Need for Speed Payback Showcases Brutal Cops and Rewarding Side Bets

Gamescom begins this week, and Ghost have dropped ahead of time the latest trailer for Need for Speed Payback, containing our first highly-anticipated look at the police force that will be hunting you down throughout Fortune Valley.


The trailer shows one of the main protagonists, Tyler, being aided by his partner Mac after winning a street race desperately trying to evade a swarm of police. One of the racers were driving a Mercury Cougar, revealing a new car to Payback’s Car list. It also gave us a look at all five types of cops that players will encounter; Crown Victoria, Dodge Charger SRT8, Corvette GS, Rhino and Helicopter.

Crown Victoria’s are the most common cop car, with Dodge Charger’s being the next tier above with a higher top speed and more muscle. Corvette’s allow the police to keep up with some of the fastest of super cars, while Rhinos provide the frightening brute force and helicopters are the eye in the sky making it tougher to escape.   

The Police use various methods to shut down racers that are iconic to Need for Speed, including road blocks and spike strips, however have introduced a new method; The Killswitch. A Killswitch is very similar to an EMP found in previous titles, requiring players to shunt the cops targeting them in order to break their lock. Getting hit by a Killswitch will temporarily shut off your engine, giving police the perfect opportunity to pin down racers and box them in for the bust.

Cop AI seems to have had major improvements compared to Need for Speed (2015), with them working more as a team, adapting their behaviour based on how fast players are going, and aggressively aiming to take you down. Solid concrete roadblocks make a return, with cops on the inside trying to block who tries squeezing through gaps. Cops this time around are no longer invincible and can be wrecked unlike in 2015, allowing for more interesting cop vs racer gameplay and giving racers the chance to escape.

Bait Crates are a new addition to Payback, allowing players to trigger specific timed pursuits in the open world. Triggering one will immediately put players into a pursuit requiring them to escape in the allotted time limit to win big rewards, failing to do so or being busted gets you nothing. This feels like Need for Speed Payback's take on the Risk/Reward system implemented in Rivals, where if you didn't bank your Speed Points or got busted, you would go home empty handed.

In addition to all the cops news, various new screenshots have come out, showing off; our first look at side bets, the BMW M5, speed cards and the return of Autolog, which can all be found down below.  

Side Bets are extra objectives that can be taken during races, requiring you to place down a lump sum of cash and in return receive a big cash payment if you complete the objective. Fail to do so, and the money you placed down will be lost - another extension of the risk/reward system put in place for the racing aspect of the game.

Autolog has been a crucible part of Need for Speed since it was first introduced by Criterion Games with Need for Speed Hot Pursuit (2010), so there's no surprise it would be returning once again in Payback. Below we get an in-game glimpse of what it looks like to pull up to an event in the open world, showing off the events requirements, leaderboard standings and your current Autolog Rival for this event. Additionally, at the bottom it shows we can now change our car before starting an event, something that was absent in Need for Speed (2015). 

BlackPanthaa will be attending Gamescom this week with tons of new gameplay from Need for Speed Payback coming throughout the week, so be sure to keep an eye out on his channel and here for all the latest news and gameplay to come from Germany.