The open road is a call to adventure, one I am always happy to answer.
My daily drive, a 2005 Jeep Wrangler Sport, isn’t a highly-tuned street racer, but its six-speed manual transmission and lack of sound insulation turn every journey into a mechanical waltz — a full-body dance of stepping on the clutch and rowing through the gears set to the music of the engine revving and the wind whipping past. Beyond casual errands, I’ve been fortunate to road trip through some phenomenal locations around the U.S., rides that have taken me over rolling mountains, across starkly beautiful deserts, along perilous cliffs, and around tropical islands.
While driving games lack some of the sensory stimulation of a real-world excursion, they offer many benefits: a greatly decreased carbon footprint, garages full of outrageously expensive and highly customizable sports cars, colorfully rendered versions of far-off locations, and the ability to simply reload after a high speed crash into a highway divider. (Note: we encourage you to always drive safely and responsibly.)
I’ve enjoyed Need for Speed since the first, with a lot of time spent on 1998’s NFS III: Hot Pursuit in particular. So when Ghost Games reached out about contributing to NFS Heat, it was an opportunity to give back to the series and hopefully entertain others in the process.
I worked alongside the audio team on the dynamic dialogue system that powers Palm City’s new night cops; we defined their corrupt tone — a sharp contrast to the strictly professional attitude of the daytime troopers — built personalities for each officer and wrote them thousands of lines based on their pursuit of the player.
Getting it right required a lot of research — films, TV, news articles, and hours spent listening to actual police band radio — but I’m very pleased with the results. Once the sun goes down and the streets light up like a neon fever dream, racers will face off against a downright dirty, occasionally comical, police force that will stop at nothing to take their cash and strip them of their rep.
The roads of Palm City are calling.
NFS Heat is out today for PC, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One. Learn more at the official website — https://www.ea.com/games/need-for-speed/need-for-speed-heat/ — or watch the official launch trailer below.
P.S. While Palm City is a fictional place, it was heavily inspired by the culture and climate of Miami, according to the developers. And in addition to the street art, stylish clothes, and changing weather, the team has also managed to capture the utter insanity of trying to drive in South Florida.