Need For Speed Payback review thread

#1
Metacritic PS4 - 64/100
Metacritic Xbox One - 66/100

Gamespot - 5/10
Need for Speed Payback's banal racing is only magnified by this focus on grinding. The simple, almost retro, handling model provides occasional bouts of fun, but it's never enough to escape Payback's flaws, with an unwillingness to let you partake in its most hair-raising moments, and a general drabness that seeps into every layer of the game. Fast and Furious, this is not; and that's a disappointing outcome.
IGN - 5.9/10
Need for Speed Payback is a big, competent, and confident arcade racer but it’s really let down by its linear cop chases, its overwrought and insidious upgrade system, its dreadful dialogue, and its superficial action sequences. It feels fine and it looks flashy, but Payback really went all-in on its direct-to-DVD revenge tale and it was a bust for me.
GamesRadar - 3.5/5
Need for Speed Payback successfully returns to its Fast and Furious roots with aplomb, but a focus on the grind and a beautiful but empty world means it ultimately falls short of greatness.
Hardcore Gamer - 4/5
EA and Ghost Games set out to make the quintessential Need for Speed by bringing in aspects that worked in the past and has mostly succeeded. The unnecessary narrative ultimately holds the game back, but it’s a blast once the world is made available to the player. The off-road racing is addicting and the search for Derelicts could remain a mainstay with the franchise moving forward. This is much less of a CAR-PG than the previous game, as players will be able to build a great library of cars much quicker. Add to this an excellent livery editor and community features, and the core elements of Need for Speed Payback will keep fans playing for quite a while.
USGamer - 3/5
Need for Speed returns with another flawed entry. There's the core of a great racing game here and when you're just driving around the open world, it's wonderful. The progression system encourages grinding and the basic story is delivered with B-movie seriousness, taking away from the racing pleasure. There's a better game inside of Payback, but you have to go through everything else to get to it.
EGM - 4/10
Need for Speed Payback might be a new low point for the franchise. A horrendous progression system compounded by uninteresting characters and terrible AI only illustrates how far behind this series has fallen compared to the other arcade racers out there. The multiplayer is solid, but that’s like saying at least the car wreck didn’t cause a fire, too.
Eurogamer
Need for Speed returns in this, a grossly unremarkable open world racer that marks another step back for the series.
VG247
The glory days of Need for Speed seem a long way off. Need for Speed Payback is swamped with unnecessary guff when it should be stripped back and lean, the engine purring. There’s little to recommend in a game that feels unnecessary in so many areas, with so many blocks to actually having fun. There could be a decent game under here somewhere, but there’s no reason to hang around and find it.
Press Start AU - 6/10
Despite Need for Speed Payback’s accessible and gratifying approach to arcade racing, the time needed to progress in a satisfactory manner regresses the joy of the rubber meeting the road to a grind that ironically brings the pace of the game to a grinding halt. Need for Speed Payback totes itself as a romp of reckless abandon but ultimately lacks the longevity, charisma and conviction necessary to make it a ride worth taking.
PCWorld - 2/5
Payback is not fun. If this were 2015’s Need for Speed systems layered over the exact same story, this game gets a 3.5/5 rating, maybe even a 4 if I were feeling generous. Driving around the open-world is mindless fun. The story is sometimes bad-bad but more often falls into so-bad-it’s-great territory. And hey, the competition’s light this year—there’s no Forza Horizon to even compare against in 2017.

But Payback is the worst loot box implementation I’ve seen in a full-price game. So many decisions here seem made just to squeeze consumers for more money, and in the most obnoxious, tonally-inconsistent way possible.
Shacknews - 6/10
In an effort to adopt the stylings of other popular, open-world racers, Need For Speed: Payback presents some fun ideas with poor execution. It also misses an opportunity to elevate an NFS staple with a tacked-on, linear version of Pursuit that annoys while simultaneously reminding me of the absence of a Burnout game on the market. Payback could have solidified the NFS franchise’s spot in the market with the new heist missions and stood out from open-world racers with cop pursuit but, instead, gave us bright moments set in a bland world with technical shortcomings.
Metro - 3/10
But if you do make the mistake of buying Need For Speed Payback, or get it as an unwanted present, then just do what the name suggests and get a refund as quickly as possible.
Destructoid - 3/10
The concept and goal for Need for Payback Payback sounds simple enough on paper: Create an open-world arcade racing game with a heavy emphasis on action-packed set pieces, taking cues and inspiration from the Fast & Furious films -- specifically the ones with a certain "electrifying" individual. However, due to a mixed bag of awful business decisions, an uninteresting story with some of the worst dialogue I've heard in recent memory, thrown in with a dull open world, we now have a new low point for this 23 year old franchise.
Arstechnica
Need for Speed: Payback is a fruitless, grind-y, hard-to-control drive through a terrible story. Skip it.
Polygon - 6.5/10
Need For Speed Payback doesn’t do many favors for itself. It’s a fun racing game whose flashy story would be fine if I felt like I was building a blinged-out career worthy of it. Instead, I felt driven toward pure stats upgrades, heedless of what the car was or what it looked like. Coupled with a desert city and countryside that feels lifeless despite being packed with racing challenges and collectibles, it’s the equivalent of a bland paint job surrounding a high performance engine block. Considering how little I customized my cars in Need For Speed Payback, much less wanted to, that’s the best epitaph I can give it.
Jesse Wellens - "It's a great game."
 
#7
Serves EA right for destroying the Burnout Series. No, the open world Burnout Paradise isn't the same thing.

They should merge the features that made Burnout 3 and Burnout Revenge amazing, generation defining games into Need for Speed.

I honestly think a remastered Burnout Revenge in HDR 2.5K/60fps for the pro/X and 1080p for the Switch for the current generation would get vastly superior sales than any NFS EA has recently put out.
 
#13
Haven't heard much positivity about it from friends who played it via EA Access. EA are disappointing with some of their IPs, this, Mass Effect and Mirrors Edge.
 
#15
It's sad to see EA consistently not reach the highs of NFS' early 2000 era dominance.

Why don't they just let NFS rest for now and give us more Burnout? Burnout has been missing in action since almost a decade now.

A DECADE!
 
#16
That's a shame.
I quite enjoyed the last iteration (once they patched the rubberband issues)
The cheesy storyline and live action cutscenes were so over the top with cringe-worthy acting and forced product placement that it was impossible not to enjoy.

I will play this don't get me wrong, but it will be once it is heavily discounted on the PSN. Not unlike last time around
 
#17
It's sad to see EA consistently not reach the highs of NFS' early 2000 era dominance.

Why don't they just let NFS rest for now and give us more Burnout? Burnout has been missing in action since almost a decade now.

A DECADE!
Its because Burnout never sold well. Even Paradise which was highly critically accalimed.
 
#18
It's sad to see EA consistently not reach the highs of NFS' early 2000 era dominance.

Why don't they just let NFS rest for now and give us more Burnout? Burnout has been missing in action since almost a decade now.

A DECADE!
I couldn't agree more sir. Burnout is still my most adored arcade racer.
Paradise was a step out of my comfort zone but still great imo. Enough for me to play through it 100% on both 360 and PS3

I would love a burnout collection (if a new title is too much of a risk for Ea)
 
#19
I pretty much liked all of the NFS games last Gen and I haven't liked either of the two from this Gen (I'm counting Rivals as a last Gen game). Its a shame that we have so few arcade racers lately and the ones we get aren't all that great.
 
#21
Damnit EA. I was looking forward to this NFS. But the first mission where a fucking truck outruns your car already made game feel too stupid, even for arcade.

shEAt:(
 
#29
They killed Dead Space.

They stripped any trace of soul from Mirror's Edge.

They cut the future of BioWare.

They destroyed any chance of SP Star Wars games (damn Disney too).

They literally ruined NFS, year by year, reducing it as a gaming version of bad Fast&Furious clips.

And many other things were ruined forever.

I hate EA with all my heart. I fucking hate them.

Sorry for the rant.
 
#30
NFS is probably my favorite franchise. Hot Pursuit was absolutely amazing, and I honestly really enjoyed everything from the last two gens except for The Run. I even plat'd Most Wanted on Vita, too.

I'll get this... and I'm -sure- I'll really enjoy it too... but I hate that EA is annoying so many people because we -need- an arcade racer, and this is what we're getting. It's not like we have lots of other choices.

Most Wanted, Rivals, and even the reboot are far better than some give them credit for.
 
#33
Okay then. Let me install NFS Underground 2 & Most Wanted Black Edition. I think I'm just starting to miss those bad to the bone cut-scenes with Razor in MW. They got old, but sure is fine that what this one throws right now.
 
#34
I used to love the NFS series. However they have been on a very steep and steady decline over the last handful of years. I think the last games I REALLY enjoyed were NFS Underground 1 & 2, and then Carbon. Since that... can't recall any good memories. I did buy NFS Rivals for the XOne, but was not impressed.

Which they would return to their roots. Sigh. I do miss the police chases and such. Had a lot of fun with that.
 
#36
Personally I thought that The Run was pretty good if you could survive the idiocy of QTE cutscenes.
The Run was the only one I disliked of the last two gens. It was -way- too picky about crashing - you could just touch the dirt on the side of the road and crash, other times you could safely drift it. I also hated the rewind mechanic it employed.

Hot Pursuit was amazing. Most Wanted was great. Rivals was good, felt like HP meets MW, but cops were a touch too aggressive. NFS reboot was okay, but cops were way too passive. The Run was okay, but flawed.

I feel like a lot of people who dislike NFS don't like arcade handling to begin with.


Im glad these ratings suck. Screw EA for what they tried to do to slightly mad studios after they made them 2 great games.

For info watch this video, it's worth it and an insight into the toxic company that is EA:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fRFwNstAdgA
I want NFS to succeed far more than I want EA to burn. It's the last arcade racing franchise left... and it's not like we're getting other options. Without NFS, Burnout, and games like Split/Second coming out there is a -massive- hole in my gaming needs.

There was no better racing experience in my life than plat'ing HP. Some of those courses are etched into my brain. Mastering that game felt amazing.
 
#38
The Run was the only one I disliked of the last two gens. It was -way- too picky about crashing - you could just touch the dirt on the side of the road and crash, other times you could safely drift it. I also hated the rewind mechanic it employed.

Hot Pursuit was amazing. Most Wanted was great. Rivals was good, felt like HP meets MW, but cops were a touch too aggressive. NFS reboot was okay, but cops were way too passive. The Run was okay, but flawed.

I feel like a lot of people who dislike NFS don't like arcade handling to begin with.

There was no better racing experience in my life than plat'ing HP. Some of those courses are etched into my brain. Mastering that game felt amazing.
That's false, in many ways, I can assure you on that and I feel lot of users here agree with me, on this one.

The rest is your opinion and I respect that (even if I don't agree).

(Hot Pursuit was the last "good" NFS for me)
 
#39
Personally I thought that The Run was pretty good if you could survive the idiocy of QTE cutscenes.
Yea, it's really underrated imo. It had some really good track designs and looked great.

I also enjoyed Rivals as did the 3 or 4 people I convinced to buy it. 2 of them hated racing games and loved Rivals. It's one of the couple open world racing games that i liked the design of the world. Typically, the open world aspect of racing games are awful to me.

Since Criterion took over it basically went like this for me

Hot Pursuit 2010 - 6/10
The Run - 7/10 (black box) - closes courses which were really solid, not much replayability, stupid story with QTE BS
Most Wanted 2012 - 5/10 - Although I can't deny that I put 25-30 hours into this.
Rivals - 9/10 - I honestly had a blast with it
NFS 2015 - ?? - The only NFS I never bought in the past decade or 2. The beta was enough, I hated the handling model and the city was one of the worst I'd ever driven in an open world racer.
 
#40
I agree with the reviews. I played it on ea access and its so lame. Zero incentive for me to even try to maximize the 10 hr time trail I got.

Ea is in trouble. I bed there is a lot of internal struggle if this is the type of products they have been churning out.
 
#41
Last good one imo was Hot Pursuit 2. Once they went to street racing with economy cars they lost me. I don’t care how tricked out a Civic is, it’s still a Civic!
 
#43
NFS 2015 is one of my all time favorit racing games. What I see from this game its a let down.

Im just worried they will close the servers fir nfs 2015 please make it offline available
 
#45
sucks to hear and might hold off for a good sale, seems like I always pay full price for NFS games then its super cheap by Black Friday.....I just want some traditional MP lobbies or some real multi player and not sure this game has that.