Need For Speed Heat: Day-night cycle brings a thrill back to the franchise

Excitement is the name of the game for NFS, and the new day-night system should bring it.

Toby Durant by Toby Durant

It’s hard to develop legendary franchises and give them a breath of fresh air. After so many titles, the Need For Speed name has had a tough time of late.

The last title, Payback, received a 4.2 user score on Metacritic from Playstation 4 users, which was considerably higher than those on PC and Xbox One.

Trying to rebuild the iconic title after such a disappointment was always going to be met with scepticism so EA had to do something big to get it back on track…

READ MORE: Everything you need to know about Need For Speed: Heat

Race by day, survive by night

WHAT A RUSH: Dodge a more aggressive police force by night or lose all your rewards

A competitive day period and struggle for survival by night is not a new idea. 2015 zombie thriller Dying Light, which has a sequel planned for early 2020, used it to superb effect to bring challenges, thrills, and spills to their game.

Need For Speed: Heat has the same idea, and it looks like it will produce similar effects for gamers.

By day you compete in organised street races called Speedhunter Showdowns around the Miami-inspired Palm City. Police will only take offense if you hit them and traffic is reduced. Winning these races will give you ‘Bank’ to upgrade your avatar’s look and tune your cars.

During the night the races become more illicit, with police actively trying to stop you. You’ll win ‘Rep’ at night, with the amount getting multiplied for the more ‘Heat’ you have from the cops. Fast travel is deactivated at night, meaning you have to lose the cops before returning to your hideout to secure all the Rep you built up in your races, and if you get busted then the consequences are dire.

There is no waiting around during the day for night to come either. Every time you leave your garage you can decide if you want it to be day or night. Meaning once your Bank is healthy enough you can just hit the streets and contend with the police of Palm City to your hearts content.

READ MORE: GRID 2019: Every driveable car – Ferrari, Aston Martin & more

A unique experience

There isn’t a racing game on the market today that offers such an experience, and that might just be thing that kicks Need For Speed back into gear.

The series has always been at its best when you are dodging traffic, evading police, and causing chaos on the streets. When it has had a dash of GTA thrown in.

That’s what NFS Heat is trying to bring this year. You have your established street racing during the day, and then your wild and unpredictable chase and night objectives, all tied in with the story line.

It brings the open world aspect to life, as you can get into as much trouble as you want and to a certain extent ignore the story in favour of causing chaos.

READ MORE: GRID’s ‘Nemesis Mode’ AI will leave you in the dust

Release date & pre-order bonuses

Need For Speed: Heat will drop on 8 November on PS4, Xbox One, and PC via Origin.

Early access will be available from 5 November to those ordering the Deluxe Edition on Origin Access Premier. There will also be the ten-hour trial for EA Access members.

The standard edition will cost £54.99 on PS4 & Xbox One, with the deluxe edition checking in at £69.99.

On Origin the standard edition is still £54.99 but the deluxe edition comes down to £59.99.

If you want a few extras for your money you can pre-order the game on both consoles and PC to unlock a few extras.

If you pre-order the standard edition you get the K.S. Edition Mitsubishi Evolution X as a starter car.

Pre-orders for the Deluxe Edition open up your garage though. You get four K.S. Edition cars, that’s the Evo X plus three more that can be unlocked in stages through the game, including the BMW i8 Coupe, Mercedes C63 AMG Coupe, and Chevrolet Corvette Grand Sport.

You also get four exclusive character outfits and Rep/Bank boosts.

Toby Durant