Marcelo Jabulas – I’ve been following Electronic Arts’ Need For Speed franchise for 25 years. I remember like it was yesterday when I first saw this racing game on a Panasonic 3DO console. At that time the game was called The Need For Speed and put the player in a sports duel on the public roads of the west coast of the United States. Today, Need For Speed: Heat repeats the dose, but on the East Coast.
The game arrived in November 2019, the traditional release period, with a focus on year-end purchases. In this game, the player is more of a street runner, trying his luck in sunny Palm City, a digital version of Miami.
Heat, at first glance, may seem repetitive compared to previous titles like Payback and Need For Speed from 2015. The car modification tools, mechanical and visual upgrades are very similar.
However, there is no denying the visual evolution of the game. Heat is a neat game. We tested the game on its Windows version, more precisely on a Samsung Odyssey II. The game did justice to the Intel Core i7 processor, 16GB of RAM, GeForce GTX card, and SSD. It ran smoothly in 2K resolution, with all the effects, shadows and highlights.
In Palm City, there is an open war between the police and the street racers. In the game, the city is the scene of “official” competitions in broad daylight. However, as night falls, the illicit evidence takes place and the cops show up to disturb.
In theory, forensic evidence is good for making money. Marginal runs, on the other hand, serve to mark and level up the player. In other words, you have to live this life as a good guy and a bad guy to win in Need For Speed Heat.
After the prologue, in which the controls and a brief idea of the game are presented, during an escape from the police, the player begins his journey. You are a racer who comes to town to make a name for himself. Befriend a mechanic and his team. From there, the protagonist begins his trajectory.
Nothing too different from older games in the series. It’s like that in Payback and in the 2015 title, which takes up the theme of the classic Underground, from 2003. In this game, the player was a kind of Brian trying to prove to Toretto that he was also good behind the wheel.
As the player accumulates victories, new challenges, new parts and new cars are unlocked and can be purchased. It should be remembered that it is possible to enter online match rooms, which also helps to raise the reputation of the character.
A nice detail is that the interaction with the decor is very rich. The player can knock over almost anything that crosses his bumper. Posts, fences, trees are no match for you, just like cars on the wrong side.
The last racing game I played on PC was Underground, which is still installed on an old machine. Before it was GRiD and the relentless GTR 2. But I must admit that playing on the console spread out on the TV left me unaccustomed.
I even tried setting up a generic joystick, but that required a copy of the Xbox One, not even the X360 was able to fit. The way was to remember my keyboard days. The problem is that Heat has many scattered commands. Nitro, handbrake, cameras, rotation are distributed. It can be reprogrammed, but it’s a hell of a job.
After a few good minutes of adaptation, I found that piloting this NFS is child’s play. He has a cool thing about putting the car aside. There is no need to trigger the rear exit with the steering and control on the taco. Just smooth the throttle, then hold it down. Peasy easy.
In this relationship, I had the opportunity to choose three cars: a Nissan 240SX, a BMW M3 Evo (E30) and a Ford Mustang 64. I don’t know about you, but the only car that’s cooler than the M3 (E30) is the Porsche 911 Carrera RS 2.7. So I went to BMW.
At first, the German is quite strangled. But with the gain of money and score, it is possible to have access to new parts which elevate the performance of the M3. Along with the mechanical improvement, it is possible to make the car more summoned.
When the player chooses M3, it is already modified. My joke was to install the stock bumpers, but I kept that wonderful BBS RS set with flared braces, even though the stock E30 wheels had the same design. Not to say that I’m too straight, I applied some stickers.
Need For Speed Heat is a fun and easy to play game that immerses you in the life of racing. It does not require hours of training, millimeter configurations like titles like Gran Turismo Sport, Forza 7, Project CARS or Assetto Corsa.
It doesn’t even offer views inside the cabin or inside the pilot’s helmet. This is the view from the bumper or behind the car. Its business is to let the player get involved in the story, even if it is a beaten plot, with characters from TNT’s action movies. But still, it’s pretty cool.