Need for Speed Payback fans (opens in new tab) have had their calls for an online free roam mode (belatedly) answered: it will be added to the game in 2018. Currently, the only time you can roam around with friends is when you're waiting for a lobby to fill up, but in the new mode you'll be able to muck around in the streets of Fortune Valley with friends or randoms without having to jump into a race.
It's something that fans called for before the game released and its exclusion caused a bit of a stir (opens in new tab), which has no doubt in part motivated developer Ghost Games and publisher EA to act (and it's not the first time fan pressure has caused the game to change (opens in new tab)).
Online Free Roam coming 2018, Happy New Year from everyone at Need for Speed! 🎆 pic.twitter.com/Ht8cRsvQQAJanuary 1, 2018
It'll be free for all players, and there's no release date yet: the game's Twitter account said it's "still being worked on".
It won't fix the structural and narrative issues with the game that Phil outlined in his review last month (opens in new tab), and I reckon it's unlikely to tip any fence-sitters over the edge. But for anybody that did enjoy Payback's arcade handling, and perhaps has some friends that did too, it'll be an excuse to get behind the wheel again.