Narcos: Rise of the Cartels succeeds completely at just one thing: It makes me interested in watching the Netflix series. The game had a lot of potential, and at least superficially it looked like something that may be better than the standard advertorial we’ve come to expect from this kind of tie-in game.
In present day, Need for Speed Heat seems limited, reminding me of all the things that made it distinct, but still hedging against them in case I don’t find them enjoyable. I’m confused about what would have made this game better, but the series seems just as confused about what it wants to be.
The player character customization is also a lot more detailed than its Division cousin, which of course sets up an opportunity to throw even more microtransactions at the player. The good news is that player progression isn't tied to anything that can be bought for real money. Though the in-world currency is sold for real cash, there is no need to buy it if you'd rather avoid the premium economy.
All sports video games are educational in some way; even MLB The Show will teach me new things about hitting every year. But the video game that both educates me and develops me as a fan of the sport is really doing its job, regardless of the visuals and gameplay fidelity (which are still take-it-for-granted impeccable in F1 2019).