Need For Speed Heat is a title where players can ignore the speed limit and get the opportunity to drive around in some rather stylish and unique vehicles, that a lot of us can only dream of doing in the real world. Its time to put the peddle to the metal with our next review.
Now usually we do not go around purchasing racing games such as this one, in fact the last racing game that we managed to play was quite some years back. Yet, funnily enough it was also a Need For Speed title. In this specific title however, we were instantly greeted with the ability to either play solo or online. As we are mainly solo racers we opted for this option, at least to begin with.
Solo play does actually feel a little less interesting than multiplayer and it does not really have much in terms of a better experience or unique gameplay. It should be sufficient if you prefer the offline style though. I mean not everyone enjoys going online and that is fine. In Need For Speed Heat you do not need to play online in order to enjoy this specific title.
However, once you do decide to crank it up a bit and head online, it is like entering a brand new world. Though we still stick to the same map, events, race circuits and everything else that you would be granted within the offline mode.
With the online however, we now get to race around alongside other players. These players will appear on the map with their little unique gamer icons and be classed as ‘ghosts’.
From there you can then compete and race alongside and against each other in any of the currently unlocked race circuits. A lot of these circuits also allow you to earn bigger prize money and reputation. Which is of course great if you plan on farming for better racing parts and vehicles.
Unfortunately though, during our time online, which was quite a lot. In fact in the end we ended up playing more online than offline. Anyway, despite it being the online mode we did notice that most racers and players did not seem to be that interested in taking part in racing. We tried to challenge everyone else in our lobby but most of the time we didn’t get any interest. Perhaps our vehicle as more advanced than everyone else? We often wondered why we kept getting neglected. Which in the end made us feel like we were not getting much of a different gameplay experience than we would if we were offline. Except for seeing other racers driving around as ‘ghosts’ there wasn’t a significant difference.
You see when you do challenge other racers our vehicle rank does appear for those in our lobby to view. Each vehicle ranks are determined by what gear parts you have equipped and what vehicle you are actually using. I’ll admit by the time we did go online our main vehicle was quite high in terms of rank. We can only think that for a good portion of the time our lack of competitors was all down to this. We can of course remedy this if it was the case. This can be done by either switching to a much lower ranking vehicle or by purchasing something that would be more suitable.
Anyway moving on, as we began our story we were instantly greeted with an action packed introduction, being chased by the police is not much fun and in this game they mean serious business. As we struggled to get used to the controls, constantly watching our vehicle striking every other obstacle in sight along the way. We realised just why we don’t usually purchase these specific titles. The reason was clear as day. Still we were not giving up and eventually after a bit of a struggle that involved having to fend off the hungry police officers and cross our first finish line, we were then able to proceed.
In Need For Speed Heat we are able to select from a variety of different characters, from both male and female. At first though, we will not be able to customize our character. However, as we progress on with the game this will then change. Once we have our garage unlocked, we will then be given the chance to change our characters appearance. This includes hair style, head accessories, shirt, trousers, and shoes. Though in order to change any of this we will need to purchase them using cash that we have managed to earn ourselves.
After we are done making our minds up on which racer we want to play as we will then get to the more juicy section of the game, selecting our vehicle. There are several to go through but, of course, to begin with we are limited to our basic options. Such as he Ford Mustang 65, BMW M3 Evolution II 88, Nissan 180SX Type X 96, and the Chevrolet Camaro SS 67. All of which are not bad vehicles but we know we can do better! Though, to get better we have to work for it.
Each vehicle we can select and ride around in has its own set of stats with their own set of strengths and weaknesses. When we successfully manage to unlock the garage we will then be able to improve our vehicles. From adding new engines, chassis, and more. We can also customize our rides too, which involves giving it a new paint job and wheels. We always need to keep our rides in great condition so that we can go out there and win our races!
In order to begin races we can navigate through a rather large map, which will start us off at Palm City. This map will allow us to drive around and head to a selection of different locations, these include racing events, racing activities, and we can also find a range of different collectibles on the map too. For those interested. The map is basically what you will be using quite a lot of during the course of the game, so get used to it.
Whilst driving around we will be able to switch through various different camera angles, most of which range from going first person to third-person, unfortunately we were slightly disappointed that there was no option from inside the actual vehicle. The angles in general were rather limiting.
The map can sometimes feel rather empty. There are basically no pedestrians walking around and there is only a small number of traffic on the road in general. For those wondering, no we cannot exit our vehicles. Not unless we are involved in a cinematic scene. Need For Speed Heat is a literal driving game and it sticks to it.
Newer and better vehicles are unlocked later in the game as you continue playing. One way to increase your chances of unlocking a new vehicle is to build up your reputation, which means winning races and racing during the night.
By winning races we will also increase our money and ultimately, our bank. Cash is, of course, then spent on fine-tuning your ride and purchasing any much needed equipment too. It’s not just the vehicles that are important here.
We also have to make sure our ride performs to the best of its capabilities.
Once you have played through the opening tutorial section of the game we will then be able to switch between the day and night cycles, we can do this freely and from the comfort of our own garage. Each cycle has its own set of advantages and disadvantages. From playing during the daytime we can enter races in order to win cash and increase our bank. Which we can then use to improve our vehicle, purchase character costumes and features. Whilst during the nighttime we will be able to enter races in order to increase our REP or reputation, this will then allow us to unlock new vehicles that we can then purchase. Unfortunately this option also comes with various police chases too. The police mainly reside during the nighttime cycle. So watch out for those, apparently they are not fans of our racing habits.
If you do indeed opt to play during the night cycle and find yourself in a police chase try to make sure to survive the night. If you end up getting busted for your behaviour then you will be punished for it, this usually comes in the way of loosing any unsaved progress. So expect to loose any recently gained cash and REP. Yes, the police do enjoy crashing our party.
Though these police chases do eventually appear during the day, they are far more sparse. So if you prefer a more relaxing adventure with little to really worry about then I would highly recommend limiting yourself to the daytime option.
Need For Speed Heat is a somewhat satisfying experience. As previously mentioned, I do not really bother with racing games. This is usually due to being terrible at them. However, despite that I still found myself to enjoy this specific title.
There is a lot of gameplay to go through, from racing in various different tracks, being chased by the police officers, trying to complete the story mode. In fact we can even compete in other optional events too such as trying to become the best drifting racer and beat specific scores, to even completing time trails. A lot of which continues to unlock as we continue to improve our vehicles.
The map is massive and is full of these gameplay events and activities. In fact even after over 30 hours of gameplay we still have yet to complete even half of the overall map. This title will definitely keep you busy.
In terms of the game story, we unfortunately cannot really comment on this. There is so much to be found and completed within this title that we have literally not even bothered with much of the story at all. In fact most of our time within the game has been eaten by us trying to farm and rank our main vehicle. Collecting better gear parts and trying to work out which vehicle has the most eye candy.
From what we have experienced so far though, this title does offer somewhat of a decent story. It does indeed feel like I’m playing in one of these Vin Diesel movies, Fast & Furious. There is a lot of police involvement and racing to be had.
Developer: Ghost Games
Release Date: November 8th, 2019
Platforms: PC, Playstation 4, XBox One
Main Story Length: 10-15 hours
Platform Reviewed On: Playstation 4
Overall Rating: 4/5