The long-running Need for Speed series has been given a new addition with Need for Speed: Payback. The game is traditionally published by EA, and it is the second in the series that runs on the Frostbite engine. Does that automatically mean that your video card operates at full speed?
Few racing games have such a long history as Need for Speed. The series has never really presented itself as a racing simulator, and with Payback EA is once again making it clear that it is focusing on fun, entertainment and accessibility. In this latest Need for Speed, there is an open game world, which requires the processor and memory performance to load different parts and keep on streaming while you are moving around in the environment which can be quite taxing.
Just like Need for Speed from 2015, the Frostbite 3.0 engine is used. This engine has also been used in games such as Battlefield 1, Mass Effect Andromeda, Dragon Age: Inquisition and Star Wars Battlefront. Frostbite has already proven itself in these games as an optimized engine that can conjure up a lot of graphical fidelity on the screen in a variety of configurations. Payback has an immediate advantage with this, although the remarkable choice was made to leave out the DX12 mode, which is supported in Battlefield 1, among others
Some gamers will have noticed that this review of Payback is quite late. The latest Need for Speed was released in mid-November of last year. We quickly started benchmarking the game at the time, but ran into unpredictable variations in performance. Then it was just a matter of waiting for the developers to come up with patches to solve these problems. Now that the game is running steadily, achieving consistent results in our benchmark, we can now confidently make statements about the performance of 27 video cards.
The gamepress is moderately enthusiastic about Need for Speed Payback, and mainly criticizes the microtransactions as is often the case with more recent EA games. The big game world and the variation in races is mentioned by XGN as strengths, and according to XGN, the pay-to-win content of the game is particularly disappointing. Tweakers also mentions the predictability and limited choice of cars as a downside, although the graphical part and the gameplay are good according to the site.
Aside from the PC version we look at in this review, Need for Speed Payback was also released for Sony's Playstation 4 and Microsoft's Xbox One. The version for the PC is available for 63 dollars in shops, although via key sites sometimes prices of two tenths lower are possible.