Electronic Arts (EA) kicked off E3 2017 with their EA Play event. Their press conferences featured new IP from Bioware and the creators of Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons, the latest updates for the Madden and FIFA series, an extensive look at Star Wars Battlefront II and a look in the new direction of the Need for Speed franchise with Need for Speed Payback, releasing on November 10, 2017 for PS4, Xbox One, and PC.
The Need for Speed franchise is known for being focused on street racing, but EA’s gameplay footage from their E3 press conference made Need for Speed Payback look like a playable version of a Fast & Furious movie. There was action, there were explosions, and there was a ton of slow motion destruction.
The mission starts with a simple briefing on the target: the Koenigsegg Regera, a car that can go from “0 to 60 in 2.7 seconds.” Two of the game’s three playable characters drive off chasing a semi-trailer holding the Regera with the intent to steal the car at all costs. After chasing the truck through a tunnel, the actions turns up another level. Fiery debris is scattered all over the road, and the player must ram into enemy vehicles to close in on the truck. Jess (one of the playable characters) climbs into the truck and is barely able to escape with the insanely fast Regera in perfect condition. The trailer ends when Jess runs into a huge police squad.
PREVIOUSLY: NEED FOR SPEED PAYBACK: WHAT WE LEARNED AND HATE
Ghost Games’ last title in the racing series was strictly titled Need for Speed and was considered to be a full reboot of the franchise. There was a mix of in-engine and live action content, and the game received some criticism for only being playable online among other concerns, but it was praised for its realistic visuals. Need for Speed Payback features offline single-player, a full day-night cycle, and missions focused on the player feeling like they are in an action movie.
The change of direction for Need for Speed Payback looks thrilling and could be what the series needs to stand out from other racers like Forza Motorsport and Gran Turismo Sport. With car-focused games like Mad Max and Rocket League (among others) achieving success over the past couple years, the gaming landscape is ready for a new twist on a traditional street racing game.