Need for Speed Payback Comes Free to PS Plus in October

I don't understand the praise regarding the driving physics. For me, there was a clear downgrade from 2015.
Chaining drifts is almost impossible, weight transfer is non-existant (no scandinavian flicks) and the understeer is abismal (worse than 2015).
And don't get me started on the off-road physics, the cars are uncontrollable.
Despite all of this, the general gameplay is enjoyable and has some improvements (the different classes, the collectibles and challenges).
Not disappointed with the game, but frustated, yes.

I think it was praised for just being more consistent, weird crabwalking like in NFS 2015 is more rare. Heat improved on the physics a lot more and I find it the most enjoyable brake to drift physics in NFS since HP2010.
United States
I went ahead and tried it this weekend. Free is about the right price, honestly, and I say that believing that people who bought NFS 2015 should have been given a refund and then some. I hated 2015 from go, I at least made it out of the prologue in Payback, even though they again used so much cliche garbage I knew what was gonna happen well before it did. Don't know if I'll play more, but at free it's not too much to take.
Crabwalking mostly happened in 2015 if:

1. You had a weird tuning setup (turning "stability control" off is a death sentence). The default tune is actually reasonably controllable.
2. You collide into something with a drift, which can be difficult to avoid in certain situations.
3. You used the E-Brake to chain drifts.

Payback/Heat alleviated the first two issues a bit and added a band-aid fix for the third one that doesn't actually work, but I don't think they were ever completely fixed.

Scandinavian Flick still exists in newer games, but the effect isn't nearly as exaggerated as it was in 2015. Understeer is just bad tuning on Ghost's part. Might've been an attempt at trying to idiot-proof the driving.
United States
I played this for awhile and it is better than NFS 2015 in every way except the graphics, which isn't saying much. The map is fun enough, the cutscenes can be skipped, the vehicles are somewhat able to be controlled (not well on dirt), and online is optional, but everything about the game feels already done better before. Nothing is done terribly this time, though the lootbox system (parts are awarded and can be bought with credits like most other games) only detracts from the gameplay and is clearly there only for profits.
The lower quality graphics, rehashed features and blatant pay to win lootbox system makes this feel like s cliche "freemium* game. Which given the popularity of the genre, I would understand this decision... if the game was free since launch and a mobile exclusive.
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United Kingdom
In the Middle
Downloaded it for free. Can’t put it down as it’s the first open world game I’ve had on PlayStation.

Never played a NFS. My youngest loves it which is a first for a driving game so happy to get him in to cars more.

Not too keen on the speed card picker but like the brands idea and love having an Exige to blat around in.


Calvinball MVP
United States
Lincoln, NE
I played most NFS games from the first game through 2010's Hot Pursuit reboot. High points along the way, for me, were Hot Pursuit 2, Underground 2, and the original Most Wanted from 2005. I decided to give Payback a shot when I saw it as the free game this month. Since there were several titles I missed this decade, I can't say it's the worst NFS of all time, but it's definitely my least favorite among the ones I have played.

As already mentioned by several people, the speed card upgrade system is bad. Like Eunos, I'm not actually finding it a big hindrance to progression through the story, since you get so many of them, but it's still a pretty dumb way to do things. Just let me spend in-game money on the parts I want to upgrade. Why make it any more complicated than that?

Assessing the car handling in any game is pretty subjective, but I find Payback's to be particularly awful. Forcing a skid with the absurdly over-powered handbrake somehow has zero effect on your speed, while using the regular brake and trying to maintain some semblance of a racing line causes you to slow waaaaaaaaaaay down. Yes, yes, it's not a simulator, I get that. But I look at something like Forza Horizon as a good example of "arcade" car handling; It's unrealistic and forgiving of ham-handed driving, but it still acts intuitively. Payback does not.

As mentioned by GTBT100, the off-road behavior of the cars is exceptionally bad. There's no sense of varying levels of grip, no predictability at all to what line will or will not slow your car down. If I try and stick to the nominal "road," AI cars blast by me by cutting corners, but when I try and do the same, it seems I have about a 50-50 shot of being severely slowed down. The races become trial-and-error runs to figure out in which spots the game has decided it is beneficial to leave the course.

The sense of speed in this game is off, too. Acceleration feels fairly sluggish on most cars, and there's never really a sense of going all that fast, unless you're going 200+ mph, at which point you're suddenly piloting a starship through warp space. There's no linearity to it all.

Since most of the games I've given a miss to over the years have all gotten reviews ranging from mediocre to abysmal without any bright spots, it seems to me the series has lost it's way. In my opinion, for grab-and-go arcade racing fun, 2010 Hot Pursuit and Burnout Paradise are clearly superior. If you want to layer on a jam-packed open world, some deep customization, and a dose of realism to the handling, go Forza Horizon 3/4. Payback doesn't do anything nearly as well as any of those games.
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I played Payback for an hour yesterday and enjoyed it. First time thats happened in a while with a NFS game, so that was nice. I think I will do this one from start to finish, and I like the cheesy story, makes a change from serious GTS racing for a bit.
Yep, same for me. I don't find the loot boxes very hindering, it's quite a fun game!