Need For Speed Payback will add online free roam mode

Cars are mechanical goats. Sure, you can teach them tricks and make them move with purpose, but they’d rather lark about chasing and butting each other. It’s silly, then, that Need For Speed Payback does not let cars scamper freely around together in a multiplayer free-roaming mode. Plenty of that game is pure daft–especially the writing, our John will tell you in his Need for Speed Payback review–but a car playground could go some way to redeeming it. So huzzah hooray, EA have announced an Online Free Roam mode is coming free to Payback some time in 2018. Better late than never.

Right now, Payback has a little multiplayer free roaming action while players are waiting for lobbies to fill up – but only then. Imagine the woe of only getting the mode you want in short bursts while the game counts down down to taking you away to something it insists you’ll enjoy more.

2015’s Need For Speed, also made by Payback devs Ghost Games, had multiplayer free-roaming built in. Why EA decided to launch Payback without it is a mystery they don’t care to explain.

Yesterday’s tweet announcing the addition said “Online Free Roam coming 2018” without any more details. Further tweets clarified that the mode will be free for everyone, and that it’s still being worked on so the devs can’t give a launch date yet.

Payback sounds enough of a mess that, even as someone who enjoys doofy posturing carcrimes, I haven’t been interested so far. But if a few friends are enticed by multiplayer free roam and the game goes cheap enough in a sale, ah, maybe.


  1. Kamestos says:

    The 2015 NFS (NFS Rivals, was it?) was online-only, so you couldn’t pause the game ever or quick-restart a botched attempt.
    I remember that was infuriating, so much that EA announced early that Payback was not to be online-only.
    Now with the addidition of multiplayer free-roam we went full circle.

  2. SBLux says:

    Is this game worth playing or do the terrible characters and story ruin it? I am a big fan of NFS Hot Pursuit so I am tempted to try it out.

    • Sgt_Big_Bubbaloola says:

      Personally i’m really enjoying it. The story itself is pretty dross but the mechanics are great for me.

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    phuzz says:

    I’m trying to work out what that car is, early model MX5 (Miata to the yanks) with a bodykit maybe?

  4. Cerebulon says:

    This seems like a natural thing for them to do after they shut down Need for Speed: World last year (or was it 2 years ago?). Shut down the old so there’s no competition, and fill the void with their own new shiny full price product.

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    kfix says:

    Commenting just to say I can’t wait to see what kind of weird ARG Alice is constructing around this splat image.