The idea of a new Need For Speed game married with EA’s usual devotion to loot bo- sorry, surprise mechanics, is a troubling one, especially since the previous game in the series (ironically called Payback) featured its own casino-style system for bagging car parts and upgrades.
Fortunately, it seems that the upcoming Need For Speed: Heat will not feature the much-maligned business practice in any form, so you don’t have to worry about gaining access to car parts through a glorified slot machine mechanic.
As revealed during a Q&A on the Need For Speed subreddit, EA Community Manager Ben “F8RGE” Walke confirmed that the latest entry in the racing series won’t feature loot boxes, microtransactions, or surprise mechanics in any form.
“There are no loot boxes in NFS Heat, and there won’t be”, Walke wrote, which seems fairly conclusive. Instead, it sounds as if we’ll be earning customisation options and upgrades solely through gameplay, just like your parents used to back in the old days.
What we can confirm is that customisation options are earned through the completion of in-game events. For example, you spot a street race on your map and notice it has a new performance part up for grabs. Win the race, win the part. Speed cards from NFS Payback are gone.
That doesn’t mean there won’t be any DLC at all, though. This is a modern game, after all. Instead of loot boxes though, we should apparently a model closer to traditional DLC, with Need For Speed: Heat eventually offering various car packs, before eventually releasing a “time save” pack that reveals that reveals all collectibles on the map.
The good news is that it does sound like most of us this will be earnable through gameplay, with the time save pack literally doing what it says on the tin, offering impatient players the chance to save some time. Quite why anybody wants to pay to skip portions of a game they’ve paid money for is beyond me, but each to their own.
I’d love to say it sounds like EA is slowly learning how not to infuriate its customers with needless microtransactions, but earlier in the week it transpired that a rare cosmetic item in the new limited time mode for Apex Legends would set players back at least £112 in in-game currency, so I’ll probably reserve my judgement on Need For Speed: Heat’s mechanics until it launches this November.
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Ewan Moore is a journalist at UNILAD Gaming who still quite hasn’t gotten out of his mid 00’s emo phase. After graduating from the University of Portsmouth in 2015 with a BA in Journalism & Media Studies (thanks for asking), he went on to do some freelance words for various places, including Kotaku, Den of Geek, and TheSixthAxis, before landing a full time gig at UNILAD in 2016.