The reveal trailer for Need for Speed: Payback dropped about two weeks ago and honestly, I am not impressed. We've seen enough The Fast and The Furious movies to be tired of the same old storyline involving a gang of race car fanatics pulling off seemingly impossible heists. The new trailer hinted towards exactly that.
Who knows? Maybe this NFS will be different. That's what we've been telling ourselves for the past seven years. Here are some things that the new entry in the long-standing franchise can do to avoid being another forgettable entry:
CREATE A COMPELLING STORY
Envision this: you're a hotshot racer from a town far, far away. Somehow, for some unknown reason, you decide to shake things up a bit and go to another town filled to the brim with racers looking to steal your vehicle. No one knows who you are, you challenge the best racer in town and eventually, lose. Now, you have to work your way up because your amazing car is gone. Sound familiar? This core concept has always been at the heart of every single NFS storyline since Most Wanted (2005). Now a lot of people might argue “Hey, why are you looking for a story in a racing game?” Well, first of all, video game writing and storytelling has improved a lot from the days of the cheesy Command & Conquer games. Plus, if the single player experience of a game revolves around the story, it is incredibly hard to ignore it. Without the story feeling important, the entirety of the campaign loses its purpose. Why would I care racing against these people chatting away at each other? What reason do I have to keep on playing missions?
MEANINGFUL CAR CUSTOMISATION
The Need for Speed reboot (2015) did make customisation a major feature of the game by introducing more depth and better bodykits. But at one point, customisation lost its charm as there was too much work to actually get your ride to speed. Plus, your car would get outdated by a better one every time you progressed through the story. Forza Horizon 3 does customisation right by giving you the ability to upgrade your car to a superior class with part installations. Also, the livery editor needs to be more user friendly, players should be able to upload their own designs, and get ranked based on number of downloads.
MORE ENGAGING MULTIPLAYER
What's there to do with racing games and multiplayer, you ask? Well, first of all, NFS: Payback can feature actual crew-on-crew racing. Have an open world map segregated into zones that crews can control by beating everyone else, and you have the recipe for an extremely competitive multiplayer experience. You can level up your crew, donate parts or cars to members, and have crew leaderboards. It makes the game sound more like guilds in MMOs and that's exactly what's needed for NFS to be more compelling in its multiplayer segment.
Need for Speed: Payback is out November 10, 2017.
Shahrukh Ikhtear is a sub-editor at SHOUT who stresses himself out while trying to learn marketing. Send him pictures of Philip Kotler as blessings at fb.com/sr.ikhtear