Need For Speed: The Run – Skid-marks Everywhere. | Gamerillaz

Need For Speed: The Run – Skid-marks Everywhere.

Need For Speed: The Run – Skid-marks Everywhere.
 

Need for Speed: The Run is the latest in the long running and sometimes painful Need for Speed series. So, what is this one all about? Well in a nutshell, you are Jackson “Jack” Rourke, a racer with a dubious past and you’re in trouble with the mafia. The only way to get yourself out of the hole you dug for yourself is to take part in a cross-country race and pocket Twenty Five Million Dollar prize money. Sounds easy, until you find out there’s three thousand miles and two hundred drivers in between you and that cool twenty five mill. Right, so that all sounds good. But that’s kind of where the goodness ends and the bitterness begins.

Right from the get go, you’re thrust into an interactive cut scene chase, and this is where we get our first real glimpse of what’s to come in The Run. This is actually more of an eye opening kick in the nuts than a glimpse. The handling is what you expect from a Need for Speed title. I can hear you all out there now say, “But John, it’s an arcade racer!” I know it is, but it’s still awful. The cars go from feeling like they’re on rails and producing as much down force as a Formula One car, to acting like a drunk nun in a Lamborghini on a skid pan. Unfortunately, this is not the only thing that’s wrong with this game, which let’s face it, for a racing title of any description, the handling should be the foundation that the whole thing is built on, with the physics being the first line of bricks. Here, the physics, or lack of, are hilarious. As you race across the vast country of the United States, you meet all sorts of different weather and road conditions. However, as I was speeding down the mountain passes in Colorado doing over 150 miles an hour, never once did I consider that I should slow down a little bit because of the snow and ice that was on the road. Oh, Hell No! Open that NOS bottle and let fly. Although you get to drive some seriously epic cars and the handling does differ a little bit from car to car, the one thing that they all have in common is speed. Honestly, I am surprised that mini vans don’t move as fast as a Porches 911 GT3 in NFS: The Run, given that BHP figures, 0-60 times, top speed and torque figures mean absolutely nothing. It’s all about a NOS bottle and not breaking at the corners.


The mammoth task of racing over three thousand miles is broken down into ten stages with different objectives throughout, such as straight racing, one on one, the odd mandatory cop chase, and an end of stage challenge. End of stage challenges include trying to outrace an avalanche, escaping an oil refinery while being chased by a helicopter with heavy armed goons inside and moving like the wind while dodging New York subway trains, which are quite cool. As you progress through the game, you do get to unlock some cool motors. The way you access these cars in-game is by driving into a petrol station and selecting your new wheels, while the rest of the world is paused, so you might as well have a comfort break for yourself while you are in there. If on the other hand you want to get straight back into the action you can always take your “comfort brake” during the loading times, which are pyramid building long. If you ‘make a balls’ of a stage, that’s ok, NFS:TR has you covered. Depending on the difficulty level, there are a number of flash backs available to you and trust me, after the first one you won’t want to get used to seeing another, as again the reloading times here are mind numbingly long as well.


So does The Run have any good points, well yes it does. There’s an old school Need for Speed feeling about it that fans will enjoy and some of the locations are really exciting, and a new experience in the racing genre. From the long straight roads of the plains, to the New Jersey Turn Pike and the autumnal forests of the east coast, the game brings you through some really unique locations. When you think that the Frostbite 2 engine from Battlefield 3 is the powerhouse behind NFS:TR you can’t help but get a bit giddy and excited, but unfortunately it’s a bit more of a weakling then a powerhouse, with the graphics looking slightly blurry, and it has some shocking frame rate issues. At first, I thought it was the TV so I tried a different game. Nope, that looked smashing, and then I thought it must have been my eyes, so I tried a new pair of them and nope the old pair were fine, so it must be the game, which is a pity. Where you see the power behind the engine is at the cut scenes, which are rendered beautifully, so much so that you can even see the pore marks on the characters’ faces. It makes you realise exactly what they have missed out on.

Autolog makes a return in The Run, so your friends can track your progress and times through the game. As does the gallery mode, so you can upload your own photographic masterpieces for the world to see. What also rears its ugly puss infested head is the new trend of having an online pass to access online multiplayer and certain other feature of the game like uploading your pics etc., which is ok if you buy the game outright, but for the pre-owned rental market is a real shame.

So after you race across the country what else is there to do?


Well, other than going back to beat your friend’s time in any of the stages in the single player, there is the Series Challenge which, as you would have guessed, pits you against the clock in a series of different locations based around the single player game. These build up your XP points and unlock more fine machinery for you to tinker about in. But if you’re looking for some real action, the multiplayer mode is where you should be heading. Although it does feel a little restrictive, the 16 player multiplayer races are great fun, with race events like Supercar Challenge, NFS Edition Racing, The Underground, Mixed Competition, Exotic Sprint, and Muscle Cars to spend a few hours in.

The story is never explained in any great detail after a certain point, and after a while it becomes obsolete, feeling like a bolt onto the game which was scribbled down on the back of a napkin during a coffee break. The game has some serious flaws, but there is something there. Like a moth drawn to a light or a crack head to a smoking piece of glass, I wanted to finish The Run. With the massive loading times after you finish the single player and mess about a bit with the challenges and MP areas, there’s not really a lot there to bring you back. When you consider that this game has been in development for three years, the graphic engine that it’s built on, and some of the other racing titles that have come out in those three years in both the “Sim” and “Arcade” genres, it’s a really bad showing. While it does show some glimmer of a great game in there trying desperately to fight its way out, the amount of problems with the game smother it at birth. If you’re a Need for Speed junkie, you will probabley really enjoy it, but if you’re a racer you’ll play it and forget about it in two days.

Twos thing that Need for Speed: The Run has thaught me is:
1.    If you own a super car and want your automatic gear box to change from forth to fifth, sixth or heaven forbid seventh gear, you need to use NOS.
2.    Why spend millions on a 240 mph supercar when a police jeep is faster?

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