The latest Need for Sped Payback trailer introduces the game’s female antagonist. The new video also details the game’s Fast and Furious-like story and the rest of the characters in the supporting cast.
EA previously introduced Need for Speed Payback‘s playable female character, Jess, during its E3 2017 presentation.
Need for Speed Payback Includes Multiple Women, People of Colour
In a new trailer for Need for Speed Payback, players are introduced to the game’s female antagonist, Lina Navarro. Lina is described as one of the “top technical racers” in the game world of Fortune Valley and is a childhood friend of Tyler “Ty” Morgan (one of three playable characters in the game).
But as they grew up, Lina’s “reckless ambition” forced a wedge between the two pals as “Ty is proud of his humble beginnings, Navarro is determined to rise above it all”. Lina is “a driven, passionate businesswoman who will stop at nothing to shape Fortune Valley in her own image”. She’s also the representative of the House, the organization that Ty and co. are trying to bring down, making her the big bad of the new Need for Speed game.
It’s not very often that you see female villains represented well in games. On the rare occasions that a game does have a female antagonist, her sexuality is often weaponized or she’s stereotypical and embodies all of the things that people already criticize women for, presented in an extremely negative way.
Need for Speed Payback‘s female antagonist seems to be the opposite of that. She’s smart, ambitious, determined and unfortunately for players, she’s very good at what she does – these are admirable qualities even though you don’t have to like her or her objectives.
Lina’s inclusion also means that playable character Jess isn’t the only woman in the game and Lina is also one of several characters of colour too. After Ty and Jess, the playable cast is completed by Sean “Mac” McAlister, a black man from England who is the “heart of the crew”. There’s also an NPC named Ravindra “Rav” Chaudry; a Bengali man from Singapore is the crew’s “mechanical genius” who “meticulously turns piles of scraps into high-speed works of art”. Both Mac and Rav are pictured above.
Need for Speed Payback is just one game and admittedly, it riffs off of the Fast and Furious movies which have been lauded for their diversity. But does this signify that developers and publishers are ready to become more inclusive in genres that are typically very white and very male? Fingers crossed.
Need for Speed Payback will be released on November 10 on Windows PC, PS4 and Xbox One.
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