Movie Review: Going In Style Goes Nowhere

★★ Age: 12+

Need for Speed: Payback
Need for Speed: Payback
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  • Need for Speed Payback review: Going nowhere fast Independent.ie THE Fast and the Furious has much to answer for. The Vin Diesel vehicle, now in its umpteenth incarnation, has its share of lazy characterisation and improbable plotting but at least can always fall back on outrageous stunts to prop up viewer interest. https://www.independent.ie/entertainment/games/reviews/need-for-speed-payback-review-going-nowhere-fast-36401585.html https://www.independent.ie/incoming/article36401582.ece/04043/AUTOCROP/h342/NFS-Payback.jpg
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THE Fast and the Furious has much to answer for. The Vin Diesel vehicle, now in its umpteenth incarnation, has its share of lazy characterisation and improbable plotting but at least can always fall back on outrageous stunts to prop up viewer interest.

Need for Speed, also a car-themed series with more instalments than we care to remember, has swerved from brilliant to baloney and back again over its lifespan. But Payback takes far too many cues from F&F for its own good, resulting in a lame pastiche of Diesel’s rogue car crew. At its heart, there’s something more unforgivable than a ho-hum storyline wedded to a clunky script and unmemorable protagonists.

For a driving game, it’s just unfathomably dull. The single-player storyline requires no more than a smidgen of skill for the most part, thanks to semi-automated driving despite the open-world layout.

At the most dramatic moments – a bridge jump, for instance – control is yanked from your hands in favour of a cut-scene, while an overall sense of speed is almost completely absent. You’re doing 200kmh? Hard to tell.

Progression is teeth-mashingly slow and, needless to say, paid-for lootboxes rear their ugly heads. Multiplayer gets even shorter shrift, reduced to a bit-player of unimaginative head-to-heads.

Payback is more likely to grind the gears of NFS fans than set their throttles racing.

 

Planet of the Apes: Last Frontier

(PS4) ★★★ Age: 18+

THE king of motion capture Andy Serkis (he of Gollum fame) has his own production company specialising in creating animated anthropomorphic creatures for the movies. Serkis dips his toes into gaming with Last Frontier, an effort to bring emotive acting performances to the medium with a “narrative adventure”.

It is more of an experiment than anything, however, with players encouraged to gather around the TV and vote with their smartphones to make decisions as a group, though it can also be played solo.

Anchored in the Planet of the Apes universe, it spins a yarn about an isolated human community coming into conflict with a tribe of hungry primates eking out survival on a nearby mountain. It is in essence a Telltale-style choose-your-own-adventure, with binary decisions influencing how the filmic story plays out.

It’s convincingly performed (more so by the apes, oddly) but the lack of true player agency and rough edges of the production suggest Serkis and co still have work to do before they can conquer the medium.

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Source : https://www.independent.ie/entertainment/games/reviews/need-for-speed-payback-review-going-nowhere-fast-36401585.html

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