Title: Need for Speed Heat
Developer: Ghost Games
Platform: PlayStation 4
Age Rating: PEGI 16
Release Date: 08/11/2019
Price: £59.99 – Rapid Reviews was very kindly provided with a review code for this title. £53.99 for EA Access members.
Need for Speed took a year off in 2018 after a mixed bag of reviews for Payback, a game that I enjoyed. We now get treated to the new game, Heat. With similar features to the last game, integrating the cat and mouse of police pursuits from Rivals during night races. How does Heat compare? Well, I’ll cover that right here in this review.
From the start, you are planted right into the fictional location of Palm City in Miami. Our character is set to take part in the City’s Speed Hunter Showdown, which is legally sanctioned. However, with the law enforcement wanting to cut down on these races and illegal activities that take place here, it is anything but straightforward. The leader of the Police LT. Frank Mercer and his officers work hard throughout the story to limit and put away anyone taking part. On the opposite side of the argument, you team up with a motley crew where they have real issues and beef with the law enforcement after they killed one of their family members.
Need for Speed Heat incorporates two different styles of environment. You can race during the day and take part in sanctioned races and events in which you earn cash to spend on your cars and customisation. Whereas at night, you earn Reputation and face lots of challenges from the cops where it feels like you are avoiding them in Grand Theft Auto but a lot harder. The more rep you earn, the harder the police become. I found it quite challenging towards the end of the story to avoid them, and this slightly detracted from the Arcade feel to Need for Speed.
Unlike Payback, where there was a 24-hour weather cycle, you have to switch manually between day and night and overcome some lengthy loading times. The activities are a blast to take part in though playing either Drift Zones, Speed Traps or long jumps. I highly recommend getting a good car early on to max out the stars earned on these activities. Expect to play the game for around 12 hours for completion of the story and endless more for mopping up all of the activities.
There are 127 cars from 33 manufacturers, and each one has its own personality. I’ll give Heat some credit compared to Payback in that they generally feel different and the customisation options seem endless. Changing the tyre smoke and the exhaust sounds made me feel like I was a boy racer. There are two gripes I have with Need for Speed Heat. One is the lack of in-car view; I like to feel I am actually driving the car. The closest option is bonnet cam which takes away a lot of the scenery and enjoyment. The second one is the drifting style. As a default, drifting is achieved by pressing the gas gently, but it makes it difficult for cornering. To go back to brake drifting, which is the default setting in most games, you have to delve deep in options to find it.
Overall, Need for Speed Heat is a solid take on the City of Palm City. With its luxurious views and scenery and hot neon flares at night, coupled with challenging gameplay at night, and lots of activities in the day, Need for Speed Heat is a good return to form for EA. I just wish they would add more car camera views for us to enjoy.
Rapid Reviews Rating
You can purchase Need For Speed Heat from the PlayStation Store on the following link, https://store.playstation.com/en-gb/product/EP0006-CUSA15090_00-NEEDFORSPEED2020
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