The Need for Speed (NFS) saga is paired with FIFA one of Electronic Arts’ oldest intellectual property, dating back to the early games of the mid-1990s. In almost twenty years of history racing has always kept the seal of speed. While illegal racing, trips to incredible spots on the planet or risky police escapes, the combination is almost always powerful cars with lush locations. But there is also a lot of urban density justifying the best of driving.
The cities in NFS are almost cocooned where speed limits never cease, epicenters endowed with wide roads and roads where dazzling pursuits are being fought. Police chases are severe and the risk of losing control of the car under heavy rain is greater. It is in this choppy, low-water water provided by the police patrol that plunges the whole edition of NFS. Heat delivers the heat of police escapes in the fictional Palm City, inspired by Miami’s lighting, neon, lights, skyscrapers and paradises.
After a brief break, Heat succeeds NFS “reboot” (2015) and Payback (2017). All by the hand of Ghost Games, the latest editions have seen a fresh start and a closer version of what is the DNA of illegal racing. But Heat seems to bring together the universe of illegal racing, police escapes, customization kits, and large skids with the open worlds of fictional cities. For a biannual series, Heat points are more noticeable than the most recent divergences. But will they live up to a good experience?
Muscled police action
The first contact we have with the game could not be more elementary. Crewing a car of high power and strong aerodynamic load through the unmeasured spoilers, we open the gas in another illegal race, fighting for the first position. The brightly lit city in the background, with its skyscrapers silhouetted under a dense, dark sky about to collapse, peeks through neon signs that signal the trajectory as we swiftly advance over bridges, overtaking rivals and hopping along sidewalks.
Overspeed is detected by patrol police radars and we quickly move from stalkers to prey. The car we have at our command is powerful enough to stay on the road, even when violent shocks affect the trajectory and dent the plate. The same is true of equally fast and persistent safety vehicles. In an infernal race the shocks follow. The kinematics shows our capture, or rather the inscription of a message addressed to the illegal racing gang.
NFS Heat has a narrative that is not much different from other situations. Police speed up behind the offenders. Only the most reputed “survive”. For this they will have to successfully escape the onslaught. Races take on a dramatic dimension – illegal – at night. It is among the neon lights, cars and buildings that rise in the rankings, accessing vehicles faster that in turn are detected by law enforcement.
“Races take on a dramatic dimension – illegal – at night. It is among the neon lights, cars and buildings that climbs the rankings.”
The kinematics are frequent and in them we can see our previously selected character in action. The choice of our model is not final. After access to the customization center (the garage where we have our car), we can tweak various parameters, one of which is precisely the character. It should be noted that in this respect the kinematics are of good quality. There is a very photorealistic look to cars, the environment and the characters, making it more believable.
The manual transition from day to night
Heat has a huge city. Driving its multiple roads, streets and highways takes forever. There are mountainous areas, downtown Palm City, as well as other iconic areas. It is an open world game, but unlike some recent developments in the genre, it does not feature the 24 hour cycle. There are weather effects, such as passing from dry to wet weather, raining heavily. Not that it greatly affects driving. Its practical effects are mainly visual.
However, there is not a passage of time. It is up to the player to decide whether to play day or night. It is a choice with significant effects. During the day they do not gain reputation, but they nevertheless have to do relevant things. Depending on the type of car selected you can choose events of different order. From circuit racing to connecting points, there is a set of evidence immediately available, in addition to the usual collectibles such as posters that you can destroy by performing acrobatic maneuvers.
These events however have a key advantage. Obtaining indispensable financial resources to improve car performance and acquire new mounts. As they improve their reputation through night-time competing rivals, they increase the level of reputation, which in turn gives them access to new cars. This means you have to sweat a lot – and grind a lot – if you want to get to the best, fastest and most powerful cars.
It would be preferable to have a more balanced stand-type system for access to machines. Not only will they have to pay for cars, but they will have to reach a certain level of reputation. This requires a breakdown of time between day and night tests. But it is at night that the intensity is greatest. While in daylight police do not have their radar on or patrol the roads, at night we see small red dots on the mini map. Simply depress the pedal while passing a patrol to access your radio communications.
Reputation earned through a night race won can be enhanced if we crash into police cars, or if we successfully escape. The value attributed tends to be higher as we drive more powerful cars. Some events have high values, and sometimes we do not have a car that is sufficiently improved to stand up to rivals.
Comprehensive customization system
Heat tuning kits are varied. Not only can they enhance the car’s visual appearance by using authentic parts of the preparers, or original kits, but they can improve the car’s responsiveness by adding nitros, among a number of things, to the smallest details such as engine noise or effect. of the exhaust. Of course for all these changes there is a cost. However, the improvements do not produce very significant advances. Your car is not winning just because it has a nitro and some engine improvements. To accelerate faster you will have to develop the gearbox and improve other aspects. In this field, in the motor customization of the car, the parameters are very advanced and cover several areas.
The same is true of the painting kits. They can opt for a simple job, choosing a color and an effect, or apply a more complex job, subjecting the editing to public scrutiny, so that other players can download it. Great for those who don’t want to spend a lot of time in the garage. Moreover, the customization margin is huge and we can easily spend a lot of time not only customizing the machine image to our discretion but also making it faster and more powerful.
Ferrari returns in over 100 cars available
In all, the car catalog in Heat amounts to close to 120 vehicles. It cannot be said to be the biggest offer for a car game, but it is not scarce. There are cars of all shapes. From small, compact endiariums to Americans, Japanese, and Europeans to classic cars, almost every make and type of car is represented.
To welcome Ferrari’s return, with the ever-tempting F40 leading a class of unmistakable bolides. BMW’s, Lamborghini’s, Porsche’s and McLaren’s are on their way, as if blessing the “Miami” night. Nor does the mythical Countach lack to evoke the television series Miami Vice. Similar to previous iterations of the series, the cars are well modeled, with a very realistic look, highlighting the paintings and the “mirror” effect when raindrops cover the paint and wet the asphalt.
Graphically, Heat can impress, although here and there is a lack of polish. The smoke from the burnt rubber, the sparks in the exhaust, the lights on the paint and the whole lighting effect is very convincing and very accurate, with vivid and natural colors. We don’t have the car’s interiors, nor is there a change of perspective, but the exterior is downright appealing, which accompanied by a realistic soundtrack makes the presentation quite cinematic.
Too bad the loading frames are time consuming. The transition from day to night involves significant pauses, but it is especially in the initial loading that the most waiting time is given. If this loading is more acceptable, a faster transition was expected overnight.
Typically arcade driving
What can be said about driving is that at first it can cause some strangeness. Drifting the car into the tightest corners is not a very natural move, but it is a must if you don’t want to waste time on your competitors. Use of this technique makes brake activation less relevant as the rear end tends to slip in a controlled manner, which limits speed but does not cause too much slowing down.
This maneuver is performed by pressing the R2 (accelerator) twice. At second pressure and when with the analogue turn, the car tends to slide smoothly, allowing for a faster approach to the turn (if it is closed). The more automatic rear control is not as necessary as when using the parking brake, in which case the sliding of the car requires greater control.
This maneuver, moreover, is not without its problems. In some cases it’s really the only way they won’t waste a lot of time on their rivals (if they do it well they can save time), but whenever they are ahead, the more aggressive AI behavior drives the opponents into our car, causing a waste of time, slowing down and some shock.
In this case only even the walls and blocks of any structure / building can slow the car’s progress. Poles, small trees, and plastic separators take flight if we encounter it, although it can cause a retarding effect. It may not be a perfect driving system, but there is little to point out. Drifts are good and car control is usually quite effective. After an adaptation phase we are better prepared to take advantage of this technique.
Online racing is a “separate” option whereby you can create your “gang” for up to 16 players, competing through cooperative challenges, with bonuses shared among members. The challenges are very similar to the single player campaign events, through loop proofs and point-linking that extend across the map.
Need For Speed Heat Review – The Verdict
In arcade racing, NFS Heat is a great experience, cohesive and built around the usual elements of the series, with Miami-inspired backdrop. The chase and escape component of the police in the night races seems to divide to entertain (why not keep up the chases during the day?). But if the division creates a lengthening effect of the campaign through daytime activity, forcing the “grind” to get the best cars, then the other component cannot be said to be less valuable. Police chases add additional difficulty to the evidence, and given the diversity of challenges, the size of the city and the fun factor of driving, we never get the impression of an empty city.
|Palm City ExtensionRealistic presentation of cars and the environmentFerrari cars returnDegree of customizationArcade driving||Some bugsLoadingsLittle traffic in the city|