In the run-up to launch it looked as though EA had finally accepted the obvious: No one wants Need for Speed anymore, as thanks to both the Fast & the Furious movies and early looks at Payback connoting an OTT tone, we were on course for a full-on revival of the arcade racer.
Sadly, all that potential comes crashing down the second you boot Payback up. The story and characters are try-hard to the point of being parodic (but nope, they're actually taking all this seriously), and car handling overall is markedly unresponsive. There's every chance that the latter is down to EA wanting you to embark on some meaningful progression, unlocking various cars and parts for hours upon hours - or it's because there's also a RNG grind governing what you unlock and when.
Got a slow car? Buy some spins of the wheel and maybe you'll get what you want!
It's truly terrible, a sad state of affairs for the franchise considering past glories, and a marked left turn from a game direction that we all would've loved.