Need for Speed Heat review and test

Need for Speed by EA has definitely changed a lot since the first opus of the game. It became way more arcade and followed a similar trend than the Fast and Furious movies, to offer some nice stories about street racing. So what is worth the latest edition?

Gameplay and story

The gameplay is definitely arcade, in the way that you barely need to use the break. You can probably pass all the corners just by pressing the handbrake and turning very hard. However, there is a big difference from one car to another, or even from one setting to another. Which means that even the same car can really feel different to drive.  Another example is that going off-track can really slow you down, mostly if you have slick tires instead of off-road ones. So it is a strange mix between very arcade with some bit of realism. I would have preferred to get it less arcade, but in the end, it is not as bad as I would have expected.

There is a bit of a story too, and “a bit” is probably the right word. Basically, the city got some crew doing street-racing and the police is getting a task force to stop them. Not very fancy. You are new in town, racing to be known and get in a crew. It does not seem too much but it actually helps to understand the different missions, get some cinematic and making the game a bit more entertaining.

Same same but different

The concept of NFS heat is not different from the previous one. You have an open map and can start some race by going to a specific location. There are different kinds of races: racetrack, sprint, drift, etc. and you will have to adjust or change your car for the right kind of race. The nice bit is that it is not too much of a pain, considering that you can really mechanically tune your car in different ways. You just need to put different part to be optimize your chances to win different kind of races. 

What is different and maybe a bit hard to understand in the first place, is that you have races by day and races by night. The one by day are “legal”, and allows you to get a lot of cash. Money that you can use to buy new parts or new cars. On the other hand, the races by night will be the ones that increase your XP. The XP being necessary to get new missions and thus to follow the story. So you need to alternate between day and night to find the right balance.

Police Smash!

The races by night are illegal which means that you may find the police on your way and escaping the police will also make you gain XP. But by escaping the police and racing by night, your level of “heat” will increase. Which means that there will be more police cars .. and they also will be more aggressive.

That is where the game becomes tricky. Hhonestly, once you reach a certain level of “heat” (slightly depending on your car) it will become almost impossible to get rid of the police. If you drive at 300km/h, they will drive at 350km/h, even if they just have some Dodge Charger. They will barely touch you and damage a lot your car, bust you and take your money. The game really wants to force you not to race too much by night. One piece of advice is also to spend all your money before going by night, as you never know what will happen.

Cars and customs

The cars are really well designed and the sounds of the engines are really good. I am really impressed by the level of details there. Not only that but the tunning is good too, giving some option from making something really crazy or just making tiny changes to get a good sleeper.

The range of cars available is also good. From classic muscle cars to Japanese, more recent one and hypercars such as Ferrari, Mclaren, and Lamborghini. No spoiler, but also got some iconic cars from previous NFS opus which is nice.

Overall feeling

I have to admit that I do like the game in general. I am having a lot of fun both with the races and cars. I am getting a bit frustrated by night when the game does not give you any chances at all. When you get chased by 10 police cars that are faster and stronger than you, the best you can do is survive as long as you can until they get you. The musics in the game could have been a bit better (except if you like Latina music, you may also want to turn it off after a couple of hours). But that would be the only negative points. I would really recommend NFS Heat to someone that likes that kind of game or to someone who would like to start.

Score: 7.5/10Positive points:
– Fun
– Nice graphic (mostly the cars)
– Gameplay somehow addictive
Negative points:
– Abusive number/speed/strength of cops
– The music …

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