Need For Speed The Run Review
Run for your life.
EA and Black Box are taking a different approach for this newest Need for Speed game. Rather than competing in standalone events, the game is one long event. Welcome to The Run, a race from San Francisco to New York. Jump in your ride and be the first one to make it across the country. Not only is this a new mode but it aims to introduce a story to the series. Well, more of a story than we’ve seen in past games. A simulation game, this is not. But does it work?
The main game mode in Need for Speed The Run is, of course, The Run. If you thought that the one thing missing from your favorite racing game was a story than you’re in luck. The Run starts with you escaping from “The Mob”, meeting up with some lady and entering a mysterious race across the country. Needing to get the hell out of Dodge anyway, our hero speeds out of San Fran.
This is definitely a cool, if not an original, idea for a racing game. Unfortunately Black Box defeats this concept right out of the gate. The Run is broken up into a series of stages that have multiple races in each stage. The majority of the races will task you with gaining X number of places by the end of this particular stretch of highway. If your goal is to move up 10 places in the race, you must move up 10 places or fail the stage and start over. Once you pass 10 racers the stage is over. My problem with this setup is that there is no consequence for failing and no way to better yourself. To me, this totally defeats the purpose of a cross-country race. You can never get ahead or fall behind you just complete stages, which makes this just like any other need for speed game. The races don’t offer much in the way of variety as you’ll be passing X people or hitting X number of checkpoints in almost every level.
In a further attempt to make this a more tense and different Need for Speed experience, Black Box have fallen back on the trusty “Active Time Event.” If that doesn’t mean anything to you, what I’m saying is that, the sequences when you’re out of your car are cut scenes where you will occasionally have to hit the button that flashes up on the screen. Fail to hit X at the right time and instead of kicking that cop he tackles you and you reload the checkpoint. This gimmick needs to be left in the past where it belongs. Either let me control the driver or just let me watch the movie. Make up your mind.
The Run does look great and play well too. You’ll find the familiar Need for Speed racing feel present here so the game can still be some fun, if you can overlook the fact that there aren’t very many cars and these cars offer no customization beyond paint color.
On top of the hefty single player content, NFS The Run has a full multiplayer suite as well. You can play Sessions in different playlists of specific types of cars. Each Session is broken down into multiple races, on different tracks, and the racer with the most points at the end of the Session wins.
The playlists are Mixed Competition, Muscle Car Battles, Exotic Sprint Racing, The Underground, NFS Edition Racing, and Supercar Challenge. So depending on your preferred type of car you would pick the appropriate playlist. Each playlist has solo objectives to complete, on top of winning the race, such as complete X amount of races with a certain car, Rank 5th or better in a session, and Place 5th or better in 3 races. Each completed objective earns you XP and the great part about that is your XP is carried over between Solo and Multiplayer, so you are always working towards the same Driver Level. Earn will earn XP as well for complete tasks in the race such as drifting bonuses, You can also create a playgroup and invite some friends and work towards team objectives as well, which earn you more bonus XP.
I like the approach they took with the multiplayer and had fun with it. I don’t know if it’s going to convince people who enjoy the heavier simulation games such as Forza 4, but those that prefer a bit more arcade style racing will have a good time with NFS The Run online.
Need for Speed The Run’s achievements are fairly uninteresting. Complete X stage, reach X driver level, complete all challenges. Not much thought went into this 1000 points.
Need for Speed The Run looks great and plays well but doesn’t deliver. In some areas, like the cars, it is a step backward from other Need for Speed games. If you’re a really big fan of the Need for Speed style, and you have some friends to play multiplayer with, you may want to grab this one, everyone else should skip it.