Beastly Review: Need for Speed Heat
Need for Speed Heat is the latest installment to the racing series. We have been through the underground, most wanted, battled rivals, and was in hot pursuit. What does Need for Speed Heat bring to the table that many are wondering? At this point I don’t think we will ever see Underground make a return or but NFS 2015 was pretty close and Payback had its moments. I welcome you all to buckle up and see where this review takes us.
The Heat is on!
Disclaimer: Always keep racing on closed streets or racing tracks. Pretty much be safe and away from open public streets.
You would think that a simple street race would be handled by professionals, but there can be consequences at times. However, you would think if you caused an issue you would simply get a slap on the wrist or some jail time. Things get hairy once a racer loses his car in a crash in which the police are not happy about and two steps from ending him as well. It seems to be something far more sinister going on in the city with unlawful impounding. Nothing like going to a gas station and then coming out to see your car being put on a flatbed by the cops. Well, after you enter the city as a new racer and get yourself into some nice gear it is time to see what all the hype is about.
Lt. Frank Mercer leads this pack of corrupted officials willing to do anything to take out the street racer scene. You link up with Ana who is trying to rebuild her racing crew after some mishaps. As with every Need for Speed you need a new ride to get your name out there. With the help of Ana’s brother Lucas and his shop to improve your ride after a few races. This is the start of your story to help out the rest of your fellow racers.
This involves many different racers that will teach you different racing styles. One being drift, off-road, street racing. But if you want to save that for later you can and concentrate just on the main story.
Need for Speed Heat feels like a step up from the previous titles being that it has more of an underground feel to it, but with more of a grind. The best news out there is there are no microtransactions to be seen. The story alone is darker than previous titles where they touch base on cops almost killing drivers. That is a bold move in a nice story direction.
There will be two options where you can play solo or online. Honestly going online is the way to go just in case you need help with dealing with cop activity or have more of an active world to play in.
Driving mechanics seem to get simpler with each different game. Do not get me wrong, simple can be okay, but there should be a level of technicality to enhance your ride. You can perform live steering tweaks while driving and choose from several upgrades to match the 3 different categories. Off-road, race, and drift. There is a way to even it out, but in some cases, it would be ideal to make your car fit a specific genre.
My first ride was a ’65 mustang tuned to racing only with a bit of a drift tweak. However, when it came down to the drifting I needed a bit of an edge with the Mazda FD or RX 7 here in the states. You will have an abundance of cars to choose from and can stick with your main ride for a long period of time. It wasn’t until I got to the 300’s in RP where I needed to use the Deluxe edition Corvette.
The speed is definitely there in Need for Speed Heat and even though there is not much traffic in the area. That can be your downfall where you feel too safe and then all of the sudden oncoming traffic happens. What new features come to Need for Speed Heat is the addition of the day and night cycle which you can switch on the fly.
By pressing L3 you can flip to night mode. Here it is more about building your reputation and the higher your heat level the better your score can be. If you can make it to your garage while losing the cops you will end up with a sweet reward and some cash.
I had some gripes that the cop chases were a bit boring not engaging enough however at heat level 2 you best haul ass. These cops are mean and coming at you full force with faster cars with each heat level. Sadly, the Rhino vehicles never made a comeback from Most Wanted. Now those coming at you from a different direction were crazy.
As I said before though you will only see reputation and not the money until you reach the garage. In the daytime cycle, it is all about making green and cars are quite expensive. Even the builds can be a bit pricey and that’s where the races can be redone at a higher difficulty. Or better yet go online with the story mode and earn a higher turnout racing against other gamers. Even in 3rd place, I came out with double the reward money from just your normal solo race.
This is where the decision comes in between Rep and Cash. I would say if I had to put it in percentage 60% Rep and 40% money. You need to upgrade your rep to take full advantage of all the upgrades to a certain point. Pretty much aiming to get your car above 300 for easier races.
Beautiful game to enjoy and many people that I have shown my videos or screenshots confusing it for real pictures. That is a great selling point for any racing game. Also utilizing the NFS Heat Studio app is fun as I have talked about before where you can do decal builds that will be sent to the game. It will cost you money, but you can earn the right amount easily.
The soundtrack alone is pretty good even though I use my own custom soundtrack. The sound design is where it’s at since I want to not only feel how great the race is but the sound gives it that full experience. Especially when you are coming up to a hairpin turn and hit the right drift making the wheels squeal on the pavement is top-notch quality.
Never noticed people walking around any of the cities in Need of Speed and it is the same here. Even though this game promises more of a racing scene especially with your character creation which I wish was a bit better.
The need for Speed Heat world is not as crazy with people as advertised even in the opening cinematic of the game. Where you see more of a racing gallery and even with your customized character that is a bit dull. You do get that feel with the cut-scenes but after that, it is just a carb-filled world. Even the traffic is a bit bland which I expected a bit more during the daytime.
Speaking of the daytime there are more cops, but they do not pay attention to you at all after what was being told that if you do not obey the law even in the daytime you will be hunted. Nope, I went against traffic, drifted past one at high speeds and they paid me no mind. Safe in the day but screwed in the night races as they take away your way of fast travel once you reach heat level 1. They also made going to the gas station for repairs limited to 3 but you can get upgrades as perks for your vehicle.
All and all it could have been a bit more populated.
Need for Speed Heat has its ups and downs with the ups being that no microtransactions which are a big plus for gamers. You actually have a full-priced game where you earn all the vehicles and money fairly. There is a decent amount of replay value with full map usage full open world usage and open to testing out all of your modifications on the fly as you drive to different locations. Secrets galore on the map for you to unlock and collect which grants you a different level of grind, but I highly recommend maxing out your cars to perform better.
Since I acquired the deluxe edition it came with some preset cars that I do not enjoy since you can customize the look. It can give you a bit of an advantage, but rather have my own car fully made by me. All honesty the ending just made me go, “meh…” It just abruptly ends with thanks for playing and I kind of wanted more. As a whole, you have enough replay value to enjoy different races and replay races to gain enough money for the rides you want to upgrade in different styles. If you are still skeptical there is a ten-hour trial for EA Access members just to give it a shot.
So, to close this out Need for Speed Heat gets a BUY! I am having fun and so far a lot of my buddies are enjoying sharing our car designs and strategies. I am sure you will too and if you are playing please comment below your thoughts. Hopefully, we can get some racing done. – Beast Out –