Want to know what one of WhichCar’s most heavily-trafficked gaming stories of last year was? It’s the one which confirmed that Need For Speed Heat wouldn’t support the use of racing wheel peripherals at its launch, despite the game’s developers boasting of a fancy new handling model.
Clearly, plenty of you wanted something a little more sophisticated than the ol’ gamepad.
But now a couple of months have passed since the hotly-anticipated latest instalment to the Need For Speed franchise went on sale, and it appears that the volume of inquiries and complaints about Heat’s gamepad-only experience was enough to prompt Electronic Arts to enable the use of wheels. Hooray, right?
The update will roll out at the end of the month, and right now the list of wheels that have been confirmed to work with Heat is fairly small. For Thrustmaster the T300RS, TX, T150 and TMX are compatible, while the Logitech G29/G920 twins and Fanatec CSL Elite round out the list. Others may also work, however EA and Ghost Games have yet to test them.
Need For Speed Heat’s end-of-month update will also bring a few other features. The emote wheel from NFS Payback gets grafted in to make it easier to communicate with other human players in online mode without having to use voice chat, and driving through a fuel station will also reset any cosmetic damage to your paint and graphics, rather than just repairing the mechanicals and removing any dents.
Those driving manually with a gamepad will also find that they can now change gear when in proximity to an event or garage rather than entering said event or garage, which should make for a slightly less frustrating experience.
EA will also add their first purchasable perk for Heat (slightly controversial, given everyone hated the loot box mechanics and in-game monetisation of its predecessor, NFS Payback), though it’s in the form of a fairly innocuous map upgrade that reveals all hidden locations for flamingos, fuel stations, graffiti spots, billboards and other activities.
Completionists will probably appreciate it, but regular gamers will likely just be content to find those locations through exploration. It’s not yet clear how much the map upgrade will cost in real-world dollars.
Intriguingly, Electronic Arts also dropped a big hint that an upcoming update will add even more to the Heat experience, finishing their announcement for the January update with this five-word promise: “there will be more cars”. Watch this space.