Need for Speed Heat

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Need for Speed Heat
Cover Art of Need for Speed Heat.png
Cover art featuring a Polestar 1 being chased by a Chevrolet Corvette Grand Sport police car
Developer(s)Ghost Games
Publisher(s)Electronic Arts
Director(s)Riley Cooper
Designer(s)Yoni Rabinowitz
Programmer(s)Nicolas Mercier
Artist(s)Darren White
Composer(s)Pedro Bromfman
SeriesNeed for Speed
EngineFrostbite 3
Platform(s)
ReleaseNovember 8, 2019
Genre(s)Racing
Mode(s)Single-player, multiplayer

Need for Speed Heat (stylized as NFS Heat) is a racing video game developed by Ghost Games and published by Electronic Arts for Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One. It is the twenty-fourth installment in the Need for Speed series and commemorates the series' 25th anniversary. It was released on November 8, 2019. The game received mixed reviews from critics, who mostly found the game to be an improvement over the 2015 Need for Speed reboot and Payback but not enough to be a full return to form for the franchise.

Heat was Ghost Games' final game both for the Need for Speed franchise and as a lead developer. In February 2020, EA shifted development of the franchise back to Criterion Games—the developers of the Burnout series, Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit (2010) and Need for Speed: Most Wanted (2012)—and reduced Ghost Games to an engineering studio for the Frostbite engine, reverting their name back to EA Gothenburg.

Gameplay[edit]

Need for Speed Heat is a racing game set in an open world environment called Palm City, a fictionalised version of the city Miami, Florida and its surrounding area. The in-game map features diverse geography, including mountainous areas and open fields.[1] Unlike Need for Speed Payback, the game does not include a 24-hour day-night cycle, but players can switch between day and night. During the day, players can take part in sanctioned race events, which reward players with cash to spend on new cars and upgrades. Racing during the night will attract the attention of a rogue police task force that patrols the streets of Palm City. They're tasked with shutting down street racing in Palm City, which can lead players to risk their earned rep against the police or lose their earnings in handcuffs. Pursuits in Palm City can take place during day or night, but the PCPD's response to a pursuit differs depending on the time period. Players earn rep from participating in pursuits, with great amounts offered during night than day. Each heat level also equates to the amount a player's earned rep for a current night session will be multiplied by, should they successfully reach a safehouse or garage.

If players are arrested, they will lose their REP multiplier, but will still receive their unmultiplied REP. The REP multiplier mechanic works similarly to the Speed Points multiplier from Rivals. The game also features a storyline in which the players interact with the city’s police force, led by authority figure Lt. Frank Mercer.[2][3][4] Players can smash neon flamingos hidden within the map, which rewards them with a small amount of money or rep depending on the time of day. They can also find graffiti, referred to as "Street Art" in the game, and send it to the livery editor to use it on their car(s). Lastly, they can complete activities around the open world such as smashing billboards, beating scores on drift zones, getting the highest speeds passing through speed traps, and going the longest distances when performing long jumps. Players may complete "Crew Time Trials" which allows them to complete short timed events in an attempt to get the #1 spot on the leaderboard in their crew.

The game features 127 cars from 33 manufacturers, with Ferrari making its return after being absent from Payback due to licensing issues.[5] Unlike Payback, performance upgrades no longer come in random Speedcards and are unlocked by earning REP and winning races. The game does not feature loot boxes; however, time savers, which reveals collectibles on the map, and paid downloadable content was included.[6]

Electronic Arts released the NFS Heat Studio app for iOS and Android devices. Users can collect and customise their cars which can be imported into the main game upon release.[7][8]

On June 8, 2020, it was announced that the game would feature support for cross-platform play starting June 9 as part of the game's final patch.[9]

Plot[edit]

The player (male player voiced by Andrew Lawrence, female player voiced by Jamie Gray Hyder)[a] arrives in Palm City for the Speedhunter Showdown, a citywide exhibition which draws in racers to compete in legally sanctioned races throughout the day, and illegal street races throughout the night. Lt. Frank Mercer (Josh Coxx), leader of the police's High-Speed Task Force, announces his intent to ruthlessly pursue and arrest all street racers in the city. The player buys their first car from Lucas Rivera (Jonny Cruz), a local mechanic and former street racer, who also helps the player enter their first Showdown race, and becomes their mechanic and mentor. Lucas' younger sister, Ana Rivera (Ana Marte), is a street racer whose crew recently disbanded after the task force nearly killed one of her friends.

Ana introduces the player to The League, an exclusive crew of Palm City's best street racers, which she aspires to join, and which Lucas almost joined until he suddenly quit racing after their father died. Ana and the player form a new crew to climb the ranks of Palm City's street racers and earn a place in The League. After winning a race, Ana and the player are confronted by Officer Shaw (Josh Collins) of Mercer's task force, who has Ana's Nissan 350Z impounded. When Ana calls the city about her car later, they claim to have no record of it.

The player and Ana race The Dreamkillers, another crew vying for The League's attention. After defeating them, they unexpectedly witness Shaw meeting Eva Torres (Shontae Saldana), another task force officer. Shaw shows Torres bags of money in the trunk of his car, extorted from street racers per Mercer's orders. Torres takes one of the bags but warns that Shaw and Mercer's brashness is endangering their unit's activities. Ana steals her father's 1967 Chevrolet Camaro from Lucas' shop so she can join the player in a final showdown against the Dreamkillers, but the race is interrupted by Shaw. The player wrecks Shaw's car, scattering the money from Shaw's trunk onto the street, which creates a publicized spectacle and raises public suspicion about Mercer's and the High-Speed Task Force. However, Lucas is angered by Ana using their father's car without permission.

Ana and the player are contacted by Torres, who admits that the High-Speed Task Force is corrupt, but wishes to have Mercer taken down because he's become too reckless. Torres leads them to a warehouse that acts as an illegal chop shop, stripping cars seized by the High-Speed Task Force, or preparing them to be shipped out of the city. Ana realizes her 350Z has already been processed after finding its license plate.

The player and Ana enlist The League's help to expose Mercer's activity by crashing a publicity event for the Showdown, and leading the police and local media to the warehouse. En route, they are ambushed by the High-Speed Task Force, and news reporters find the warehouse empty. Ana and the player evade the police and return to Lucas' garage to find him bound and tortured by Mercer, who holds them at gunpoint. Mercer reveals he anticipated the Player's plans after observing them on a security camera in his shop. Mercer forces the player and Ana into his police car, but Lucas, having escaped his bonds, intercepts them in his father's Camaro and rams Mercer's car. Ana steals Mercer's laptop and escapes with Lucas and the player. Lucas takes them to a new hideout on the city's outskirts and admits to Ana the reason he quit street racing was that he believes that their father had his fatal heart attack after hearing about him being arrested for street racing that same night.

Ana and Lucas send incriminating files from Mercer's computer to various outlets, proving his corruption and forcing him into hiding, then learn that Mercer is preparing to have the stolen cars in his possession shipped out of Palm City before fleeing as well. As they do not know which cops are complicit or innocent, Ana and Lucas convince The League and other crews across the city to simultaneously goad and draw as many police cars as they can to the port where the cars are being loaded. Confronted by the swarm of police and street racers, Mercer attempts to escape in a BMW M3 GTR (the same variant of Need for Speed: Most Wanted (2005) protagonist's car). The player chases down and wrecks Mercer's car, leaving him to be confronted by Torres, who pulls her pistol in response to his threats and is implied to have shot him.

Over a week later, Mercer is missing and presumed dead. Torres has been promoted to lead the High-Speed Task Force, and she announces her commitment to end street racing in Palm City. Lucas, having reconciled with Ana, gives her the keys to their father's repaired Camaro. Now members of The League, the player and Ana, plan to continue racing and tackle any future challenges together.

Development[edit]

The game was revealed with a trailer released on August 14, 2019,[12] followed-up by a gameplay trailer released on August 20, 2019.[13] It was released on November 8, 2019.[14][15][16][17][18][19] Following EA's decision to downsize developer Ghost Games, Criterion Games took over the development of the game's post-launch content. An update in June 2020 enabled cross-platform play between PC, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One, making it the first EA game to have this feature.[20]

Reception[edit]

Need for Speed Heat received "mixed or average" reviews, according to review aggregator Metacritic.[21][22][23]

Accolades[edit]

The game was nominated for "Best Racing Game" at the Gamescom Awards,[32] and won the award for "Game, Franchise Racing" at the NAVGTR Awards, whereas its other nomination was for "Song Collection".[33]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Lawrence also provided his likeness for the player's Caucasian male character model and did the player's full body motion capture.[10] Hyder also provided her likeness for the player's Caucasian female character model.[11]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "'Need For Speed Heat' is an ode to Miami street racing". Engadget. Retrieved August 14, 2019.
  2. ^ "Need for Speed: Heat trailer reveals day/night gameplay and the return of the cops". PC Gamer. Retrieved August 21, 2019.
  3. ^ "Need For Speed: Heat Live Gameplay Walkthrough - Gamescom 2019". YouTube. IGN. Retrieved August 21, 2019.
  4. ^ "Need For Speed: Heat Official Synopsis". EA. EA. Retrieved September 17, 2019.
  5. ^ Arts, Electronic (August 19, 2019). "Under the Hood: Need for Speed Heat Car List". /user-data. Retrieved August 22, 2019.
  6. ^ "Need for Speed: Heat will never have loot boxes". PC Gamer. August 16, 2019. Retrieved November 4, 2019.
  7. ^ "Need For Speed Heat Studio". Electronic Arts. Retrieved August 21, 2019.
  8. ^ "You can paint up your Need For Speed Heat rides right now". VG247. August 19, 2019. Retrieved August 21, 2019.
  9. ^ https://www.ea.com/games/need-for-speed/need-for-speed-heat/amp/news/need-for-speed-shifts-gears-into-the-future
  10. ^ Lawrence, Andrew (20 November 2019). "Big shout out to the @needforspeed family! Sending out love and good vibes to all the wonderful cast, amazing crew and badass gamers. #NFSHeat #needforspeed #gamer #xbox #ps4 #ea #electronicarts #speed #racing #motorsports #blessed #gamerforlife". Instagram. Retrieved 27 December 2019.
  11. ^ Gray Hyder, Jamie [@JGHyder] (8 November 2019). "Select ME as your player in @EA's @NeedforSpeed HEAT out TODAY!!! #NFSHEAT #NeedforSpeedHeat" (Tweet). Retrieved 27 December 2019 – via Twitter.
  12. ^ Need for Speed™ Heat Official Reveal Trailer, retrieved August 14, 2019
  13. ^ Need for Speed™ Heat Official Gameplay Trailer, retrieved August 21, 2019
  14. ^ "Need For Speed Heat Announced With Release Date". GameSpot. Retrieved August 14, 2019.
  15. ^ Good, Owen S. (August 14, 2019). "Need for Speed Heat comes back with more cops vs. racers, watch the trailer now". Polygon. Retrieved August 14, 2019.
  16. ^ News, Connor Sheridan 2019-08-14T13:15:15Z. "Need for Speed Heat trailer is here and the game's coming on November 8". gamesradar. Retrieved August 14, 2019.
  17. ^ Smith, Christopher. "Need For Speed Heat Graphics Look Next Level In First Trailer". Motor1.com. Retrieved August 14, 2019.
  18. ^ Alexandra, Heather. "Newly Announced Need For Speed Has Some Serious Vice City Vibes". Kotaku. Retrieved August 14, 2019.
  19. ^ Arts, Electronic (August 13, 2019). "Need for Speed™ Heat – Street Racing Video Game – Official EA Site". www.ea.com. Retrieved August 14, 2019.
  20. ^ McWhertor, Michael (June 8, 2020). "Need for Speed Heat gets cross-play, the first EA game to do so". Polygon. Retrieved June 9, 2020.
  21. ^ a b "Need for Speed Heat for PC Reviews". Metacritic. CBS Interactive. Retrieved March 30, 2020.
  22. ^ a b "Need for Speed Heat for PlayStation 4 Reviews". Metacritic. CBS Interactive. Retrieved March 30, 2020.
  23. ^ a b "Need for Speed Heat for Xbox One Reviews". Metacritic. CBS Interactive. Retrieved March 30, 2020.
  24. ^ Kato, Matthew (November 15, 2019). "Need for Speed Heat Review". Game Informer. GameStop. Retrieved November 15, 2019.
  25. ^ Wakeling, Richard (November 15, 2019). "Need for Speed Heat Review". GameSpot. CBS Interactive. Retrieved November 15, 2019.
  26. ^ Towell, Justin (November 8, 2019). "Need For Speed Heat review: "Can't quite capture the glory of the series PS2 heyday"". GamesRadar+. Future plc. Retrieved November 8, 2019.
  27. ^ Spyrison, Sam (November 8, 2019). "Review: Need for Speed Heat". Hardcore Gamer. Retrieved November 10, 2019.
  28. ^ Reilly, Luke (November 8, 2019). "Need for Speed Heat review". IGN. Ziff Davis. Retrieved November 8, 2019.
  29. ^ Lane, Rick (November 15, 2019). "Need for Speed Heat review". PC Gamer. Future plc. Retrieved November 15, 2019.
  30. ^ Williams, Mike (November 8, 2019). "Need for Speed Heat Review". USgamer. Gamer Network. Retrieved November 10, 2019.
  31. ^ Iwaniuk, Phil (November 8, 2019). "Need For Speed Heat review". VG247. videogaming247 Ltd. Retrieved November 10, 2019.
  32. ^ Milligan, Mercedes (August 15, 2019). "Gamescom Award 2019 Nominees Revealed". Animation Magazine. Animation Magazine, Inc. Retrieved January 23, 2020.
  33. ^ "2019 Winners". National Academy of Video Game Trade Reviewers. February 24, 2020. Retrieved February 25, 2020.

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