Need for Speed Heat is released next week and we can’t wait to get our hands on Ghost Games’ latest racer. The signs ahead of its general release have been good so far, and we believe that Heat could rediscover NFS’ glory days and reignite the series.
EA’s Under the Hood notes have been providing us with plenty of juicy details in the runup to release day. One of the most recent announcements is the reveal of many of NFS Heat’s story mode, the single-player campaign that we’ll be spending hours progressing through this month.
READ MORE: Everything you need to know about NFS Heat
Trailers for Heat have placed heavy emphasis on Palm City being the player’s “playground” and the domain where you and fellow racers can roam around in what is effectively a car-based sandbox is crucial to how good the video game will be.
The phrase “This is our escape” will have resonated with a lot of people, and if the characters that are escaping alongside you are interesting, Heat will be an unforgettable experience. The original Need for Speed Most Wanted had arguably the best story in the 25 years of NFS, and that will be Ghost Games’ target for their latest creation.
Reckless and determined, Ana is the antithesis to Lucas, her brother. She’s never happier than when she’s racing in Palm City’s long and winding roads, beating all the competition that lie in front of her. She’s a passionate racer who refuses to let anyone stand in the way of her dreams, especially the cops.
Even though he’s out of the racing game, Lucas still works with the racers he used to line up alongside. L. Rivera is a respected former driver who now works as a mechanic for the racers of Palm City, and happily offers his garage as a hangout for those new to the area. Lucas will do anything to protect Ana from the police, fellow racers and herself.
READ MORE: NFS Heat Soundtrack revealed
Palm City PD
The perennial bad guys of any NFS game are the police, and Heat follows this mould by introducing Palm City’s cops into the franchise. Ghost Games explained their philosophy behind the Palm City Police Department in EA’s recent Under the Hood article:
“The choice to include them [the police] as antagonists was clear, but we wanted to explore the antithesis of a lawful cop. Lieutenant Mercer, someone who will happily bend the rules for his own gain came out of this.
Conflicts in NFS are most powerful when they are personal, so we wanted our antagonists to have a meaningful impact on the story and provide our scenes with a real sense of danger.”
Lt. Frank Mercer
Frank Mercer is the ultimate antagonist in Heat. Mercer is the head of Palm City’s newly formed High-Speed Task Force, the company that was formed to stop you and your allies. He’s the charismatic and commanding figure who presented the warning message to the street racers in the game’s release trailer.
He’s the trustworthy figurehead to the public, but after dark, he encourages the officers under his charge to break the law and exploit the city’s street racing problem for his own gain. Mercer will be a divisive character amongst all circles, will his means justify the end result? Are the street racing “bad guys” really all that bad when the police are corrupt? All be answered soon.
READ MORE: Complete NFS Heat car list
Officer Danny Shaw
Shaw is the muscle out on the streets of Palm City, enforcing Mercer’s aggressive tactics to shutdown street racing in the Floridian metropolis. He’s as loyal as a dog, but takes bribes from the highest bidder, point and he’ll follow.
He idolises Mercer and will do anything to earn his approval, even blindly following orders that others would question. When you are the law, you have no fear of legal punishment for your actions, even when it’s clear that you’re doing wrong.
Officer Eva Torres
One of the High-speed Task Force’s most senior officers, Torres is a much-needed cool head in Mercer’s inner circle. Torres tries her best to cover up Mercer’s and Shaw’s illicit activities, partly for her colleagues’ benefit, but mainly to keep her own nose clean and ensure her own survival.
Which character are you looking most forward to meeting next week? Let us know in the comments below!
Need for Speed Heat will be released on Playstation 4, Xbox One and Windows PC on 8th November.