EA studio Ghost Games officially revealed the new Need for Speed game, Need for Speed Heat, this morning. The Need for Speed Heat title was leaked yesterday ahead of the reveal as EA removed all online traces of Need for Speed games from the franchise's official Instagram and YouTube accounts.
The Need for Speed franchise has had a bit of a rough history, as of late. Ghost Games' previous Need for Speed game, 2017's Need for Speed: Payback, failed to majorly improve upon the forgettable 2015 Need for Speed reboot. Need for Speed Payback's loot boxes made the game a grind-filled disappointment, leading some to believe EA killed Need for Speed's appeal (along with that of other franchises). With the reveal of Need for Speed Heat, though, it would appear the company isn't done trying to make the franchise work.
In today's press release, EA revealed that Need for Speed Heat takes players to a new, fictional open world called Palm City. During the day, street racers compete for money in the sanctioned Speedhunters Showdown racing competition. During the night, racers instead compete in underground races while avoiding a rogue police task force. According to Ghost Games creative director Riley Cooper, the developers are aiming to give players more customization options than in any other Need for Speed game. In fact, Cooper promises more of many of the franchise's pillars - "more cars, more customization, and more challenges" - and a general emphasis on letting player creativity run wild.
Keeping with EA's recent trend of confusing pre-orders and editions (a la Anthem's many release dates), Need for Speed Heat will have several. Those who pre-order the standard edition will receive a special Mitsubishi Evolution X car. Pre-ordering the Need for Speed Heat Deluxe Edition yields special BMW, Mercedes and Chevrolet vehicles, exclusive character clothing and increased earnings of the Bank and Rep in-game currencies. Additionally, those who pre-order Heat in-game through Need for Speed Payback will receive a 10% discount. Need for Speed Heat launches on PC, Xbox One and PS4 on November 8, but EA Access and Origin Access members can get up to 10 hours of early playtime as soon as November 5. Origin Access Premier members can get full access on PC beginning November 5.
There was no mention of multiplayer in EA's press release, but that's almost guaranteed to be shown off later this month. EA will be hosting a worldwide Need for Speed Heat gameplay reveal at GamesCom opening night on August 19, so expect to see multiplayer and other features detailed there. Heat could end up being a triumphant return to the franchise's former acclaim, but it could also continue EA's string of disappointing releases. Fans will likely get a better idea of the possible outcomes during the gameplay reveal, especially if Need for Speed Heat's seemingly inevitable microtransactions are detailed.
Need for Speed Heat release on PC, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One on November 8, 2019.