During my jam-packed 3 days in Cologne, I got a chance to play the Need For Speed Payback demo at the EA Business Lounge. Although I was sceptical of another Need for Speed entry, as I wasn’t a big fan of the franchises previous entry, I have to say I was somewhat surprised at how much I enjoyed what Payback offered.
Firstly, Need for Speed Payback‘s graphics look breathtaking. However, this might be because it was played on a PC, although apparently, the developer tried to present the games settings in a way that would accurately represent the Xbox One X version. The transition from cutscenes to gameplay is seamless, I didn’t notice any loss in quality when it went from cutscene to actually driving the car in-game and everything from the cars to the game’s surroundings looks nicely detailed, the world also looks very vibrant and colourful.
The racing itself feels like you would expect a game called Need for Speed should, the player flying over the asphalt giving off the feeling you are driving an incredibly fast car. Additionally, the controls felt good too, even for a racing novice like myself, I didn’t find myself struggling to get to the finish line.
On offer were 2 modes we could choose from with one a race in the brand new BMW M5 and the other an introduction to Payback‘s campaign. In the first part of my time with the game, I simply had to get over the finish line in first place (who would have thought), driving in a fast car while surrounded by a beautiful desert was certainly enough to get the adrenaline rushing through my body.
Following that, I got some hands on time with Need for Speed Payback‘s campaign introduction. The campaign demo mission itself had me chase a truck transporting a vehicle, which later turned out to be a Koenigsegg Regera. While in pursuit of the truck I had to fight off enforcers of “the house”. The mechanic of defending yourself from your enemies worked quite well, especially when you destroy them, which saw me treated to some spectacular slow-mo footage of the car getting flung off the road.
Destroying the enemy cars and keeping up with the truck was the biggest part of the demo for me personally, though I hope the demo I spent time with represents just a small fraction of what the campaign will offer when the game officially releases because I feel this could get repetitive quite fast. The demo’s conclusion brought about a cinematic clip after I finally caught up with the truck, with my partner in crime climbing on top of the truck before bursting out of it with the aforementioned Koenigsegg Regera, of which I got to drive for a very short amount of time before ending in another cutscene.
In my opinion, what EA presented served its purpose, I was certain this would be another average entry in the Need for Speed franchise but I could be wrong. My hands-on time made me curious about what else Need for Speed Payback has in store for players this Fall. The game will have an open world, a world we haven’t seen much of yet but from the looks of it, we are going to get an exciting good looking racing game that feels like a homage to the Fast and Furious movies.
Need for Speed Payback releases November 10th on PC, PS4 and Xbox one.