Need for Speed Heat's Palm City is a neon-lit beauty in new launch trailer

Need for Speed is at its best under a neon glow, and the latest entry is taking the series back to its fluorescent roots. In a new launch trailer, Need for Speed Heat dazzles in its urban aesthetic; pink smoke spewing from tailpipes, LED screens throwing out blinding shades of pink and blue, and twisting streets glinting wet. Heat is being hailed a potential return to form for a franchise many feared had steered far from its identity with recent entries like 2017's Need for Speed Payback, which is set in a fictional version of Las Vegas, Nevada.

Need for Speed Heat quite aptly takes place in a fictional take on Miami, Florida called Palm City, where a busy city entrenched in city mod culture make Heat at the very least look more like a Need for Speed game than recent entries. And according to our own Justin Towell's preview, Heat is shaping up to be more than a pretty makeover for the Need for Speed franchise, finding plenty of joy in Heat's new day-to-night cycle, deep modding system, and of course gorgeous cityscapes.

EA recently shared some of their inspirations behind the world-building process for Need for Speed, arguing that Palm City is their best world yet. They know fans want a vibe closer to what we experienced in series-defining classics like Underground 2 and Most Wanted, and they're betting on Palm City to deliver. 

"We started looking for a setting that would feel both familiar to players and unique to Need for Speed. Miami gave us all the right ingredients - a vibrant city with a multicultural blend of music, cool street art and stunning night neons. It felt pretty fresh for a Need for Speed game, and we also knew immediately that it could deliver that classic NFS look," EA wrote about Heat.

From turtle shells to formula one cars, here are the best racing games to play in 2019. Or get properly into the game with our Need For Speed Heat tips!

Jordan Gerblick

After scoring a degree in English from ASU, I worked as a copy editor while freelancing for places like SFX Magazine, Screen Rant, Game Revolution, and MMORPG on the side. Now, as GamesRadar's west coast Staff Writer, I'm responsible for managing the site's western regional executive branch, AKA my apartment, and writing about whatever horror game I'm too afraid to finish.