Monday, March 19, 2018

Failed flattery

I don't really feel like talking about Need for Speed Payback. It is a soulless attempt at an edgy Forza Horizon. There is a joy to the Horizon games on top of their perfect balance between simulation and arcade style racing that makes them consistently fun to pay. Yes, there is a paper thin story on top of the exploration but that is just there to give the player a general direction in which to drive and getting their is more than half the fun anyway.

Payback lifts all of its gameplay directly from Horizon: speed traps, drift courses, hidden car husks, you name it, it's here. The first difference is the Payback's insistence on forcing its stupid story of revenge and saving 'not Las Vegas' from 'The House' down the player's throat through terrible voices cut scenes and endlessly repetitive barks. I don't fucking care about any of these people and why it is okay for them to commit grand theft auto and crash the pursing cops into oncoming traffic. It certainly looks cool but I have no interest in their personal reasons for driving like idiots.

Second, and this is personal preference, I don't like how it drives.  I don't think I have ever liked the feel of Need for Speed games. The cars have always felt heavy and slippery. It is a stylistic choice, as drifting without using the breaks is part of how the game works, but it has never clicked for me. Of the five classes of cars I find the one designed for wrecking other vehicles to easiest to drive because rewards breaking before the turn (as one would do in a real car) instead of flying headlong into a corner, throwing the ass end of the car out wide, and then looking cool as stop lights are splintered on the car's impossibly durable quarter panel.

Yes, the crashes look cool, but it just makes me want a proper Burnout sequel. No, the Burnout Paradise remaster doesn't count. I hated that game.

Special mention must be made to the asinine upgrade system. Cars have six slots for upgrade cards and these cards can either by purchased from an upgrade shop or are randomly awarded after winning races. You can also purchase token to redeem at the upgrade shops (with real money) that award slot machine like spins for random cards. This is far worse than anything in Star Wars Battlefront II but did not get any attention because it is not Star Wars.

A week and a day until Far Cry 5. I will make it.

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