Ghost Games’ Frostbite-powered racing title, Need For Speed: Payback, may have stuttered and backfired off the starting line like a gassy mule at the Kentucky Derby, but that doesn’t mean Electronic Arts and Ghost Games are done with it.
In fact, the official Need For Speed Twitter account announced that for the 2018 new year celebration, gamers would be able to partake in an upcoming free update featuring an open-world free roam mode for the online multiplayer of Need For Speed: Payback.
Online Free Roam coming 2018, Happy New Year from everyone at Need for Speed! 🎆 pic.twitter.com/Ht8cRsvQQA
— Need for Speed (@NeedforSpeed) January 1, 2018
This will essentially turn Need For Speed: Payback into a quasi-re-imagining of Need For Speed World, the MMO racing title that Black Box Games had designed almost a decade ago. The studio was shutdown just a few years after the launch of Need For Speed World, putting an end to the long running Black Box Games back in 2013.
With the online free-roam mode in Need For Speed: Payback, players will be able to freely drive around the game world, interact with other players and check out some of the rides. This is basically how the world hub was setup in Need For Speed World, with players being able to ride around freely, scope out cars, or even challenge other players to 1-on-1 races or group runs.
Details on the online free roam mode for Need For Speed: Payback are slim, though. All we know is that it will be a free update for PS4, Xbox One and PC users, and that it should add a little bit of extra spice to the multiplayer.
The game itself ended up getting caught up in the explosive backlash from the gaming community toward premium loot boxes in AAA games, especially when Star Wars: Battlefront II got absolutely hammered for the feature, and Need For Speed: Payback received some blowback for the premium loot boxes as well.
I tend to doubt that a free roam mode will solve all of the game’s problems, but we’ll see how well it works out when Ghost Games and EA finalize a release date for the feature.
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