One of the biggest buzz of this year is about to come true. Come June 2014 and you did be able to see yet another Internet giant joining the arenaread more...
It would be easy to simply label Payback as a Grand Theft Auto clone, sure there are similarities and the game does borrow heavily from that game, but Payback does enough to stand on it’s own merits.
Remember the first time you played Grand Theft Auto and you were walking down the street with a baseball bat in your hand and started thinking, “I could totally hit that guy with this bat!”? Even if you don’t admit it, you know as well as I do that the thought was there.
Well, that feeling is back…- back with a vengeance!
“Payback” by Apex Games is exactly the type of game that iDevice owners have been waiting for, it offers 3 cities of missions, with different sets or types of missions on each level- Freedom City is very reminiscent of Liberty City in GTA, Los Francos appears to be in some cold eastern block country like Russia, and Corona city is based around a harbor and a prison island.
You begin each level with a message telling you how much money you need to complete the level and from there you’re off to the pay phones where you will be given instructions and details of your varying missions.
Graphically the game looks pretty good on the iPhone and for basically being a straight port it still manages to rank up there as one of the better looking games currently available.
There are a few flaws with the graphics though. The top down perspective caused me some frustration especially where driving and fences were concerned.
I found myself consistently running into what seemed to be invisible walls around the city. However upon zooming in I was able to see these were in fact fences, but having it zoomed in enough to tell this would mean sacrificing needed screen space.
The other flaw is there are times when you get “lost” in the screen. Not many, and not often thankfully but running under bridges and down certain alleyways you can’t always see where you need to go, and in dark areas of the map you can feel a little lost.
Audio wise payback hit’s a grand slam. There is an outstanding soundtrack, with varying licensed music, good voiceover’s and a city full of sound effects.
The Controls are very easy to pick up as well. You simply press the forward or backup arrows located on the right side of the screen and turn the iDevice left or right to move your character. Additional moves are located along the sides of the screen that will allow you to enter vehicles, fire and select weapons, and punch unsuspecting victims.
Vehicle control is done in the same manner, albeit at a much faster pace! Driving is going to take a little getting used to as some vehicles actually feel too fast for the tight surroundings.
Located in the top right of the screen is the map. Which shows your and the mission location on the screen. Honestly its a waste of time and space. It’s to small and to cluttered to be of any real use except to tell you your heading in the right direction. I would have preferred the game to pause and a map button that zoomed out to this one.
Gameplay wise “Payback” is very reminiscent of the early version of the GTA series, but with more of a next-gen attitude. You can attack citizens, steal crash and burn vehicles, toss grenades into the busy intersections, and spend a good amount of time trying to out-run the law.
However one thing players will have to come to grips with is that when “Payback” was designed the genre did not have missions that were repayable. That means if you failed a mission you simply move on to the next one ego in check this condition carries over to “Payback” as well. This will not effect your ability to progress in the game as there are plenty of missions available, but it does make the game feel a bit older as we have become accustomed to in the newer play styles in more recent versions of the genre.
Another complaint I had was the time given to complete these tasks especially early on when your still learning how to control the vehicles and the layout of each city. I would recommend you drive around for a while and learn the city prior to completing any missions. This will help immensely. I wish the game could have started off by giving you more time at the beginning of the game and slowly take it away from you as you progressed and got more comfortable with the feel and logistics of the game.
When your done playing the single player missions, there are two additional modes of game play included out of the box. One is called challenge where you simply try to collect the targeted amount of points doing odd missions, but if you’re more into wreaking violence on the unsuspecting city populace you might try your hand at rampage mode.
Overall I came away from Payback with a very positive impression, yes there are some flaws, and it wasn’t designed with the iPhone in mind, but flaws aside this is as close to a GTA game as the iPhone has or is going to see for the foreseeable future, and it does enough on it’s own to not be considered a poor mans GTA.
It comes highly recommended to fans of these type of open sandbox games. Most of you are differently going to want to grab this title as soon as possible. However if your offended by senseless murder, mayhem, or queasy at the sight of blood there is always some new gem game for you try, but for the rest of us it’s time to grab that baseball bat and get some “PAYBACK”
click here to [BUY IT NOW] (Not Live till the 28th!)
After this review was posted I got word from the developer on a few changes coming to “PAYBACK” in the next update. Here is the scoop no other site has..
I’m planning to angle the view forward a bit in a future update (it currently already does this in replays) which should help make fences more visible.
The map will be getting a fix to make it more usable for iPhone users.
As for the failing missions I will address this in an update, but the failable missions do have knock-on effects sometimes (unlike the earlier GTA IIRC) which is in some ways a more interesting structure I think. however I will make this an option.
I’ll see what I can do to make the beginning of the game easier for new players.
So it looks like the developer is listening, and Payback will become an even better game in the future!!