Need for Speed Heat (stylized as NFS Heat) is a racing video game developed by Ghost Games and published by Electronic Arts for Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One. It is the twenty-fourth ins tallment in the Need for Speed series and commemorates the series’ 25th anniversary. It was released on November 8, 2019. The game received mixed reviews from critics, who mostly found the game to be an improvement over the 2015 Need for Speed reboot and Payback but not enough to be a full return to form for the franchise. Heat was Ghost Games’ final game both for the Need for Speed franchise and as a lead developer.
The player (male player voiced by Andrew Lawrence, female player voiced by Jamie Gray Hyder)[a] arrives in Palm City for the Speedhunter Showdown, a citywide exhibition which draws in racers who compete in sanctioned races throughout the day, and illegal street races at night. Lt. Frank Mercer (Josh Coxx), leader of the police’s High-Speed Task Force, announces his intent to arrest all street racers in the city. The player buys their first car from Lucas Rivera (Jonny Cruz), local mechanic and former street racer, who also helps the player enter their first Showdown race, and becomes their mentor.
Need for Speed Heat is a racing game set in an open world environment called Palm City, a fictionalised version of the city Miami, Florida and its surrounding area. The in-game map features diverse geography, including mountainous areas and open fields. Unlike Need for Speed Payback, the game does not include a 24-hour day-night cycle, but players can switch between day and night. During the day, players can take part in sanctioned race events, which reward players with cash to spend on new cars and upgrades. During the night, players can take part in illicit street racing, which rewards REP. Racing during the night will attract the attention of a rogue police task force that patrols the streets of Palm City.
Pursuits in Palm City can take place during day or night, but the PCPD’s response to a pursuit differs depending on the time period. Each heat level also equates to the amount a player’s earned rep for a current night session will be multiplied by, should they successfully reach a safehouse or garage. They’re tasked with shutting down street racing in Palm City, which can lead players to risk their earned rep against the police or lose their earnings in handcuffs. The game features 127 cars from 33 manufacturers, with Ferrari making its return after being absent from Payback due to licensing issues.