Need for Speed Payback is getting online free roam, although we still don’t understand why it didn’t ship with it last year

By Brenna Hillier, Monday, 1 January 2018 22:35 GMT

Need for Speed Payback is bringing back a much-missed feature. Happy New Year?

Online free roam will be added to Need for Speed Payback sometime this year, Ghost Games has announced.

The feature was revealed via a New Year’s greeting tweet from the Need for Speed account, which you can check out below.

Official replies to the tweet confirm that online free roam will be part of a free update to Need for Speed Payback rather than paid DLC, and that no release date has been set yet – Ghost Games is still working on it.

Online free roam was available in 2015’s Need for Speed, which was also developed by Ghost Games on the same engine as Payback, so its absence from the release build of Need for Speed Payback was somewhat puzzling.

This step backwards was disappointing enough that Matt took the time to highlight it in his Need for Speed Payback review, despite needing every precious paragraph to detail the wince-worthy characters and confusing mess of loot box whatevers.

One of the key criticisms of Need for Speed Payback has been its tendency to railroad players to specific paths – checkpoints to evade cops, for example – so it’s good to see we’ll all soon have the chance to hoon about aimlessly with pals, at least.

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