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 C7 Stingray police car
Developer(s)Ghost Games
Publisher(s)Electronic Arts
Director(s)Riley Cooper
Composer(s)Pedro Bromfman
SeriesNeed for Speed
EngineFrostbite 3
Platform(s)Microsoft Windows
PlayStation 4
Xbox One
  • WW: November 8, 2019
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 reception from critics.


Need for Speed Heat is a racing game set in an open world environment called Palm City, a fictionalised version of the city of 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. They can also take part in illegal street races at night, which would earn players rep. The more rep player earns, the more aggressive the police will be during the night. Players must escape the cops and get back to their safehouse, before they are busted, or their car is wrecked. The game also features a storyline in which the players interact with the city’s police force, led by authority figure Lt. Mercer.[2][3][4]

The game features 127 cars from 33 manufacturers, with Ferrari returning to the game after being absent from Payback due to licensing issues.[5] Unlike Payback, performance upgrades no longer come in random Speedcards and are unlocked by rep and winning races. The game will not feature loot boxes; however, time savers, which will reveal collectables on the map and paid downloadable content will be included.[6]

On August 19, 2019, 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]


The player arrives in Palm City for the Speedhunter Showdown, a citywide racing exhibition which draws racers from across the country to compete in legally sanctioned races throughout the day, and illegal street races throughout the night. Lt. Frank Mercer (Josh Coxx), leader of Palm City's police department's High-Speed Task Force, announces his intent to ruthlessly pursue and arrest all street racers in the city.

The player purchases a race car from Lucas Rivera (Jonny Cruz), a local mechanic and retired street racer. Rivera helps the player enter their first Showdown race and becomes their mechanic and mentor for much of the game. The player meets Lucas's younger sister, Ana Rivera (Ana Marte), a member of Palm City's underground street racing scene. Ana's street race crew recently disbanded after a task force raid nearly killed one of Ana's friends. The player joins Ana in a street race and she introduces them to The League, an exclusive crew of Palm City's best street racers, which she aspires to join, and which Lucas almost joined until their father died, and he suddenly quit racing. 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), a member 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 is invited to race against The Dreamkillers, another crew vying for The League's attention. After winning a race, the player and Ana spot Shaw's police car in a parking lot, and Ana has the player pull over so she can vandalize it. Unexpectedly, they witness Shaw meeting Eva Torres (Shontae Saldana), another officer in Mercer's task force. Shaw shows Torres bags of money in the trunk of his Camaro, extorted from street racers per Mercer's orders. Torres takes one of the bags but warns that Shaw and Mercer's growing brashness is endangering their unit's activities.

The Dreamkillers challenge Ana and the player to a final race. Ana steals her father's 1967 Chevrolet Camaro from Lucas's shop so she can join. Before the race ends they are chased by Shaw and the High-Speed Task Force. The player saves Ana from Shaw by overturning his car, the impact scattering the money from Shaw's trunk onto the street, creating a publicized spectacle, and raising public suspicion about Mercer's and the High-Speed Task Force's activities. When Ana returns to Lucas's garage with their father's Camaro severely damaged, the siblings argue over Ana's desire to continue street racing.

Ana and the player are offered the location of Ana's car by an anonymous informant who turns out to be Torres. Torres admits that the High-Speed Task Force is corrupt, but wishes to have Mercer taken down because he's become too reckless. Torres provides information which 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 it's 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's garage to find him bound and tortured by Mercer, who holds them at gunpoint. A camera inside the chop shop caught Ana and the player's infiltration, which led him to move the cars. Mercer forces the player and Ana into his police car under the pretense of arresting them, but it becomes apparent that he plans to murder them. Lucas, having escaped his bonds, intercepts them in his father's Camaro and rams Mercer's car. While Mercer is dazed, Ana steals his laptop and escapes with Lucas and the player. Lucas takes them to a 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. Ana and Lucas 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 of colluding with Mercer, 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. Ana and the player chase down and disable Mercer's car, leaving him to be confronted by Torres. Realizing that Torres doesn't plan to assist his escape, Mercer threatens to take her down with him, she pulls her pistol in response and is implied to have shot him.

Over a week later, Ana, Lucas, and the player watch a news report which says that Mercer is presumed dead, even though his body hasn't been recovered. Additionally, 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. The player and Ana, now members of The League, plan to continue racing and tackle any future challenges together.


The game was revealed with a trailer released on August 14, 2019,[9] followed-up by a gameplay trailer released on August 20, 2019.[10] The game was released on November 8, 2019.[11][12][13][14][15][16]


Aggregate score
Metacritic(PC) 72/100[17]
(PS4) 73/100[18]
(XONE) 77/100[19]
Review scores
Game Informer7.75/10[20]
GamesRadar+3.5/5 stars[22]
Hardcore Gamer4/5 stars[23]
PC Gamer (US)75/100[25]
USgamer3/5 stars[27]
VG2474/5 stars[26]

Need for Speed Heat received "generally favorable" reviews for the Xbox One version, while the PlayStation 4 and Windows versions received "mixed or average" reviews, according to review aggregator Metacritic.[17][18][19]


  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. ^ Need for Speed™ Heat Official Reveal Trailer, retrieved August 14, 2019
  10. ^ Need for Speed™ Heat Official Gameplay Trailer, retrieved August 21, 2019
  11. ^ "Need For Speed Heat Announced With Release Date". GameSpot. Retrieved August 14, 2019.
  12. ^ 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.
  13. ^ 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.
  14. ^ Smith, Christopher. "Need For Speed Heat Graphics Look Next Level In First Trailer". Retrieved August 14, 2019.
  15. ^ Alexandra, Heather. "Newly Announced Need For Speed Has Some Serious Vice City Vibes". Kotaku. Retrieved August 14, 2019.
  16. ^ Arts, Electronic (August 13, 2019). "Need for Speed™ Heat – Street Racing Video Game – Official EA Site". Retrieved August 14, 2019.
  17. ^ a b "Need for Speed Heat for PC Reviews". Metacritic. CBS Interactive. Retrieved November 8, 2019.
  18. ^ a b "Need for Speed Heat for PlayStation 4 Reviews". Metacritic. CBS Interactive. Retrieved November 8, 2019.
  19. ^ a b "Need for Speed Heat for Xbox One Reviews". Metacritic. Retrieved November 8, 2019.
  20. ^ Kato, Matthew (November 15, 2019). "Need for Speed Heat Review". Game Informer. GameStop. Retrieved November 15, 2019.
  21. ^ Wakeling, Richard (November 15, 2019). "Need for Speed Heat Review". GameSpot. CBS Interactive. Retrieved November 15, 2019.
  22. ^ 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.
  23. ^ Spyrison, Sam (November 8, 2019). "Review: Need for Speed Heat". Hardcore Gamer. Retrieved November 10, 2019.
  24. ^ Reilly, Luke (November 8, 2019). "Need for Speed Heat review". IGN. Ziff Davis. Retrieved November 8, 2019.
  25. ^ Lane, Rick (November 15, 2019). "Need for Speed Heat review". PC Gamer. Future plc. Retrieved November 15, 2019.
  26. ^ Iwaniuk, Phil (November 8, 2019). "Need For Speed Heat review". VG247. videogaming247 Ltd. Retrieved November 10, 2019.
  27. ^ Williams, Mike (November 8, 2019). "Need for Speed Heat Review". USgamer. Gamer Network. Retrieved November 10, 2019.

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