(Image Credit: Need For Speed/YouTube)

Need For Speed: Payback is going to be the next installment in one of the longest-running racing game franchises in video gaming. Last week a trailer introduced us to the game’s open-world environment, and toward the end, revealed a really cool feature you might have missed.

I love Need For Speed games and have had this video sitting open on my desktop since last Thursday. The game’s graphics (beautiful), environment (large) and car selection (diverse) all seemed impressive but I actually got most excited about what seemed like a small bite of the adventure introduced at around the 01:30 mark:

“Scattered throughout the valley are the priceless ‘derelicts’,” a voiceover explains, along with the animation of a very cool Land Rover rolling up on the carcass of a Mustang and an old Nissan Z being whisked from rust-heap to restoration before our eyes.

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I know plenty of car games have secret stuff to find. But who doesn’t love the idea of reviving rust buckets without using real money? We already use games like this to quench our thirst for driving like assholes without breaking the law, I think it’s a great elaboration to also let us fulfill fantasies of restoration without having to spend actual money. Well, beyond what a gaming console costs I guess.

With the exception of a few titles, the Need For Speed series is the antithesis to Gran Turismo. There’s no fine tuning of settings or memorizing of famous real-world tracks. This game is about crashing into cops, hitting jumps and bringing your most ridiculous tuner car dreams to life on-screen.

How much of the “derelict restoration” in the game is technical versus decorative remains to be seen, but I love the concept and can’t wait to digitally respray some old jalopies and then ram them right into some animated rivals.