Need For Speed The Run
EA Games • MSRP: from $39.99
We were blogging about and posting videos for NFS The Run for months before its release but now we’ve had an opportunity to sit down and play the game we were still blown away by the cinematic effects and impressive graphics. The single-player campaign begins with a movie-style opening sequence that creates an unnerving version of reality. The lighting and impressive reflections in the cars’ bodywork are accompanied by frantic action and lush scenery. The plot is predictable: you’re on the run from the mob and have been entered into a cross-country race from San Francisco to New York. It’s your chance to escape and make it big. The next 3000 miles unfold as you evade the police to escape San Fran, crossing the Golden Gate, heading into the mountains and on to Vegas. Along the way, Euro fans will love the car choices. For example, the opening sequence has you escaping in an Audi RS4. Then the first race stages have a carbon-clad BMW M3 Coupe parked in the garage for you to choose. And it gets better: there is a Mk1 Golf, Audi quattro, E30 M3, classic 911s, up to the latest McLaren and Bugatti Veyron.
While previous NFS games felt more like carmageddon, The Run makes you want to preserve your ride. Not only because they look so good but because you need to push hard to make up distance, not lose time spinning into the scenery. There’s a great mix of city, country and freeway roads, allowing petrolheads to live out their darkest street racing fantasies.
If there’s any criticism, it’s that the driving lacks finesse. As we mentioned in a previous issue, this isn’t a simulator like Forza 4; it’s a racing game where the fun is in the high-speed maneuvers and crazy swerves to avoid oncoming traffic. It’s about passing rivals, meeting time goals and pushing the car hard. From the crazy nitrous boost you accumulate while driving, you’re always going too fast for the corners. Unfortunately, the brakes are wooden so you simply press hard and get on the gas. The fastest line seems to be the most destructive – sliding around the barriers at speed is quicker than braking and accelerating through a turn but again, that’s the nature of this game. Overall, we wish the game had better driving physics, but its entertaining nonetheless and doesn’t detract from the overall experience.
In the Multiplayer mode, you create a profile and join a Playlist to get started. You’re then given objectives to unlock icons, cars and XP credits like the single-player campaign. You get extra points for leading a race, winning, passing, drifting, etc. When you join a session it comprises a number of races. Your result in each race combines to give your overall position and unlock further prizes. The top prize in each session is decided by a roulette wheel, ranging from cars to trophies and XP. Racing online is as fast and furious as the single-player. It’s perhaps more frustrating to see rivals rush at full speed into the crash barriers and pass you around the outside when you’re attempting to take the proper line. However, the crash-and-turn technique often leads to tears at the next bend when they plough through the barriers or over a cliff, leaving you to take the checkered flag. In general, we probably enjoyed the cinematic single-player mode over the multiplayer, but a group of friends can have hours of fun pushing each other into the scenery online. So Need For Speed The Run gets a eurotuner thumbs up for being a fun way to stay warm over winter. Check our full review at eurotuner.com for more info — Greg