On the heels of its reveal (and an earlier leak), today EA unveiled the first proper gameplay trailer for Need for Speed: Heat at Gamescom. It expands on the cops-versus-racer fantasy established in the reveal trailer, explores day and night races, and gives us our first look at Heat's expanded car customization.
During the day, you can explore the open world to complete challenges or snag collectibles. You can also join in sanctioned races to earn money you can spend on cars and upgrades. However, cops will dog you for speeding and the no-doubt innumerable traffic infractions you'll commit, slowing you down. This feels like a throwback to the criminally underrated Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit, and it feels good.
At night, races are a little less legal and reward reputation in the form of Heat. The more you win, the more reputation you'll build, which translates into more car unlocks when you head back to your garage. The kicker is that cops will be much more aggressive at night, and "they'll ratchet up their efforts to stop you" as your rep gets hotter. It seems similar to the infamy in Grand Theft Auto: at higher ranks, cops will send armored cars and helicopters after you, for example. If you get caught - or you just straight-up crash amidst the chaos - you'll lose the Heat combo you've built, so you have to know when to take risks and when to cash in your rep at the garage.
Speaking of the garage: EA says customization has been reworked and expanded for Heat. "We've replaced the speed cards from payback," the trailer explains. "You can now unlock cards by building up rep at night and using bank earned during the day to level up your ride." This feels like a follow-up to EA's promise that Heat will never have loot boxes.
You can sample Heat's car editor now using the NFS Heat Studio app, which is now available on iOS and Android. The app's free, and if you build a custom ride now, you'll get to import it into the game when it launches on November 8.
Find more to play in our list of new games 2019.