Influenced by Grand Theft Auto, Payback is set across 4 different cities totaling 100 square kilometers of landscape. You can perform all manner of illegal activities to try to achieve wealth, including carjackings, murders, shootings and run-overs.
Stealing vehicles is the real meat of the game, as these must be used for the various missions, which are obtained by walking over to phone boxes, as in GTA. There are dozens of these, all with different handling characteristics, and include trucks, buses and even boats.
The mission structures are non-linear, meaning that how you perform in one part can affect how later parts unfold, and the game includes Perspective Corrected 3D graphics with realistic shadows and rotational effect, as well as a full 3D soundtrack of aggressive rap and mid-tempo rock.
Credits (Amiga version)
50 People (43 developers, 7 thanks) · View all
|Czech Language Team|
|French Language Team|
|German Language Team|
|Italian Language Team|
|Norwegian Language Team|
|[ full credits ]|
Average score: 68% (based on 20 ratings)
Average score: 3.6 out of 5 (based on 10 ratings with 1 reviews)
I enjoyed playing Grand Theft Auto, a game that involves a lot of violence, so much so that it generated a bit of controversy. GTA was a best-seller in the UK, and it was ported to most of the platforms at the time, including PlayStation, Windows, and Game Boy Color. GTA wasn't made for the Macintosh or the Amiga (which, surprisingly, was still going strong, even after Commodore's demise), and this was where a small company called Apex Designs stepped in.
I was impressed with the brilliant cut-scene shown as soon as you start the game. It shows a car running away from police and pulling some stunts, and the whole thing ends with a neat explosion. The game itself is split across three cities, with two levels each. You make your way to a group of phones and answer them to go on missions. The first few of them serve as a tutorial, letting you get a feel for the game's controls, as well the things you have to eventually do. After that, you are on your own. The missions get more and more difficult as you progress.
You can steal all types of vehicles – from cars to helicopters - and use them to drive around the city quickly, and this is necessary since most missions have a time limit. The missions are easy, but get hard much later as your actions get you killed or alert the police patrolling the streets. Just for fun, I enjoyed parking my car across the road and watch the congestion while I get ready to open fire on one of the cars, then watch the brilliant explosions this game has to offer.
There are certain weather conditions which vary depending on the level you are on. This gives the cities a different appearance, and this provides some challenging aspects to the gameplay. One of the cities is faced by a blizzard, and there is frozen water. If vehicles touch its surface, they will skid on it. Payback also comes with a map editor, allowing you to create your own custom maps or play those downloaded from Apex's web site. I have not used the editor yet, so I can't make further comment.
The game comes with a booklet, which has information about the game written in ten different languages. It includes installation instructions, controls, and a warning about a danger you will have to deal with during the game, namely the cops. It also includes a listing of the soundtrack so that you can listen to the music outside the game. You need this booklet as it includes a keyfile in which you have to enter the first time you play the game.
Speaking of the soundtrack, there are sixteen tracks on the CD, from groups such as Anomos, Chuckie “Dogg” Fresh, and Seeds of Labor. The game gives you the option of listening to the tracks while you play the game, providing that you leave the CD in the drive and not take it out after you installed the game. I had no music in the game, so I don't know whether the tracks play continuously or at random intervals.
Performance of the game varies, depending on the system you are using and the resolution you are running the game at. From my experience, the game runs sluggish on my A4000/040 using a resolution higher than 1024x768, but if I use a resolution like 800x600 or lower, the game runs at a decent speed. One of the updates include support for PowerPC processors, so it would be interesting to see how the game runs on a PPC Amiga.
I didn't like the save method. The game saves after you complete each level and not during the game, and it is quite annoying to complete the first few missions successfully only to fail the later ones to the point where you run out of lives. You then have to repeat the same missions that you already passed.
The Bottom Line
Payback has the same look and feel as its PC equivalent, and comes close to it as possible. The only differences are a soundtrack instead of just radio stations, support for different resolutions, and the ability to create your own maps. If you are looking for a GTA game for the Amiga, then this is as close as you will get.
Amiga · by Katakis | カタキス (43051) · 2015
- MobyGames ID: 14462
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Contributors to this Entry
Game added by Martin Smith.
Game added August 20th, 2004. Last modified February 22nd, 2023.