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Need for Speed: The Run (PS3)

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4 Reviews

Genre: Driving & Racing / Video Game for PlayStation 3 / Release Date: 2011-11-18 / Published by Electronic Arts

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    4 Reviews
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    • More +
      28.07.2013 13:13

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      a good game with lots of cars and action but not free roam

      This game is pretty good its different to other need for speeds as its not free roam which i think is a big disadvantage, this game has quality graphics and lots of action packed fun whilst doing the campaign as you race for your life across america trying to beat 200 opponents to win a big cash prize, the game has loads and loads of awesome tuned up cars , you cant customize like you could on previous nfs but theres more than one of the same car and you can put body kits on and change the color of the car still , the game is pretty cool with online features as well where you choose categorys of races from muscle to import or even mixed events.

      Whilst online and on campaign you level up and unlock more cars and theres even a challenge series to unlock special edition cars, trust me when i say its filled with action you can be in the snowy mountains when all of a sudden they start getting bombed causing a massive avalanche and you have to drift round boulders and all sorts so the game is awesome but its more of a hybrid compared to other need for speeds.

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    • More +
      20.03.2013 17:50
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      Fun for a quick blast, but not much long term challenge

      The Need for Speed series is a long-established and highly successful racing franchise. The Run, however, takes it in a slightly new direction which sees you taking part in an illegal road race from San Francisco to New York. The prize? A cool £25 million dollars. Surely that's got to be worth risking your No Claims Bonus for?

      The Run is split into 10 different stages covering the route from San Fran to New York, with each stage consisting of four or five different races. Unlike traditional racing games (which require you to get from point A to point B finishing in the highest position possible), The Run is more mission based. In order to complete a stage, you don't need to finish first, but must achieve certain goals (pass a certain number of cars, reach checkpoints within a time limit, catch up with a specific driver).

      This is a slightly different approach and is a lot of fun, although it won't appeal to racing purists and it would be nice if there were a little more straightforward racing involved. The objective-based approach does sometimes feel a little linear. For example, on some levels, you have to reach a certain race position (150th) by a certain point. This sounds like a challenge, but it's not really: if you work your way through the levels, you cannot fail to be in that position by that crucial point. Similarly, some levels require you to overtake a certain number of cars. If you manage to do that, you can't further improve your race position by over-taking other cars on that level - you can only overtake the number of cars required to meet the prescribed objective. Sometimes, it can feel as though your progress is being too carefully managed and controlled and whilst the structured approach provided by the narrative is good, a more meaningful Free Roam option would have been nice. As it is, once you've completed Story Mode, there's no real incentive to ever play it again.

      This impacts on the game in another way. Since there is a fixed objective for each level, they also tend to be quite short. On the one hand, this is a good thing: it makes the game more accessible if you want a quick race, but don't have much time. On the other hand, it also makes the game feel rather bitty, as you race for a few minutes then have to wait for the next level to load up. And loading times in The Run are a real issue. For every 5 minutes of gaming time, expect to spend 2-3 minutes sitting staring at the screen waiting for the next level to load.

      On the other hand, the objective-based gaming is a positive thing. You feel like there is a real point to all the racing and get a genuine sense of achievement and progression from completing a level - you actually feel like you are that bit closer to your target of finishing first in New York. It also makes the game highly addictive. Every time I failed a level, I hit Retry; every time I beat one, I was anxious to see what came next.

      It's a shame that the action is sometimes interrupted by some pointless interactive cut-scenes which require you to press a specific button at a specific time in order to escape from a hazardous (non-driving) situation. This is curiously at odds with the arcade racing in the rest of the game. It was presumably included to add a bit of variety, but for me they have no place in a racing game and simply didn't work.

      It's fair to say that The Run is not the most difficult of games. There is a generous use of Resets so that if you fail you can have another go from the last checkpoint, without having to repeat the entire level. Checkpoints are also liberally scattered around so you never have to repeat too much of what you have already done. In theory, Resets are limited but you get a generous amount on each stage (depending on the difficulty level selected) and start with a fresh allocation on every new stage.

      What can be frustrating is the inconsistency with which resets are applied (since they are triggered automatically). On some levels, you can come to a stop or be driving off-road for several seconds but be allowed to carry on. On other levels, going off the beaten track for even a nanosecond triggers an automatic reset, eating into the number you have available and meaning you have to re-trace your steps.

      On the plus side, The Run looks fantastic. Whilst some of the figures occasionally look a little jerky and artificial, the cars themselves are stunning and the cut-scenes that help move the story along also look good. The scenery appears extremely realistic and some well-known landmarks have been faithfully reproduced. Racing under the famous Chicago Railway Bridge is a real highlight and allows you to recreate your own French Connection moment!

      Not that you'll have much time to look at the scenery. The Run travels at a blisteringly fast pace. It might sound a no-brainer that a racing game needs to be fast, but I've come across a fair few in my time that have chugged along at a frustratingly slow pace. The speed of The Run makes for an exhilarating experience.

      Sound, too, is top notch with full speech, a satisfying roar of car engines and the pained squealing of metal when you crash. Ambient sound (other car engines, the honk of horns from indignant drivers as you cut them up) adds to the overall sense of atmosphere.

      Controls are nice and easy to pick up with just a few buttons used. More importantly, they feel right - your fingers naturally fall onto these buttons. Controls are easy to pick up but very comfortable for longer games. Crucially, they are highly responsive and give you a high degree of control over your car. If you crash into something, it's usually your fault!

      The cars themselves handle like a dream and all behave slightly differently. With a bit of practice, you'll start to develop a feel for the handling of each and prefer certain cars because they suit your style of driving (you can unlock extra cars and change cars at certain points in the game). Sure, the physics are probably not the most realistic real-world ones and the game is definitely an arcade racer rather than a simulation. That's fine for me, though, since I prefer the arcade approach of The Run over more technical titles like Gran Turismo. When I sit down to play a game, I generally want a blast of arcade action to take my mind off the stresses and strains of the day. The Run fits the bill perfectly.

      New copies can be picked up for around £15; second hand copies a little bit cheaper. Whilst I wouldn't have wanted to pay the original full price (£40) for it, I'm more than happy with the game I got for the money I spent.

      (c) Copyright SWSt 2013

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      • More +
        12.09.2012 20:58
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        A average racing game

        Introduction

        Need for Speed: The Run is the 18th game in the Need for Speed series it's developed by EA Black Box and Published by Electronic Arts. Need for Speed: The Run uses DICE'S Frostbite 2 engine.

        You join a massive group of illicit and illegal street racers in a high stakes race across the United States of America.

        Pros and Cons

        Pros

        Great Graphics
        Good Frame rate
        Well throughout storyline
        Enjoyable concept

        Cons

        Repetitive Game play
        Same tracks have been repeated and have been turned backwards which is disappointing
        Excellent concept just poorly made
        Story mode is too short

        My opinion

        When this game first came out it really had me interested with the idea of joining a race across the United States of America. Most of us have heard of the Gumball race and might of even watched some of it. I like the idea of getting a supper car and gunning it across the states. Obviously racing on roads is illegal and would never do it in real life but that's why I enjoyed the idea of this game when it first came out so much.

        Game play

        This game has quite literary it's fast bits and it's slow bits. You have The Run Game mode which is the main storyline of racing across the United States this mainly winning the stages of sections between the cities you mainly race 10 opponents at each sections.

        Then you have sections when you have to overtake an opponent in a time limit then it knocks out the opponent that you over took. Finally you have racing battles where you are racing one or two other opponents these are more like boss battles.

        The game play has it's merits in the fact that it can be very enjoyable at times when you are racing down the highway you get a great feel for the game and the racing and wow at times you get a massive rush when racing down the highway or breaking just at the right point before a corner.

        Then you have the bad parts the frustrating bits when you slightly go off the road and it resets you back to the last checkpoint or you crash and total your car. The thing about this game is it's such a great idea but it's very poorly been put together which is a shame.

        The only break that you get from racing is interactive cut scenes when you have to button bash key time events this is not very good.

        Storyline

        The storyline is not very good but to be honest you don't have very many cut scenes apart from the interactive ones mentioned above. The storyline is very basic at best.

        Summery

        It's a average racing game at the best of times, has good game play the graphics are good. But overall it's a disappointment and I don't recommend you to buy this if anything it's a rental.

        Best prices

        Amazon.co.uk £14.91
        Play.com £14.98

        This review is also on Ciao.co.uk

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      • More +
        24.01.2012 16:32
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        The Run Gallery does not live up to the high reputation built by the franchise.

        There was a time when I was addicted to racing games. Racing games have always being exciting and fun as it gives the maximum adrenaline push of all video genres as you make your way past the finish line. It is a sense of achievement. So I could not resist the temptation pinching it (beg and borrow to be honest) it from a friend over a weekend.

        EASE OF USE

        The loading is a painfully slow. It takes over a minute to load at each of the levels. The result is that between every stage you can jump across to your fridge and grab a snack and still be sure that the game is yet to load. This is only true for single player mode.
        The worse comes when you want to load multiplayer mode. This time is takes at least 5 to 7 minutes to load. That means now you could run down to your nearest corner shop to grab a snack and still be sure that the game would not have loaded. Sometimes it goes into sleep mode i.e. freezes and refuses to load.

        When playing single player the awful experience of waiting for the game to load gets magnified by the fact that the game level loaded might not even last enough for you to finish your snacks while playing - it might get over in less than the time it took to load - exaggeration but it feels thus if the game has lasted for say double the time it took to load. I would have surely liked to have the game -length lasting longer, say a minimum of 7 minutes especially if it takes over a minute to load.
        PHYSICS and Artificial Intelligence (AI)

        It suffers from really botchy physics. There are occasional systems crashes which get worse in multiplayer mode where the player position gets pretentious due to loading lags.
        The view modes - first person, third person and bonnet camera should depend on player's preference. The first two do. The bonnet camera can never be a player's preference unless the player wants to get dizzy by the end of the game. The camera bumps, jumps and moves from side to side mimicking the movement of the car which is just fine for a moment or so but is an irritant and health hazard if you would like to finish the race. Though this must be a graphics blotch but at this time the bonnet textures gets obliterated into a messy blurred smudge or worse outlined dots.
        The Autolog innovation to track your progress against your social network friends does not do its job properly. It wastes a lot of time establishing connection without being of any great help otherwise.

        The AI is not very intelligent after all. It does not sync well with the game concept that allows for far greater freedom to run your own race. The AI simply fixes itself to two points on the map - start and a finish and does not provide you with any degree of freedom.
        GRAPHICS

        Electronic Arts (EA) the company behind this game franchise usually does a very good job with graphics and it has not been a let-down though I wished it to be more stable coming from the drawing boards of such an accomplished game company.

        The graphics are extravagant. The landscapes are of very high quality and it changes quickly as the vehicle races along its course. The combination of the arcade(y) feeling and highly geared simulation is simply exhilarating. The racer can feel his vehicle swirl from side to side as he manoeuvres it avoiding collision on way to the finish line. And if they do collide, the impact is doubly accentuated by extremely powerful visuals coming out of the Frostbite 2 engine which was also used for those stunning visuals of explosions in Battlefield 3.

        The only glitch that I can think of is the frame rate dropping off at regular intervals but then this might be because of Physics blotch rather than something to do with graphics.

        CONCEPT and STORYLINE

        The race games generally do not lay emphasis on this aspect but Need for Speed - The Run Gallery is an exception. The concept of a cross country motor rally/race is exquisitely sound.
        The concept is to race across the American highway from San Francisco to New York as you progress through your levels via Vegas and Detroit. That means that if you manage to complete all the levels than technically you would have reached New York passing through Vegas and Detroit. And you have 200 competitors to beat to get the first position.

        Quite rare for race game, Need for Speed also has a storyline wedded into the US debt crisis juxtaposed with the time in American history when the mob (mafia) writ ran large. There is this guy, Jack Rourke, a nondescript driver indebted to the mob and the only way he could pay his debts is by winning a 3000 mile cross-America race against 200 other drivers.

        GAMEPLAY

        Carrying on from the storyline, it seems that I (Jack) had to negotiate my way to New York from San Francisco to win the American highway race and get 10 % of the $25 million prize money to pay of my debt to the mafia and save my skin. But then it dawns that what I have to do is to actually race my way through short levels from one city to another right till I reach New York provided I care to (or shall I say manage to) complete all levels or before game exhaustion kills you before the mafia does. The extremely short level puts you off and shuts off your desire to achieve the final objective. All that I am doing now is jumping from one snippet of a cross country motor race to another. Only words that springs for this sort of gameplay - utterly fragmented and disorderly.

        The reason for such jerky gameplay is partially to do with the unnecessary effort to create a strong storyline. So the position achieved at each level determines your position at the next level - you cannot start anew at any of the levels. Jack has after all to pay his debt and save himself from the mob.

        In order to advance the structured storyline to its logical conclusion the race levels itself are frequented with unnecessary events. It does more to break the flow of the player rather than add any impetus to the sordid storyline.

        Either you need to outdo a number of competitors on course to the finish or outdo the clock to gain few seconds. Quite bizarrely if you fail against the clock you are back to square one at the start of your current level which by itself hinders the flow of the storyline. Which cross country race would allow you to go back and restart again?

        There are other bizarre moments bordering on the ridiculous. I can pull up at a gas station and change cars midway through my race. Quite fine, not so questionable, maybe. As I am busy selecting my favourite car paint and right accessories, my competitors are also having a break (Kit-Kat or Starbuck's, I am not sure) i.e. they hardly move and I can go back and start my competition again. Never heard of a cross-country race where you force your competitor to wait for you to resume.

        Also the tarmac changes from one level to another - never seen highways laid that way even in America.

        The cinematic cut-scenes and QTEs have been added with just the precise intention to advance a storyline and draw on the characters emotions. However, these are obtrusive and very distractive. They just pop in your face and asks you to follow some on-screen instruction to leave you in the middle of the race to resume once gain.

        This type of gameplay has however ensured a 5 hour runtime that becomes 10 hours if you include the challenge mode. It becomes repetitive by the end though I encountered some new variations every now and then.

        BALANCE

        The balance of the game is lop-sided heavily favouring the computer-generated cars. These competitor vehicles clock devilish speeds that are impossible to match. They also seems to wait for you to engineer overtake manoeuvres. Even on full boost very near to the finish line these monsters are capable of overtaking you with complete aplomb.

        The lop-sidedness becomes more obvious when you encounter non-race vehicles whose sole purpose is to obstruct you suddenly. At first this gives an element of surprise but after few repetitions it becomes clear that they have been purposefully designed for such purpose.

        The easy levels are designed to get you hooked but it becomes too easy and hence boring. On the other hand, hard levels are simply too tough to negotiate and you may be inclined to leave it frustrated. Honestly, I left it after a dozen tries on the first hard level so any level higher than this is out of my purview and is not covered in my review either.

        Poor balance.

        LONGEVITY

        The novelty will wear of very quickly. I got over it on a weekend.

        Sometimes it looks to be a fresh race game with a good concept and a reasonable storyline with brief visual thrills but the technical flaws coupled with repugnant story advancement the desire to play wears thin as the game progresses.

        I do not think even my game maniac friend would have played it for days and so yielded easily when I begged to lend me the game. Maybe he wanted to get rid of it lest he would start playing it out of boredom.

        MULTIPLAYER

        This seems to be the plus point of this game. The graphics is great though the physics lead much to be desired. Then, as said earlier, the technical blotches diminish the quality of the multiplayer experience despite the neat concepts.

        MUSIC/SOUND

        Loopy and typically franchise sound effects.

        FINAL WORD

        Need for Speed: The Run Gallery does not live up to the high reputation built by the franchise. EA has bungled in its enthusiasm to offer something unique - a race game with an emotional narrative having a structured storyline. In my opinion, it is good in parts but has a long list of gameplay and technical weaknesses.

        Also reviwed in Ciao Uk under same name and title

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