interesting, albeit a bit cliché, but the characters are interesting and relatable. The game world is also massive, and you do get a sense of actually living in a city when you play this.
Then why did the game receive bad reviews?
The reason is simple, there are some things here that didn’t quite gel the way EA wanted. The problem here is that they integrated microtransactions which offer you the ability to get better parts for your car right away. As you can imagine, that has a huge impact on the game experience.
If someone can pay real money to get better parts than you, then you have a problem. The game is $60, so the last thing you want is to have microtransactions. But they are there. And the fact that you receive cards to upgrade your cars just makes things pretty bad.
Not only that, but there’s no driving wheel support in a driving game. That’s obviously a huge problem. Plus, many cars are very hard to control. It’s hard to say if those are design choices or Need for Speed Payback has to be like that, but it’s a problem that diminishes some of the game’s value and that’s unfortunate. Because the work put in here does deserve the praise and that’s obviously something that you have to take into account.
The customization process is ruined by loot boxes because you never know what you can get. There’s no control over the experience as a whole, and that just leaves things up to chance. While it can be rather challenging to try and complete everything the way you want to, there are still some issues here and there that you have to take into consideration.
If you don’t want to buy the loot boxes, you will have to grind the old races again and again. There’s also a betting system that doesn’t really have anything to do here. It just puts your in-game cash in jeopardy. The entire system is focused on gambling and that’s a very bad thing to focus on. In the end, you want to play the game the way you want, and the title should allow you to enjoy this experience the best way you can. But it doesn’t, and that can be a problem. As long as you take your time and handle it the right way, results can be more than ok.
Overall, Need for Speed Payback is just a fun title to experience, but some of the design choices ruin it. And the fact that you are forced to deal with loot systems that are based on chance is pretty bad. Especially in a racing game like this, where your focus has to be on having skill, not earning stuff via lootboxes!