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Published on October 13th, 2014 | by Craig Forshey


GTA Style Sandbox Shooter Payback 2 Motors Onto Android

Permit me to take you back in time to a period in mobile gaming when you’d be hard pressed to find a more advanced game than Snake on your mobile phone, if you even had one. It’s 2002 and the Nintendo Gameboy Advance is still in its first year of release, a new wave of consoles like the Gamecube have started to arrive, and Star Wars Episode II is stinking up the theaters. Back in those halcyon days of gaming on the go the amount of processing power available to developers was limited to capabilities similar to that of an SNES which led to an overabundance of 2D sidescrollers and rpgs. A fully 3D mobile game was considered to be technically unfeasible by most, and the handful of examples that tried such as the ill-fated Iridion 3D ended up failing miserably.

However there was still hope. An extremely ambitious Gameboy Advance game by the name of Payback began to make the rounds on preview sites and promised to bring a fully 3D Grand Theft Auto esque experience to the Nintendo handheld which could have hardly been believed if its developer Apex Designs hadn’t been shopping an impressive tech demo around to publishers. Payback promised an unprecedented level of graphical prowess for the GBA alongside the first genuinely good facsimile of Grand Theft Auto on mobile in existence. Unfortunately it would not be until 2004 that Payback saw an official release, leaving mobile gamers to salivate over its preview videos in the meantime.

A decade has passed since then and although entire generations of mobile gaming have come and gone Payback has stood the test of time even eventually garnering itself a sequel in the form of the simply titled Payback 2, released on iOS in 2012. It is fitting then in a roundabout way that today in 2014, almost 10 years to the month that I first got my hands on the GBA version of Payback, I finally get to experience Payback 2 on my new mobile platform of choice as it has recently arrived on the Google Play store. That’s right, the original GTA clone is back in style with an aim to bring its brand of isometric anarchy to your Android device of choice.

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Payback 2 takes everything that worked about the original and amps it up with more modern gameplay sensibilities and a whole litany of action packed game types to enjoy. In this open world jack of all trades you can participate in a high octane street race to the death, declare a one man war with your own personal tank, or just run around like a maniac gunning down rival gangs. There’s a ton of stuff to do which is what gives Payback 2 such an interesting atmosphere, you never quite know what’s going to pop up next as if you were playing a mobile version of one of the Saint’s Row games. This version also has something the GBA original never had, online multiplayer. This time around you can take the battle online against friend and enemy alike as you fight it out in any number of different modes, even if they’re on iOS as Payback 2 supports cross platform multiplayer.


GTA fans and sandbox connoisseurs alike will get a kick out of Payback 2. You can pick it up now for free on Google Play.

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About the Author

is the founder and editor of SGD as well as a firm believer that Android is the single best gaming platform that has ever existed.

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