Need For Speed Payback Review Roundup [Update 2]

Burning rubber or burned out?

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Now Playing: Need For Speed Payback Review

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EA's long-running arcade racing series returns this week with the release of Need for Speed Payback. The title launches for PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC on November 10, and this time around, developer Ghost Games has amped up the series' Fast and Furious influence with a new storyline that focuses on heists and over-the-top action.

Despite some moments of fun, however, Payback is hampered by its seriousness and heavy emphasis on grinding. GameSpot awarded the title 5/10 in our Need for Speed Payback review. Critic Richard Wakeling said of the game's story, "The dialogue is hammy, but not in a fun B-movie way, and it frequently goes out of its way to reference everything from The Matrix to Dragon Ball Z, with some cringe-inducing millennial slang shoehorned in for good measure."

Other reviews for Need for Speed Payback have also begun appearing online, and as usual, we've roundup up a sample of them below to give you an idea of what critics think about EA's new racer. For a wider look at Need for Speed Payback's critical reception, be sure to visit GameSpot sister site Metacritic.

  • Game: Need for Speed Payback
  • Developer: Ghost Games
  • Platforms: PS4, Xbox One
  • Release date: November 10
  • Price: US $60 / £60 / AU $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." -- Richard Wakeling [Full review]

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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." -- Luke Reilly [Full review]

Eurogamer -- No Score

"It's hard getting angry at Need for Speed Payback when instead a more fitting reaction seems to be one of complete apathy. I feel for developer Ghost Games, and after its promising debut with 2012's Rivals this clearly talented studio's spirit seems to have been crushed by the sheer weight of Need for Speed and the corporate burden it carries. In its hands the series has gone from accomplished to flawed to this, a joyless obligation of a game." -- Martin Robinson [Full review]

US Gamer -- 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." -- Mike Williams [Full review]

GamesRadar+ -- 3.5/5

"Need for Speed Payback is a game with a brilliant story at its core. Silly, over the top and a little bit self-indulgent, but in a fantastic action movie way. It works and you'll enjoy every car chase, nitrous boost and quippy millennial line. It just misses the mark by adding RPG elements into an arcade racer and making the best cars always just out of reach." -- Same Loveridge [Full review]

Trusted Reviews -- 3/5

"When you're racing, drifting, off-roading or being chased, Payback feels like a fine arcade racer in the classic Need for Speed mould. It doesn't have the glamour or the handling of Forza: Horizon, but it's scores big on variety, speed and thrills.

"Unfortunately, those simple pleasures keep getting spoilt by the amount of grinding and driving around that goes on in-between. Need for Speed was never the most-respected racing series, but it used to be one of the most fun. Payback has too much getting in the way." -- Stuart Andrews [Full review]

Forbes -- 6.5/10

"One one hand, NFSP feels a lot like a film from a major movie studio with b-level actors, a bad script and talented cinematographers who were perhaps uninspired. On the other side, there is some fun, but simplistic quality to the gameplay. However, it is predominantly a game that is trying to do too many things at once. Unfortunately, it fails to stand out in any one area. Had it ditched the open-world concept for a more challenge and stage-based experience, the story would have been easier to follow and perhaps more engaging. Also, the game might have been able to focus more on its best attribute, which is pure, dumb racing." -- Brian Mazique [Full review]

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Slypher9

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Quote..."Need for Speed returns with another flawed entry".....

And that's enough for me.. GT Sport push me to the edge and i won't go over it buy buying this..

Do these guys go back and play PAST, GOOD NFS games at all?

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deactivated-5c1c32e0b8cc8

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In my opinion, the real Need For Speed died after Hot Pursuit 2 on the PlayStation 2. I believe it all went downhill after EA Canada was out of the picture.

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sargentpsgamer

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@jayskoon93: Most Wanted was actually pretty good. EA kind of let that one slide under the radar and didn't ruin it.

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lion2447

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I remember when grinding actually got you something worthwhile in a game. Now it is used against you in order to sell loot boxes and other random s**t.

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Archangel2222

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@lion2447: and gamers should start to boycott the games and devs to speak with the wallet and post on social media at them and also for once I wish the gaming mags, websites, bloggers etc could grow a pair and really really slam the devs for doing this. Even to call them out at conferences or e3 better yet the following year to embarrass them and actually get them to comment. Only then can things change. Its a shame I wanted this game day1 so bad I loved the older games of the franchise but this was a deal breaker for me, no stupid card unlocks and no grinding to force paying up front to progress better

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KhanWasHere

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At least you get to play for free for a while with EA Access right?

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WarFox89

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copy-pasting my comment from other related article:

"The "good" old EA... Masters of destroying popular and beloved franchises. Mass Effect, MOH, C&C, NFS... and the list on their graveyard is go on and on and on. What next? You didn't killed BF yet but you on the "right" track fo it..."

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KerenskyTheRed

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@WarFox89: You caused me to have post-traumatic flashbacks by mentioning C&C. At the time, could we have known that it was only the first victim of the serial killer that is EA?

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BabyBossDaboo

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Is it that HARD to go back to what the hell worked??I also wanted to get this day one BUT I'll wait!Was sooooo looking forward to this.Now on to a Burnout-SOON PLEASE!?Bet it will sell like hotcakes EA!Fans are dying for it.....we'll wait lol

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PSYCHOV3N0M

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@babybossdaboo: "Now on to a Burnout-SOON PLEASE!?Bet it will sell like hotcakes EA!Fans are dying for it."

Only if the next entry doesn't have this microtransaction BS in the game.

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BabyBossDaboo

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@PSYCHOV3N0M: I kno right?I refuse to pay ANY micro-transactions outside of a season pass!Hell,I barely want to even pay for those either!?

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VelcroSnake

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Edited By VelcroSnake

@babybossdaboo: The problem with going back to what worked is they then can't find ways of implementing microtransactions.

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BabyBossDaboo

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@velcrosnake: Hahaha!I hear ya&Hope to the Gods they stop those asinine craps-transactions!!They'd sell NFS games by the truckloads!Shame what they are doing to Star wars battlefront II.Ea can't learn can they????Hopefully they patch NFS SOON

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Slypher9

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@velcrosnake: lol true

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Archangel2222

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EA better release a patch to not make it grindy, to lower the cost of cars to purchase and get rid of the stupid card upgrades and reward upgrades in some other way and also patch in the cop chases even for open world otherwise they can suffer as I expect this game to flop now due to the feedback

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BabyBossDaboo

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@Archangel2222: Agreed!I'm not playing any racing game as if its Skyrim lol no sireeee!!Want great cars soon as possible the old fashion way right??Ea is def slacking just like the Nba-Live series!Enough Ea!!Go back to what worked perhaps??

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Archangel2222

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Edited By Archangel2222

Stupid EA I enjoyed Rivals and they took a step back, graphics look worse and that stupid customization and upgrade system is a step back. Let me win races and money to unlock these and dont make it a grind fest and a requirement to get cards. What are cards doing in a racing game morons. Wasssssssss going to get this day1 for sure but thanks for wrecking it and making me pass on it

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Steamaddict

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cringe-inducing millennial slang..Thats enough for me..Im sick of this making its way into damn near every game..It's either sjw crap, political correctness, forced ethnic garbage...Games cant just be fun anymore..And after the last need for speeds horrible dialouge I was hoping this went back towards its roots..Guess not, i suppose another pass...

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KhanWasHere

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@steamaddict: TV has been getting a little too gay to but that's a subject for another rant.

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PSYCHOV3N0M

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@khanwashere: True. (Supergirl, Arrow, How To Get Away With Murder, Grey's Anatomy, etc etc)

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deactivated-5a191f2c70ab1

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@steamaddict: I wish you kept going numbering all those liberal "qualities"

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R4gn4r0k

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Oh my, I was actually looking forward to this one

Is the grinding and insidious upgrade system a way for EA to, oh I dunno, sell lootboxes ?

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sladakrobot

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Ouch!

Guess they need to overthink their formula...why not going back to the roots?

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SupaMasterGamer

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Well...Maybe they needed 2 or 3 years off...

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infiniin

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Edited By infiniin

@supamastergamer: Nah, EA should stop their policy with milking old cow first then give rights to proper experienced studio who could handle the task atleast (3rd attempt and it got the worst out of Ghost Games promises).

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BarcaAzul

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Oh dear