The Need for Speed (NFS) series has had its pitfalls in the past, but Heat resolves all that to a large extent. While it’s an impressive game, Heat’s one and only problem is that it gets boring too fast.
On the plus side, if you like racing games but aren’t impressed with the realistic driving mechanics of the Forza series, this is the game for you. NFS: Heat doesn’t expect you to really understand driving. It lets you forget the brakes, instead choosing to drift into corners, ironically using the accelerator.
The day-night mechanic is great too. Heat asks you to choose when you want to race. Daytime races are legal traffic-less races, while night-time is for street racing, full of traffic and cops.
The cop chases are enjoyable too, albeit a tad too difficult, even in easy mode. The “heat" level, which denotes your notoriety increases the more you piss off the cops. But it feels nearly impossible to escape a cop chase once your heat surpasses the first level. Given that you lose a lot of “bank" (the game’s version of money) each time you’re busted and your “rep" (Heat’s other currency) multiplies, it’s off-putting. Having said that, a huge point in Heat’s favour is the fact that it has no microtransactions. Anything you need for progressing in the game can be earned by playing for it, no credit card needed.
But, as mentioned before, it all gets boring too fast. The game has you grinding for bank and rep almost from the beginning. It’s not as much of a grind as in role-playing games, but it only keeps you hooked for so long.
We found ourselves keeping the controller aside every hour or so, especially because the story is nothing to write home about either.
In sum, Heat is certainly a step forward for the NFS series, but we wish it was a tad more interesting than it is.
Pros and Cons of Need for Speed
- No need to make in-game purchases
- Vehicle handling is easy to get used to
- Day-night mechanic is interesting
- Becomes boring too soon
- Cop chases are too strenuous
- Story needs more depth