Developer Ghost Games rebooted Need for Speed in 2015, but the underwhelming results left the series with more work to do. Today EA and the studio announced a name and date for that endeavor – Need for Speed Payback, which is out on November 10 for PS4, Xbox One, and PC.
Payback takes place in Fortune Valley, a locale whose name reveals its cutthroat underbelly. The city is run by The House – a cartel that controls everything from the cops to the casinos. Your crew consists of three playable characters trying to take down The House: Tyler, Mac, and Jess, and the cars you race have five classes – race, drift, off-road, drag, and runner. Fortune Valley presents a variety of events and challenges through its mountain, canyon, desert, and city environments, not to mention the cops who’ll chase you through the streets with more muscle than in the last game. Ghost Games also wants to inject some extra adrenaline into the story through daring heists, set pieces, and themes of betrayal and revenge. Unlike some past NFS games, Payback’s scenes won’t use live-action actors, but are rendered using the Frostbite engine.
Players can wager in-game currency on their performance (it’s unknown if this extends to online play), while the online Autolog system (there is also offline play this time) recommends feats against friends and rivals alike. A stock car likely won’t cut it against such competition, so Payback features a deeper performance and visual customization package – improving upon an already good feature in the 2015 title. More body kit parts can be mixed and matched, the wrap editor has been reworked, and you can even tune your car while you’re driving it. Perhaps the ultimate avenue for your expression using the game’s tools are the derelict, abandoned vehicles that you can find in Fortune Valley. These can be fully customized and improved into one-of-a-kind world beaters.
Hopefully Fortune Valley’s world feels more fleshed out and offers more fun diversions than Need for Speed’s Ventura Bay. To that end, creative director William Ho says Payback features more gameplay opportunities when you’re just driving around, as well as a full day/night cycle and the challenge of having to “battle through adverse driving conditions when you least expect them.”
We should have a better understanding of how all these elements are coming together when we get our hands on the game in a few weeks at the EA Play event before E3.
Anyone who pre-orders the game gets the Platinum Car Pack (below), which come with platinum blue tire smoke.
There’s also a deluxe version of the game that confers three day early access, a deluxe edition license plate, the Platinum Car Pack, in-game discounts, a Rep bonus, and more.
EA Access and Origin Access members can also play the game early for 10 hours starting on November 2nd.