E3 2017: Hands on with ‘Need for Speed Payback’

The developer-led preview of Need for Speed Payback at EA Play yesterday consisted of two major components prevalent in the franchise’s newest installment. First, we watched a dev play a campaign mission and we were later shocked and awed by the overwhelming vehicle customization options.

While watching a portion of the campaign, I immediately noticed that Ghost Games decided against FMV cutscenes, the cheesiest feature of the most recent Need for Speed reboot. The characters in this story are animated and thankfully, they have nothing to do with the last crew. They did however seem to indulge in the same stereotypical dialogue you might expect from a Fast and Furious cast.

The mission objective was to chase down a freight truck carrying a supercar and escape with that car by any means necessary. Throughout the chase, enemies are approaching from all angles, trying to destroy your vehicle and run you off the road. You continue the mission by doing the same to them, Burnout style. When the coast is clear, your opportunity presents itself.


You’re instructed to pull up alongside the truck and the cutscene that follows features one of the three main protagonists jumping from your vehicle onto the enemy’s in an all too common Hollywood blockbuster action sequence. The truck leaves a path of destruction to wade through and at the end you’ll find your teammate flying from it like a bat out of hell, having commandeered the prize. You now take control of her and continue the momentum to evade the police.

The demo moved on to showcase the almost infinite customization options available in Need for Speed Payback’s garage. The entire suite from the last game returns and there are now even more options when selecting things like parts and rims. Tweaking the camber angle elicited some oohs and ahhs from the room as we learned the tilted wheel look would carry over in game. If the millions of possible combinations aren’t enough for you, the wrap creator allows players to not only make their own vehicle skins, but download others’ creations as well. The possibilities are limited only by our creativity and imagination.


Overall, I was impressed with Need for Speed Payback. The developers have taken into account the community feedback from their last product and are certainly headed in the right direction. The online parts of this game are less invasive and the open world seems to borrow from the Forza Horizon series with its variety of scenery and hidden car feature.

The game was gorgeous through and through, but we were playing on high end PCs attached to beautiful screens. It will hit 4K at 30 frames per second with HDR support on the PS4 Pro and Scorpio, but it will do all of that at 60 frames on PC, if your build is up to snuff. Need for Speed Payback releases on November 10th, 2017.

Why not check out the latest E3 2017 news from PS Nation:
Twitter Digg Delicious Stumbleupon Technorati Facebook