EA’s Racing Series Amps Up the Fire
Need for Speed: Heat is a single-player racing video game published by Electronic Arts and is the 24th installment in the Need for Speed series, commemorating its 25th anniversary. Set in the open-world fictional town of Palm City, you play as a street racer who competes in legitimate competitions by day and illegal racing by night. True to the Need for Speed tradition, you compete to be the best racer around while trying to evade the strict cops who will put a stop to your fun.
What Do You Want?
The Need for Speed (NFS) franchise has been EA’s most prominent racing game series around, spawning dozens of titles nearly every year, ever since it started in 1994. The series centers around illicit street racing and general tasks that players need to complete for various types of races, all while evading the local law enforcement in police pursuits. At some point, the series eventually shifted from racing sports cars on scenic point-to-point tracks to an import or tuner subculture involving street racing in an urban setting. This theme is still being retained on the rest of the NFS titles, especially obvious in the player’s ability to customize their car parts themselves for both legal and illegal races. Before every race, you can choose what car and type of transmission you’ll be using for the event. NFS also features a multiplayer mode, either through a split-screen, a LAN, or the internet.
Need for Speed: Heat is the 24th game in the series, the 16th in its mainline, and the sequel to Need for Speed: Payback and its upgraded version in terms of gameplay. Unlike Payback, which had been heavily criticized due to its reliance on pay-to-win loot boxes and microtransactions, Need for Speed: Heat does away with that entirely—instead, implementing a post-launch paid DLC in the form of car packs and time-save packs that will show you all the collectibles on the map. Need for Speed: Heat is considered "the ultimate street racer-versus-cop fantasy," taking some inspiration from the Fast and Furious film franchise. Heat’s storyline follows the main character who is up against Palm City’s police force. During the day, you’ll be competing in the Speedhunters Showdown, a sanctioned competition wherein you can earn money to customize your cars. Once night falls, though, you can participate in unsanctioned, underground races to build up your street cred. The game’s Standard Edition gives you a K.S Edition Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution X as a starter car, while the Deluxe version adds three more K.S Edition cars unlocked through your progression, four exclusive character outfits, and a REP boost and Bank boost.
A New Leaf?
In terms of performance, Need for Speed: Heat is EA’s fix to Need for Speed: Payback’s abysmal show. There has been an upgrade in graphics, challenges, the number of cars, and the amount of customization you can do. However, knowing EA’s reputation, the microtransactions may have gone away, but you still need to be patient before sinking in money on this game right from the start.