Need for Speed Heat Full Map Revealed, Features Dynamic Weather System and Rewarding Collectibles
Ghost Games have dropped a new Under The Hood article, this time revealing the full map of Need for Speed Heat’s fictional locale Palm City - showcasing all 18 districts and unique locations across the map and detailing Heat’s dynamic weather system!
One of the biggest goals for Heat’s world was to try create a large and dense city location that not only captures the vibe of fan-favourite NFS games but delivers the urban street-racing action and open world cop chases that the Need for Speed franchise is built on.
For this the team at Ghost picked Miami as the perfect locale for inspiration, with its vibrant street life, multicultural music and neons that would give Heat the perfect fresh and familiar vibe. Not only this, they took inspiration from Georgia’s Blue Ridge Mountains to give the map elevation changes that provide some stunning vistas.
Because of the Miami inspiration, Need for Speed Heat will feature a dynamic weather system during Day and Night. While the time of day may not be dynamic like Payback, you’ll get a range of changing weather conditions as you play, a big improvement over Payback’s dry desert world.
Palm City has been built to be a dramatic and memorable open-world you’d expect from an arcade racer, filled with epic landmarks and breathtaking vistas which are combined with drifty roads and scenery changes - culminating in a memorable driving experience. There are more roads to explore and race on, with around 100KM more road in a smaller and more condensed map than the world of Fortune Valley.
Races have been molded around Palm City’s landscape, filled with challenging but fun routes that give you plenty of time to react and reduce frustration when you take a turn wrong. Cop chases were designed the same way, with tactical options aplenty including ramps and billboards, interstate traffic, dense back-alleyways and gas stations to get a quick health refill.
Like any open-world game, Palm City is littered with collectibles across its map - such as smashable neons and flamingos, graffiti tags and street art placed in hard-to-find places and split across its 18 district map.
What makes collectibles worthwhile in NFS Heat is that for the first time, you’re (finally) given meaningful rewards for finding even just a handful of them! Collect street-art to add new decals in the wrap editor, find everything in a district to a unlock a package of customization options such as decals and vanity items, and for the serious collector, find EVERYTHING to unlock a special edition car!
The 18 districts around Palm City make reference to various other locations and figures from the last 25 years of Need for Speed, with Fort Callahan referencing Razor’s surname from Need for Speed Most Wanted 05, Bayview Park referencing the iconic map ‘Bayview’ from Underground 2 and Fairview Fields referencing a road from Need for Speed Hot Pursuit 2010.
A few weeks back, I released an in-depth breakdown of everything I saw during the Gamescom Behind Closed Doors demo, which primarily focused on detailing the map. This image helps put into perspective the locations I saw, with Edgewood Valley being where out demo began and Cloudbank being the location of the Observatory.
Edgewood Valley features an abandoned shopping mall for players to visit and climb its multi-story car park, Cape Castille is home to Palm City’s own rocket launching site, Rockville is a huge Quarry area filled with jumps, and the straight road leading from Rockville to Sandpiper Forest is the road the developers mentioned will be very popular for top speed runs.
What do you think of Need for Speed Heat’s map? After my time exploring it for two hours during Gamescom, it’s my favourite map that Ghost have made for a Need for Speed game yet - filled with tons of unique arcade playground locations that hearken back to the glory days of Burnout Paradise. If you want more in-depth impressions of the map, check out our Gamescom Behind Closed Doors demo preview!
Need for Speed Heat launches on November 8th 2019 for PlayStation 4, Xbox One and PC, or three days earlier on November 5th for Origin Access Premiere subscribers. EA Access and Origin Access Basic subscribers will also be able to download a 10 hour Play First trial from November 5th. If you’ve missed any of our previous Need for Speed Heat coverage, be sure to find more from our dedicated Need for Speed Heat section in the Games tab!