Need for Speed Heat is the next installment in EA’s open-world action driving franchise, set to launch across Xbox One, PlayStation 4 and PC on November 8th, 2019.
Developed by Ghost Games, this year’s entry into the acclaimed racing series builds upon the core concepts that were introduced in 2015’s reboot and Need for Speed Payback, such as deep and expressive customization, urban car culture and narrative elements fused with racing gameplay. The game prominently features the 2019 Polestar 1 as its hero cover star, with various other cars displayed in its official reveal trailer and screenshots, including the BMW i8, the Ford F-150 Raptor, the Lamborghini Countach, the Mercedes C63 AMG, the Mitsubishi Evo X, the Porsche 911 Carrera GTS and even the Ferrari 488 GTB. After taking a break, the prancing horse returns.
Need for Speed Heat takes players to Palm City, a fictional location based on Miami, USA that sees the street racer versus cop fantasy synonymous with the Need for Speed franchise at the forefront of the experience. By day, compete in the Speedhunters Showdown, a sanctioned competition where players race and drift in both street and off-road events to earn a big payday, reaping in Bank to customize and upgrade their collection of garage rides. But at night, as the sun goes down, the heat level rises and bidding street racers who desire to build their REP will be forced to risk it all in “underground races,” where a rouge police task force roams the streets with one ambition – to take racers down and swipe all their earnings.
Cops patrol Palm City with various levels of aggression, with their behaviour altering based on the time of day. Expect the police force to have more of a “causal presence” during the day. They’ll still be there as an ever-present threat but leave them alone and they won’t bother you. However, once the city descends into darkness, the rulebook changes. Led by Lt. Mercer, the rouge police task force of Palm City needs no excuse to hunt you or your car down.
Players will be given the choice between day and night racing. If you’ve had enough of the serenity of daylight, then head back to your garage and you’ll have the option to leave in the utter darkness of night, giving you freedom in the types of events you participate in, whether sanctioned or illegal. In addition to earning Bank and REP, customization items and performance parts will also be unlocked through the completion of in-game events – with the Speed Card system from Need for Speed Payback ditched in favour of bolted-on engine upgrades.
“We’re delivering more options than ever before for players to be unique and make themselves known,” said Riley Cooper, Creative Director at Ghost Games. “Our fans have been clear that they want more cars, more customization, and more challenges, and we’re tuning up on every aspect. From your character’s style to your car’s performance and your driving style, we’re fuelling everyone’s creativity with this new game.”
Those who pre-order Need for Speed Heat will receive a K.S Edition styled Mitsubishi Evolution X. Upgrade to the Deluxe Edition to receive three additional K.S Edition styled cars in the BMW i8 Coupe, the Mercedes C63 AMG Coupe, the Chevrolet Corvette Grand Sport, as well as four exclusive outfits for character customization – with swappable items to fit both male and female drivers, along with a 5% bonus on all REP and Bank earned.
Furthermore, anyone who pre-orders Need for Speed Heat in-game from Need for Speed Payback’s menu interface on any format will also get a 10% discount as “a loyalty reward.” In addition, those subscribed to EA Access on Xbox One and PlayStation 4 or Origin Access Basic on PC can enjoy up to ten hours of game-time from November 5th, 2019 with the Play First Trail, whilst unlimited access will be granted to Origin Access Premier members.
Lookout for the debut of gameplay footage from Need for Speed Heat at Gamescom next week during Geoff Keighley’s Opening Night Live broadcast on Monday, August 19th at 7pm BST (2pm EDT, 11pm PDT) during which EA will be showcasing its new open-world nocturnal street racer in-action for the first time, including a first-look at cops, day and night events, the garage and vehicle customization, as well as the game’s all-new handling model. Until then, be sure to watch the reveal trailer for Need for Speed Heat above, displaying the game’s relentless street racing action and the brutality of Palm City’s rogue police force.
Alan is the co-founder and co-owner of FullThrottle Media. As someone who enjoys spending all his free time playing video games, he keeps the website updated with new and relevant content, including news stories, reviews and opinion pieces for the games he likes writing about the most. He also tweets too much, probably.