Under the Hood is back, and this time around we’re diving into the Performance Customization and how you’ll upgrade your car.
During the early days of NFS Heat’s development, we decided to take a step back and evaluate what we had done over the previous few games, identifying areas we wanted to improve upon. Improvement wasn’t the only thing on our minds. We were looking at creating a Performance Customization suite of options that would provide a solid foundation for the future.
We had a vision where you could create a car that has too much power for its tires to grip the asphalt, or even just creating a true sleeper by adding an incredibly powerful engine to your daily driver. In short, we wanted to give you the options to create the car that you want to make. These are just a few of the ideas which excited us to create this Performance Customization system that we have now in NFS Heat.
The system we’ve built has a lot of different permutations and combinations, so to explain it further, we’ve broken this Under the Hood down into a couple of areas that will explain each of the components of the performance customization.
We’ve split our vehicle upgrades into four different groups: Engine, Chassis, Drivetrain, and Auxiliary.
The Engine contains the various categories that work together to increase the amount of power that the car will produce. An example of this will be the Forced Induction and Nitrous system.
The Chassis has parts controlling the handling of the vehicle. These come in the form of Suspension, Brakes, and Tires.
Connecting these two groups is the Drivetrain, which is built up of both pure performance parts and those that affect handling. The differential is one of these that has a big impact upon the handling of the car. Alongside this, you’ll also have the Clutch and Transmission, which changes the shifting time and gear ratios. This will affect how much of the engine’s power is being used.
The auxiliary group has space for two items: one active and one passive.
The active items are manually controlled by the player and include things such as instant refill of all your nitrous bottles for a quick double burst on the finish straight or a repair kit to get some quick health back. This health can be hugely beneficial when you find yourself in a bit of trouble and are in need of getting back to the garage while limiting the risk of getting wrecked. (Need to protect that heat multiplier at all costs.)
The passive items, on the other hand, are active all the time as long as they are installed on the car. This category includes things like re-inflatable tires which reduce the time it takes before the tires reinflate after hitting a spike strip, damage increase so that the cop vehicles can be taken out faster, and various items that give increased nitrous gain from activities like jumping and drafting.
There are several types of forced induction that can be installed on each engine.
Each of them have their own characteristic behaviors in both sound and performance, meaning that the part giving the highest performance impact is going to differ depending on the current engine and car combination, as well what the vehicle is going to be used for.
The nitrous upgrades have become more grounded in NFS Heat with a fairly simple upgrade path.
The higher the level of nitrous, the bigger the overall capacity of the system will be, as well as the boost increase from the engine.
The strategy when upgrading nitrous comes down to choosing between either installing an additional small bottle or replacing it with a bigger single bottle. The choice between multiple small bottles or one larger bottle is entirely yours and will be dependant entirely on your own playstyle.
Having multiple small bottles gives you better flexibility on when to activate each one, but it does have a lower power output compared to the bigger single tank option. The downside to using the bigger tank comes down to the fact that, when used, it will provide an increase to power until it’s empty. If you choose this option, then you’ll want to be sure that you’re hitting the fun button at the right time. You don’t want to be receiving your increased power output just before turning a corner, for example.
There are three categories that affect the handling style of the vehicles: Tires, Suspension, and Differential.
They are divided into types depending on how they change the handling characteristics of the car between race, drift, and on-road/off-road. The higher the level of the parts are will have a bigger impact on your handling.
Higher level tires improve the overall grip of the car, so if a car produces a lot of wheelspin off the line, then tires are a prime candidate to upgrade to improve acceleration and increasing cornering speed.
All vehicles have a pool of engines that can be bought and installed onto the car.
The number of available engines for each vehicle is generally around 7-10, but a few of the more extreme cars available in the game have limited amounts of available engines.
The available engines for each car have been selected in order to give a variety of sounds while having limits on sizes and performance in order to keep the end-game performance between vehicles more balanced.
So while there are some limitations on what can be done, there are still a lot of options! You can, for example, equip a 2.5 liter Flat 4 Turbo into a Volkswagen Beetle or an 8.4 liter V8 into a Mercedes-AMG GT. Why not install a 4.0 liter V8 into a BMW M3 E46? You can do that, too!
We know customization is hugely important to our players, so we’re always looking for new ways to let players personalize their cars.
Letting players customize the sound of their exhaust is something we’re excited to try out for the first time in NFS Heat. Players can experiment with tone, timbre, overrun, and pipe resonance to try to find the perfect balance for them.
All of these sliders modify the sound in slightly different ways on each car and at different performance levels. We’re hoping you’ll enjoy the new options and we’ll be listening out for feedback to help guide potential improvements.
There are two ways of acquiring parts in NFS Heat.
Your first option is by leveling up, which will cause new parts to become available in the Part Shop. You can either visit the Part Shop out in the world or enter the garage to buy performance parts.
The second method of acquiring parts is via certain in-game events.
These events are called High Heat and will appear as you progress through the game. Earning parts from High Heat events will involve you coming the top 5. However, there is a twist! You’ll need to escape the cops while you do it.
If you get busted after finishing a High Heat event, regardless of whether or not you finished in the top 5, you will lose the part.
The parts you earn through these events will be suitable for your current rep level and, once unlocked, you’ll find them available within the Part Shop for future purchases.
If you’re wanting the best parts, then you’re going to need to take part in the High Heat events. Fortune favours the bold.
We’ve also made some additional changes to parts, and in NFS Heat they won’t be soulbound, which means parts can be moved around from car to car.
We hope you have enjoyed reading this Under the Hood about Performance Customization and we are looking forward to seeing your amazing builds once NFS Heat launches in a few weeks time.
Ghost Driving Experience Team
© 2019 Electronic Arts Inc.