Need for Speed Heat is released this 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 run-up to release day.
One of the more recent announcements outlines the car customisation model available to the player in Heat. Customisation was what made NFS stand out against the competition and has been a fan-favourite feature of the series.
Need for Speed should be the Pimp My Ride of video games; if you can imagine it, you should be able to implement it. Trailers for NFS Heat have placed an emphasis on Palm City being your “playground”, and to play whichever way you want to, your car should be exactly to your liking.
There are four main areas of customisation in NFS Heat: Auxiliary, Engine, Chassis and Drivetrain. Each of these categories have subcategories within it and we’ll be diving into all of them and giving you the lowdown on what to expect when you enter a customisation garage.
The auxiliary group has space for two types of items to be applied to it: one active and one passive.
The active items are manually controlled by the player and include things such as an instant refill of all your nitrous and a repair kit to get some quick health back. Your car’s “health” is vital to maintain, as when it runs out, you’ll be wrecked. A repair kit will help you towards the end of a race or after a long battle with the cops.
Conversely, the passive items are active all of the time that they’re installed on the car. This category includes things like re-inflatable tyres which reduce the time it takes before the tires re-inflate after hitting a spike strip, a damage increase so that the cop cars can be taken out faster, and various items that give increased nitrous gain from activities like jumping and drafting.
The Engine has various categories of upgrades within it that work together to increase the amount of power that the car will produce. Forced Induction, Nitrous and complete engine swaps are all available to you.
Forced Induction varies from car to car and manufacturer to manufacturer. There are too many to get into in this article (check out our completer car list to see the variety that’s on offer to you!) but each one changes the sound and performance of the engine in different ways.
Need for Speed wouldn’t be NFS without Nitrous. NOS is vital to being fast in the game and escaping the police, providing you with an extreme power boost when you most need it. The upgrade path has been simplified, focusing on overall capacity and the amount of extra power you receive.
The main strategy is when it comes to how many bottles of Nitrous you have installed in your racer. Multiple small bottles give you better flexibility on when to activate each one, but it does have a lower power output compared to the bigger single tank option. The downside to using the bigger tank comes down to the fact that, when used, it will provide an increase to power until it’s empty.
All vehicles have a pool of engines that can be bought and installed onto the car.
The number of available engines for each vehicle is generally around 7-10, but a few of the higher-end cars available in the game have a smaller amount of engine options. An example of what’s on offer is that you can equip a 2.5 litre Flat 4 Turbo into a VW Beetle or an 8.4 litre V8 into a Mercedes-AMG GT.
The Chassis has parts controlling the handling of the vehicle. These come in the form of Suspension, Brakes, and Tyres. You can have all the power in the world, but if you can’t get around the corners, you won’t be successful.
The tyres, suspension, and differential all affect your handling.
They are divided into types depending on how they change the handling characteristics of the car between race, drift, and on-road/off-road. The higher the level of the parts, the bigger impact on your handling.
Higher quality tyres improve the overall grip of the car, so if a car produces a lot of wheelspin off the line, then tires are a prime candidate to upgrade to improve acceleration and increasing cornering speed. After all, the tyres are what connect the car to the road, they ultimately dictate how fast you can go around corners and how hard you can plant the throttle down.
READ MORE: The complete car list for NFS Heat
The Drivetrain is built up of both pure performance parts and those that affect handling. The Clutch and Transmission are two of the main sections of the drivetrain, both of which change the shifting time and gear ratios.
New to Heat is the ability to customise the sound of the exhaust. This is a surprisingly detailed part of customisation, as tone, timbre, overrun, and pipe resonance can all be changed to create the most satisfying soundtrack to your drive around Palm City.
It should also be noted that customising your ride is more fluid than ever before, as you select the area you want to alter using a PC-like cursor which rotates around the car, even when you’re on console.
Need for Speed Heat will be released on Playstation 4, Xbox One and Windows PC on 8th November.