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
Writer(s)Philip Huxley
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 (stylised as NFS Heat) is a 2019 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 instalment in the Need for Speed series and commemorates the series' 25th anniversary. 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 Miami, Florida and its surrounding areas. 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. During the night, players can take part in illicit street racing, which rewards REP. Racing during the night will attract the attention of a rogue police task force that patrols the streets of Palm City, who are 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.

The player is busted when the driver stops and is close to a PCPD unit for a certain amount of time, is completely immobilised during a pursuit, or has depleted their strength bar. Being busted will reward the player with any rep they have earned during the current night session, but will not be multiplied based on their heat level. They will also have to pay a fine using bank. Players busted by the PCPD will not have an impound strike applied to their vehicle or any other form of marks that would result in them losing their vehicle. They will only be fined and have their current night session consequently concluded. 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 SpeedHunters Showdown, a citywide exhibition that draws in racers who compete in sanctioned races throughout the day, and illegal street races at night. Lt. Frank Mercer (Josh Coxx), leader of the police's High-Speed Task Force, announces his intent to arrest all street racers in the city. The player buys their first car from Lucas Riviera (Jonny Cruz), a local mechanic and former street racer, who also helps the player enter their first Showdown race, and becomes their mentor. Lucas' younger sister, Ana Riviera (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, a crew of Palm City's best street racers, which Lucas almost joined until he quit racing after their father suddenly died. Ana and the player form a new crew to vie for a place in The League. After a race, Ana and the player are confronted by Officer Shaw (Josh Collins) of Mercer's task force, who impounds Ana's Nissan 350Z.

After another race, they witness Shaw meeting task force officer Eva Torres (Shontae Saldana). Shaw shows Torres bags of money in his car, extorted from street racers on Mercer's orders. Torres takes a bag but warns that Mercer's brashness is endangering them. Ana steals her father's 1967 Chevrolet Camaro from Lucas' shop so she can join the player in a race which Shaw interrupts. The player overturns Shaw's car, scattering the extorted money onto the street. The spectacle raises public suspicion over the task force and Lucas becomes angered at Ana for stealing their father's car.

Torres contacts Ana and the player to admit the task force is corrupt but wants Mercer taken down because he's 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 been processed after finding its license plate.

The player and Ana attempt to expose Mercer by crashing a Showdown event, leading police and local media to his chop shop, but it turns out to be vacated. Ana and the player visit Lucas and find him bound and tortured by Mercer. Mercer reveals he anticipated their plan after seeing them on a secret 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. At a hideout, Lucas admits to Ana that he quit street racing because he believes their father's fatal heart attack was caused by hearing about Lucas's arrest for street racing that same night.

Ana and Lucas send files from Mercer's computer to various outlets, proving his corruption and forcing him into hiding, then learn that Mercer is preparing the stolen cars in his possession for export before fleeing Palm City. As they do not know which cops are complicit or innocent, Ana and Lucas convince The League and other crews to simultaneously goad and draw as many police cars as possible to the port where the stolen cars are being loaded. Confronted by a swarm of police and street racers, Mercer attempts to escape in a BMW M3 GTR, which turns out to be the M3 Hero's car from Need for Speed: Most Wanted. The player chases and wrecks Mercer's car, leaving him for 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 his task force, and she announces her commitment to ending street racing. Lucas reconciles with Ana and 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 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] The game was announced not to have lootboxes unlike its predecessor Payback, whose progression system received negative reviews.[20] The only paid DLCs available for the game are a time saver pack and a pack that unlocks the McLaren F1.

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.[21]

Reception[edit]

Need for Speed Heat received "mixed or average" reviews, according to review aggregator Metacritic.[22][23][24]

Accolades[edit]

The game was nominated for "Best Racing Game" at the Gamescom Awards,[33] and won the award for "Game, Franchise Racing" at the NAVGTR Awards, whereas its other nomination was for "Song Collection".[34]

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. August 19, 2019. 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. ^ Arts, Electronic (June 8, 2020). "Shifting Gears Into the Future with Criterion and Need for Speed™". Electronic Arts Inc.
  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. Archived from the original on 24 December 2021. 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 (August 14, 2019). "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. ^ https://www.reddit.com/r/needforspeed/comments/cq9c1n/under_the_hood_nfs_heat/ewusedb/
  21. ^ McWhertor, Michael (June 8, 2020). "Need for Speed Heat gets cross-play, the first EA game to do so". Polygon. Retrieved June 9, 2020.
  22. ^ a b "Need for Speed Heat for PC Reviews". Metacritic. CBS Interactive. Retrieved March 30, 2020.
  23. ^ a b "Need for Speed Heat for PlayStation 4 Reviews". Metacritic. CBS Interactive. Retrieved March 30, 2020.
  24. ^ a b "Need for Speed Heat for Xbox One Reviews". Metacritic. CBS Interactive. Retrieved March 30, 2020.
  25. ^ Kato, Matthew (November 15, 2019). "Need for Speed Heat Review". Game Informer. GameStop. Retrieved November 15, 2019.
  26. ^ Wakeling, Richard (November 15, 2019). "Need for Speed Heat Review". GameSpot. CBS Interactive. Retrieved November 15, 2019.
  27. ^ 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.
  28. ^ Spyrison, Sam (November 8, 2019). "Review: Need for Speed Heat". Hardcore Gamer. Retrieved November 10, 2019.
  29. ^ Reilly, Luke (November 8, 2019). "Need for Speed Heat review". IGN. Ziff Davis. Retrieved November 8, 2019.
  30. ^ Lane, Rick (November 15, 2019). "Need for Speed Heat review". PC Gamer. Future plc. Retrieved November 15, 2019.
  31. ^ Williams, Mike (November 8, 2019). "Need for Speed Heat Review". USgamer. Gamer Network. Retrieved November 10, 2019.
  32. ^ Iwaniuk, Phil (November 8, 2019). "Need For Speed Heat review". VG247. videogaming247 Ltd. Retrieved November 10, 2019.
  33. ^ Milligan, Mercedes (August 15, 2019). "Gamescom Award 2019 Nominees Revealed". Animation Magazine. Animation Magazine, Inc. Retrieved January 23, 2020.
  34. ^ "2019 Winners". National Academy of Video Game Trade Reviewers. February 24, 2020. Retrieved February 25, 2020.

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