Summary: While I prefer racing sims, sometimes it's nice to not have to worry about technical details like race formation, proper lines and vehicle specifications. Sometimes you just want to go fast. EA's Need for Speed has always served as the other side of racing for me -- that fast and fun escape. And by now, 18 games in, they should know exactly how to make racing fun. Their latest, Need for Speed: The Run , is definitely fun.
Excerpt: Instead of ushering itself in with a sprint, Need for Speed The Run began with a stumble when the first portion anyone saw when the game was revealed at E3 was an on-foot quick-time event. Later we were assured that these QTE moments were only 5% of the game. In fact, the QTEs make up much less than that – this is absolutely a racing game through and through. The Run simply adds some Hollywood crime-movie flair to raise the stakes, and it works.
Pros: Exciting setpieces, Satisfying driving model, Balanced and well-paced events
Cons: Short if you don't replay it, Unforgiving event structure, Multiplayer should have had cops and mob chases
Excerpt: Rockets are being fired into the snow-covered peaks of the Rocky Mountains, causing a series of avalanches as I attempt to manoeuvre my incredibly expensive supercar down a snaking downhill road. Chunks of ice crash onto the track reducing visibility, followed by large boulders that block portions of the path and cause me to swerve violently from side to side.
Summary: Need for Speed: The Run takes players on a cross country competition for the promise of rich rewards, but ultimately the function of delivering the narrative hinders an otherwise decent driving game.
Pros: Great environments, Assortment of vehicles drive quite well, Varied levels
Cons: Poorly executed narrative, Odd gas station car changer, Long load times and poor rewind system
Conclusion: The Bad Useless drifting makes for a bland driving experience Never feels like an epic cross-country race Pointless QTE sections Need For Speed: The Run is available to buy from Play.com At HEXUS, we invite the companies whose products we test to comment on our articles. If any company representatives for the products reviewed choose to respond, we'll publish their commentary here verbatim.
Excerpt: The Need for Speed series has a very strong history; however there have been some serious peaks and troughs in the releases. Black Box falls right into this, with some stellar additions a number of years ago, but who have failed to live up to much of the hype surrounding their releases in recent years. Need for Speed: The Run attempts to bring something new to the NFS formula, a story.
Conclusion: It’s something of a shame that The run ended up as the halfway house between Criterion’s efforts and the madcap racers that Black Box usually produce then, as the result is a curiously half-baked and tentative step forward for a developer that needed to find its feet after the technical issues and wayward pacing that plagued Undercover .
Summary: It's called The Run. An illicit, high-stakes race across the country. The only way to get your life back is to be the first from San Francisco to New York. No speed limits. No rules. No allies. All you have are your driving skills and sheer determination as you battle hundreds of the world's most notorious drivers on the country's most dangerous roads.
Conclusion: I wanted to like The Run and early on, I genuinely did, but things quickly started to fall apart, culminating in some courses that were nothing but pure frustration. A few bright spots and interesting online aren't enough to escape mediocrity.