‘Need for Speed Payback’ Is Borrowing the ‘FIFA’ Reward System

Jeremy Ray

More details are coming out about Need For Speed Payback‘s loot system, and it seems to have taken a few pages from FIFA Ultimate Team‘s playbook.

Depending on your feelings about microtransactions, that can be either a very good or very bad thing. Ultimate Team has become FIFA’s most popular mode, moving a hefty amount of coin for EA (virtual and otherwise). It even spawned its own esports competition to rival the FIFA Interactive World Cup.

On the other hand, it’s unabashedly pay-to-win — and Payback is showing a lot of the same signs.

Speaking to finder, creative director Will Ho confirmed that rewards for playing well are randomised. Instead of a normal currency, you’ll roll for parts. If you have an abundance of lower quality parts, you’ll be able to trade them in for another roll. It’s similar to the “loot roulette” systems in many triple-A games.

In Ho’s words:

We give you a chance to draw from three different what we call Speed Cards, and then you get to choose one and you’re always going to get something cool, something that enhances your performance: it may have some strengths, it may have some weaknesses and that’s for you to judge.

Parts will affect both meaningful and arcade racing stats, including airtime, drifting, traction and acceleration.

You can see the customisation at work in this trailer:

Ho says that parts from different brands will perform better when grouped with each other, which is very similar to the “chemistry” system of Ultimate Team, in which footballers with different nationalities, positions and formation preferences gel in different ways. Some of it is just visual customisation, but it’ll be up to the player to maximise efficiency from muffler to muzzle, just as they would from Casillas to Higuain.

This creates a kind of metagame for players to strategically combine parts, but it also commits them to a path. Once invested in one of Need For Speed Payback‘s included brands, other parts will be less useful.

The next obvious question is “Are you going to be able to pay to get the exact parts you want?”

Being EA, of course the answer is yes. Microtransactions are present in that capacity — one more similarity to Ultimate Team. Drop rates won’t be known until the game is out and tested, but it’s safe to say you won’t be getting your perfect setup until you either invest a lot of hours or some money.

Jeremy Ray
Managing Editor at FANDOM. Decade-long games critic and esports aficionado. Started in competitive Counter-Strike, then moved into broadcast, online, print and interpretative pantomime. You merely adopted the lag. I was born in it.
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