There was no new Need for Speed game in 2016, but the franchise is back in 2017 with Payback. This is, incredibly, the 23rd game in the series which began in 1994. The last game (not including the mobile versions) was the full reboot of the series which launched in 2015, just called Need for Speed.
Payback is an open-world racer which seems to have taken a lot of, shall we say, “inspiration” from the Fast and Furious films and has you executing set pieces such as the steal-the-Koeningsegg-from-a-moving-transporter that you can watch in the gameplay trailer at the bottom of this article. You can read our Need for Speed: Payback review for more details.
Above is a trailer from Gamescom 2017, which shows the tactics police will use to try and stop you escaping, including a 'kill switch' that appears to disable your car so you can't drive off. Petrolheads will also spot that this is also the first reveal of the new 600-horsepower BMW M5, an interesting tactic clearly aimed at enticing younger buyers.
Porsche did a similar thing by partnering with Turn 10: the GT2 RS made its debut as the cover car of Forza Motorsport 7.
When is Need for Speed Payback coming out?
It's out now, and launched on Xbox One, PS4 and PC on 10 November.
Where can I buy Need for Speed Payback?
There’s a standard edition, and a deluxe version which gives you three days of early access, a story mission pack and benefits such as 10 percent discount on in-game purchases.
On PC, the Standard Edition costs £59.99 and the Deluxe Edition costs £79.99 from the Microsoft store. It's cheaper elsewhere though, at £47.99 from Green Man Gaming, or £54.99 and £69.99 for Deluxe from EA's Origin platform.
An incentive to pre-order is the fact you'll get a free Platinum Car Pack which includes the Nissan 350Z, Chevrolet Camaro SS, Ford F-150 Raptor, Dodge Charger R/T and the Volkswagen Golf GTI Clubsport - all with 'Platinum Blue tyre smoke'.
Need for Speed Payback gameplay
And as you’ll no doubt notice from the videos below, there are Burnout elements alongside the F&F-inspired aspects, including slo-mo sequences when you ‘take down’ enemy cars along the way.
There are three playable characters: Tyler (The Racer), Mac (The Showman) and Jess (The Wheelman). Each has different skills and they must work together to accomplish the missions.
For a much more in-depth look at the game, read our Need for Speed: Payback review.
Naturally, there are races to win, other missions and “high-stakes heists” and challenges to beat on your way to taking down “The House”, which is the cartel in Fortune Valley – the setting for Payback.
Customising your car is central to the game. The parts you add and choose determine the events in which you can compete, and whether you’ll manage to outrun the law in cop chases. EA recently released a trailer dedicated to showing off the complex customisation system, which you can see below.
"Derelicts" also make their debut in the trailer, offering you the option to explore the open world looking for vintage car parts. Once you've found all required parts, you'll be able to build and customise the car, creating one-of-a-kind supercars for use in-game. It's a cool feature, but one that isn't new; 2014's The Crew had a similar feature, dubbed Wreck Parts, that provided vintage cars once all car parts were found.
Those who want more information on the customisation features and derelicts, you can head over to the EA website.
Unlike the previous Need for Speed, Payback will have an offline single-player mode as well as a day-night cycle.
There’s variety in terms of locations and: urban and countryside, on-road and off-road racing. Cars are divided into five classes: Race, Drift, Off-Road, Drag and Runner.
Need for Speed Payback trailers
Here's the original trailer from E3 2017.