The temperature is rising with Need for Speed Heat, EA’s East Coast racing title


It’s time for another entry in the annals of Need for Speed. The next title to peel forth from Electronic Arts’ digital garage is Need for Speed Heat, an open-world racer set in the fictional Palm City. But we’ve played Grand Theft Auto: Vice City, we know what an analogue of Miami looks like. Neon, palm trees, the ocean, Al Pacino in the shower with a chainsaw… okay, that sounds like the best game of Clue ever.

Need for Speed Heat may look like Rockstar’s 80s-set title in places but it’s got a whole lot more of Need for Speed: Most Wanted in its DNA. The reveal trailer reminds us a whole lot of the 2005 open-world(ish) title (mind the jagged pixels). There’s a similar approach to the story scenes seen in Heat‘s trailer, and most of those camera angles feel familiar to us. The major difference? Rockport (which seems to have been based on Boston) is being replaced with Palm City (based on Miami and surrounds).

Driven to it

There are other differences too. The cars, for one. A lot has happened between 2005 and 2019 and that means there are a slew of new vehicles incoming. The Polestar 1 will appear in-game, as will BMW’s i8. Alongside will be some stalwarts, like the Nissan GT-R and the Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution X. Old and new hands should find a ride that’ll hold their attention when the game drops in November this year.

Need for Speed Heat will land on the PC, PS4, and Xbox One on 8 November this year. There are some worried about microtransactions in the title but those are apparently going to be reduced, if not outright eliminated. More detail about the title will turn up at Gamescom in Germany next week. We should be able to clear up any lingering doubts then. In the meantime, we’re keen on speeding through a digital Miami knockoff before year end. You might almost say… we need it.

It’s almost a pity the game isn’t going to go full-on Vice City, though, right down to the pastel jackets and crazy amounts of nose-candy. If that ever dropped, we might also get a Fast and the Furious prequel instalment featuring the crew from back in the 1980s. Dom with hair, Hobbs with a fanny-pack, Shaw wearing a leopard-print Speedo — the possibilities are endless. Come on Hollywood, make this one happen.


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