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Need for Speed Payback puts a Fast and Furious spin on the series (update)

Coming Nov. 10

Samit Sarkar (he/him) is Polygon’s deputy managing editor. He has more than 15 years of experience covering video games, movies, television, and technology.

Need for Speed Payback is the next entry in the long-running racing franchise, and it will offer an “action driving fantasy” in a story told from multiple perspectives, publisher Electronic Arts announced today.

EA plans to release Need for Speed Payback, which is in development at Ghost Games, on Nov. 10 worldwide on PlayStation 4, Windows PC and Xbox One. It will be the first Need for Speed title since 2015 — when EA attempted to reboot the franchise with Need for Speed — and the third in a row from Ghost Games, following that game and 2013’s Need for Speed Rivals.

The campaign in Need for Speed Payback will allow players to drive as three different characters — Tyler, the Racer; Mac, the Showman; and Jess, the Wheelman — who team up to get revenge on The House, a cartel that runs the criminal underworld of the fictional city of Fortune Valley. EA is promising “intense heist missions, high stakes car battles, epic cop pursuits and jaw dropping set pieces,” which suggests that Ghost Games is taking inspiration from the lovably bonkers world of the Fast and Furious franchise.

Need for Speed Payback - customized truck in the desert Ghost Games/Electronic Arts

Ghost Games said last month that “a single player experience” in the game will be playable offline, and also highlighted two key features: an open-world environment, and car customization. It sounds like the latter element will go hand in hand with earning money during the campaign. Players will be able to trick out their ride and then bet on themselves in races, in the hopes of bankrolling future car upgrades.

Real-life vehicles are a hallmark of the Need for Speed series, and Need for Speed Payback will be no different. Pre-order customers will receive the Platinum Car Pack, which comes with five souped-up cars that can each be outfitted with an upgrade called Platinum Blue Tire Smoke:

  • 1967 Chevrolet Camaro SS
  • 1969 Dodge Charger R/T
  • 2008 Nissan 350Z
  • 2016 Ford F-150 Raptor
  • 2016 Volkswagen Golf GTI Clubsport

As with most EA games, a Play First Trial for Need for Speed Payback will be available to EA Access and Origin Access subscribers — they’ll be able to play for up to 10 hours starting Thursday, Nov. 2. People who buy the game’s $79.99 Deluxe Edition will get three days of early access starting Tuesday, Nov. 7. That package also comes with the Platinum Car Pack and goodies such as customization items, a 5 percent rep bonus and a 10 percent discount on in-game purchases.

Update: The Deluxe Edition of Need for Speed Payback comes with the Platinum Car Pack and the High Roller Pack, the latter of which includes a set of story missions. It’s likely that EA will also sell these add-ons separately for people who don’t buy the Deluxe Edition; we’ve asked for further details, and will update this article with any information we receive.

Need for Speed Payback - cops in pursuit of black car Ghost Games/Electronic Arts

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