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Need for Speed Heat Review – Palm City Awaits You

About 25 years ago, The Need for Speed was the starting shot for one of the most successful racing series. On November 8th, 2019 Ghost Games delivered Need for Speed Heat, the current offshoot of The Need for Speed, and send you on a hot patch again. Whether the developers have learned from the mistakes of the past and have larded the title this time with tough opponents, you can find out in the following test.

A ride at night

The story in Need for Speed Heat is quickly told and serves only as a loose accessory. The plot is set in the city of Palm City, which is under the control of the somewhat questionable cop Lt. Frank Mercer, who uses his very own methods in the fight against illegal car racing. While you prove your skills in legal races during the day, you explore the wild street racing scene at night, in which not only the cops, but also various crews are on your heels. With each new race, you’ll improve your reputation in the scene and soon realize that this city only really awakens at night.

in the sights of the cops

Already after a few minutes of playing it is recognizable that Need for Speed Heat unfolds its special charm by the constant change between day and night races.

While you collect a lot of prize money at the official races during the day, you increase your reputation in the illegal races at night and can therefore always unlock new races. But your skills won’t go unnoticed and soon the police will have you on the radar.

While the cops give fines during the day in usual manner, they show themselves particularly corrupt at night. If you’re too fast on the streets or take a daredevil leap too much, they’ll aggressively bind themselves to your bumper and chase you across town. The longer a chase lasts, the more your heat meter rises, which in turn raises your reputation points.

However, at level 5 you’ll even be tracked by armored sleds, nail bands, rinos or helicopters, which will get you into trouble. If you want to avoid the direct confrontation, you can alternatively bribe the cops with a nice little sum and at least buy yourself out temporarily.

Comprehensive tuning possibilities

When it comes to riding feel, Need for Speed Heat proves to be an arcade title, so even newcomers won’t have any trouble. The individual speedsters all have their own individual profile, can be tuned in different ways and are easy to control even on wet roads.

As you progress through the game, you can upgrade your sled with a variety of prizes, as well as invest in higher quality vehicles. The enormous range of tuning possibilities invites you to play around and personalize your own car. Not only can you screw on the look, the paint or the rims, but you can also adjust the handling or the engine sound. More than 100 vehicles are available for you to choose from, from Mercury to Mercedes to Lamborghini, all well-known brands are represented.

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The campaign has around 20 hours of playing time, with a wide variety of track types being unlocked over time. While you’ll need to speed up on the normal circuits, Palm City’s streets are packed with tight corners, speed traps, and various obstacles. You’ll have to hold your sled securely in the corners when drifting, and on the off-road tracks you’ll have to master unpleasant terrain with gradients, boulders and mud.

With Palm City, the developers have created a tranquil backdrop that lacks a wealth of facets. With a palm-fringed city centre and various coastal and country roads, the backdrop offers too few new challenges in the long run.

If you’d rather be exploring the streets with other players, you can explore the virtual Palm City with up to 15 other players in Online Mode.

Averse to compliant KI

All in all Need for Speed Heat proves to be a less demanding racer, which makes it easier for beginners to get started. Even the most demanding of the three difficulty levels can be mastered very well. This is mainly due to the less aggressive AI, which can be quickly suspended on the road and rarely gets you into trouble. Those who expect exciting duels with the competition will unfortunately be disappointed at this point.

Very beginner-friendly

The control in Need for Speed Heat is quickly internalized and therefore makes it easier for newcomers to the genre to get started. The vehicles can be controlled very well even in the rain, so you can easily brettern through puddles and mud. Even drifting doesn’t present you with too many challenges, so that even tight corners can be mastered very well at the touch of a button.

The details are convincing

The graphics of Need for Speed Heat are quite respectable, but can undoubtedly not keep up with the presentation of the genre greats. The individual scenes are especially effective thanks to the successful light and weather effects. While during the day the sun reflects in the water or splashing raindrops wet your windows, the pulsating Palm City is decorated with bright neon colors at night. Your rides will be driven by a rock soundtrack that will make your adrenaline level rise again.

The success series is again in the race

After the predecessor had been hard in the criticism recently, the successful series is now finally back in the race thanks to Need for Speed Heat.

The story serves only as a shallow basic structure – but the changing game of day and night mode works very well. Especially the wild chases at night make you in a good mood and provide the desired adrenaline kick.

Thanks to the various tuning options, your own sled can also be upgraded and personalized at will.

In terms of difficulty Need for Speed Heat proves to be very beginner-friendly thanks to the arcaded controls and the tame AI. At this point, the developers could have increased the demand a little bit to make even die-hard racing game enthusiasts sweat.

Although the weather effects in Need for Speed Heat are quite respectable – but the racer also moves in this point rather in the good midfield.

All in all Need for Speed Heat proves to be an entertaining racer with small weaknesses, who skilfully continues the successful series.

+ new setting – no real background history
+ successful change of day and night modes
+ exciting car chases
+ extensive tuning possibilities
+ more than 100 different vehicles
+ motivating call point system
+ different types of tracks, such as drift or off-road tracks
– for passionate racing game fans too arcadelastig
– generic game world
+ three different levels of difficulty
+ very beginner friendly
– low demanding KI
Control System
+ Control can be quickly internalized
+ Vehicles are easy to handle even in mud and rain
Graphic & Sound
+ atmospheric lighting effects and dynamic weather effects
+driving soundtrack
– can’t keep up with other genre sizes optically

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Simon Lüthje

I am co-founder of this blog and am very interested in everything that has to do with technology, but I also like to play games. I was born in Hamburg, but now I live in Bad Segeberg.

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