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Need for Speed Run PS3 Review - -
Need for Speed Run
Reviewed by
Ash Pinch
Need for Speed Run PS3 Review. Overall, a true middle runner for the Need for Speed series, some aspects hold up, others not so much.

Gameplay 9.5
Graphics 7.5
Sound 8.5
Value 6.5
Distributor: EA
Review Date:
Dec 2011
Ash Pinch


Need for Speed: The Run

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.   

The story driving the story along is that you are on a the run from the mob and must race across America to win enough money to ensure your safety, a pretty average premise that really does nothing more than give an excuse to be racing across the country, other than doing so would be fun regardless.  The cut scenes look nice, the only issue is that they feature the much hated quick-time events, I found myself watching on spot on the screen waiting or the icon to appear, missing much of the videos anyway.  The story is nothing memorable and does little to really support the action, it even comes across as being far too serious for the over-the-top world that is Need for Speed.  The also wonít take very long to finish, if you are expecting a genuine marathon race across America you will be sorely disappointed. 

The action is broken up into ten stages, each from a different part of America; this is further broken down again into separate section.  These races feature different objective, pass x number of cars, recover x amount of time, it doesnít take long before it become apparent that you are essentially doing the same thing over and over again.  The competitors are generally challenging enough, it is just the same challenge over and over. 

For such a long-standing series there have always been releases that struggle with the handling, some releases are fantastic (NFS: Hot Pursuit) and others feel awful (NFS: Pro Street).  The Run fits somewhere in between, when driving flat out the handling feels great, but when there are some tighter corners things get a bit more difficult, changing direction is a bit of a juggling act at times.  Something that was immensely frustrating while racing was the traffic, granted it is needed, but when you have cars pull out in front of you from side streets, ruining a great run like this can really sour the experience.  There is a rewind function but this generally does not sit well with me, and the rewinding is slow and really takes away from the adrenaline rush.  

The graphics for The Run are really a stand out; the cars are incredibly detailed and really show off each model.  There are a range of car classes too to suit all different car fans.  The cars are all beautifully crafted and also appear fantastic when racing.   The scenery also looks nice, even if it just rushes straight past at 200mph, there is also a good variety of scenery as you travel from San Francisco to New York.  The graphics are really the highlight of the game, the new Frostbite 2 engine has been utilised very well for this racing title.  I didnít experience any frame-rate issues and everything ran smoothly during the entire play time. 

As always, sound is another stand out in this game, the cars all sound fantastic.  The big V8ís sound beefy and growl whereas the V12 give that sound of pure power, when coupled with a good sound system this sounds incredible, it has also been optimised well for those fortunate enough to play this on a surround sound system.  The crash effects really do sound as though the world may be coming to an end.  The soundtrack wasnít bad for The Run, no really big name bands on there but it does the job, the music always feels at place and compliments the racing, it never takes any attention away from the racing, whether negative or positive, it simply compliments it. 

Need for Speed: The Run is another addition to the long standing NFS franchise; I must admit that I was pretty excited for this release with Black Boxís history with some good NFS titles.  However, I was also very sceptical as Black Box have released some of the not-so-good games of the series.  The Run is a real middle runner of the series, the handling is definitely somewhere around the middle of the pack, the graphics are up near the front and the sound sits about the same as the rest of the releases.  Unfortunately, The Runís biggest let down is definitely the story; it takes itself far too seriously and is a slightly ridiculous premise to begin with.  There is also not a huge amount of replay value or things to keep you coming back.  Overall, a true middle runner for the Need for Speed series, some aspects hold up, others not so much.


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