The Global Community engagement Manager for Electronic Arts, Ben Walke, has confirmed that Need for Speed Heat has gone gold. Off the back of this news, EA has released more details about the upcoming racing game for fans to pore over for the month between now and its release.
When a game goes gold it means that the initial development work on it has been completed. The code can now be distributed to digital storefronts and disc manufacturers in order for pre-orders to be lined up with final products. Any work that EA does on the game between now and launch day will be released as a day one patch, containing mostly fixes and updates to issues that have been found during this interim period. It’s also possible that work will now begin on additional features for Need for Speed Heat, such as new cosmetic items, more vehicles, or even post-launch content.
Need for Speed Payback was set in Nevada, and subsequently had a lot of arid deserts and dusty roads. EA says that they wanted something different for Need for Speed Heat, and while searching for a new location they stumbled upon Miami. They enjoyed the street art, close city streets, and crazy weather of the city so much that they settled on it. While they’ve blended the city with Florida and Georgia’s Blue Ridge Mountains in order to get some nice vistas and elevation in the game, Miami is at the core. The way that a sunny day can suddenly be washed out, only to become sunny again a few minutes later, inspired a weather system that’s fully dynamic in the game. Players will drive through all kinds of days and nights, with neon signs and lens flare being a core focus of every race that takes place once the sun goes down.
Driving is Uninterrupted
EA described how racing games could have tracks that were hand crafted for each race, before racing games became open world. Now however, the world needs to take each track into consideration. As a result, the city in Need for Speed Heat was designed around a set of tracks, with multiple routes built in as the city took shape. Frustrations such as blind corners and turns that bring players to a stop are gone, meaning the player always has an alternate route to take, or time to react to the road ahead of them. On corners where players are likely to make a mistake, they’ll be able to smash through props instead of hitting buildings, which EA hopes creates a fairer and more seamless experience.
Run From the Police
A core aspect of Need for Speed Heat is running from the police. The game’s total road length is longer than that of Payback, but it’s denser, providing more options to avoid the police when your Heat level gets high. While taking part in races players will be earning REP, but unless they bank it at a safe house, they’ll lose it when caught by the police. This is why it’s so important to be able to get around the city in a number of different ways. Apparently the city is designed so that player’s can follow their intuition in order to get to their destination, much like in real life. EA added that the balance has definitely been found between creating a challenging experience, and providing enough options for the player to feel clever and skilful.
Collect it All
Need for Speed Heat has a number of collectibles to find throughout the game’s 18 districts. However, instead of having 150 billboards to smash in the entire game, EA has chosen to split collectibles up by district, meaning the alerts we see will show 1 of 6 instead of 1 of 150, making the collection far more easy to take in. This was important to EA because they wanted to be true to their roots by including collectibles such as graffiti to find and neons to smash, all of which will award cosmetic packs that players can use on their vehicles. It sounds as if Need for Speed Heat is a game for Need for Speed fans, but it will also offer much more to racing fans than they’ve bargained for. There’s even a special edition car up for grabs if all collectibles are found.
Test out Your Cars
There are a number of large scale play spaces in Need for Speed Heat. These are inspired by players who took to Payback’s airfield to test out how fast their cars could go, so there’s a new play space for everyone to enjoy in Heat. A quarry is great for jumps and off-road vehicles, whilst a race track is the place to go to get up to top speed. A container loading area is designed to challenge how nimble a player’s car is, and a rocket testing facility is built to take all vehicles to the limits of their capabilities.
However users want to play Need for Speed Heat, it sounds as if there’s something for everyone. This renewed dedication to the series should give fans hope for post-launch content as well, but only time will tell how much EA puts into the new release.