When I was younger, I didn’t care much for coffee or tomatoes, but I absolutely loved racing games. I think my love began with Crash Team Racing, a fantastic kart racer due a remake. My brother and I particularly bonded through racing. We played so much Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit 2 on our PS2 we burnt sections of the UI into the display of our TV.
But gaming preferences come and go. I’ve developed a taste for coffee and tomatoes, but nowadays I find myself more tempted to play an action-adventure than a racing game. I can’t really explain why that is – the quality of racing games have arguably improved a great deal – but for whatever reason, they’re just not on my radar.
That was until I played Need for Speed: Payback, the third in the franchise developed by Ghost Games and the second since a series reboot in 2015. I got the opportunity to play the first couple of hours at a recent press event and rediscovered my love for illicit street racing.This was spurred largely by the quality of the game. According to Ghost Games, it’s the largest Need for Speed game ever made. As I mentioned to one of the game’s producers, Jeremy Chubb, repeatedly, it’s very reminiscent of Burnout Paradise – one of my favourite racing games – down to the inclusion of vehicular playgrounds and smashable billboards.