on 20 December 2011
Don't often write reviews, but I was surprised by how differently this game is perceived by different people.
I've played pretty much all the NFS games on various platforms. I've experienced a quite diverse level of enjoyment depending on the installment I was playing. My favourite by far remains NFS Hot pursuit on the old Gamecube. That was just superb.
So I was curious about 'The Run'. The cops were in it, and you had a set course to run. No tuning of cars (barring the odd body kit) and no real chance to buy/upgrade you car either unless you actually unlock it first.
In fact, it felt a bit like the old Cannonball run movies......
So the game itself. It's not rocket science and it plays a lot like previous NFS games. The graphics were ok, but nothing special. Sound is good. Handling is arcadey, as you would expect. Drifting round corners is a lot easier than you think it's going to be. It's bascially not a hard game to pick up at all. The resets are not a bad idea as it means you can crash out three quarters of a way through a race, and not have to start from scratch. I admit, it's cheating a bit, but I prefer that rather than having to redo a full 10 minute race.
The cop roadblocks are fairly easy to avoid, or blast through. In fact, I found that the cops were just a nuissance,but I also never really felt like I was in any danger of being taken down. It's inevitably a bad judgement call that will send you flying off the side of the road, rather than pressure from the police. So I'm not going to say they add much to the game play. The only thing they add is traffic. When you're trying to pick a gape between two racers just in front of you, and a police car nudges you off target by an inch, it can really annoy you, but that's about it. The mob encounters are considerably trickier as they tend to shoot at you, but I won't spoil the plot (if you can call it that.....).
There are cut scenes where you're out of the car, that require a bit of button pushing at the right time, in the right sequence, but they're just an interlude to the driving. Not too hard, and not particularly interesting, but not bad either.
The cars are fantastically reproduced. They look stunning, and as you progress and get slightly faster cars unlocked, it becomes quite exciting getting behind the wheel of a supercar.
I also found the idea of driving accross the US quite good. The change of scenery is very well done. The driving conditions also change as the climate changes. It's just good old fashioned fun. There are shortcuts and jumps, hairpins etc to make you test your skills. All good.
The gas stations are indeed a bit weird. In fact they appear every now and then to allow you to change your car. They're good at the beginning of a race as you can change to a car suited to the course, but every now and then,they're right at the end of a race/course. This seems a bit weird, especially as you're often neck and neck with a rival at the end of a course, so the idea of stopping to change cars is ludicrous.
Nonetheless, this is a great game. I have also got, BF3 on my PC, Batman Arkham City and Assasins Creed revelations as my current games, either on my PC or on my PS3. I spend most of my game time (as much as my wife allows me) on BF3 on my PC as I play online with friends. Before I got NFS, I was occasionally taking breaks to play Batman. Assasins is on hold for a later date. When I got hold of NFs, I honestly couldn't stop playing. Its addictive because you can see the goal you need to achieve, and if you're competitive like me, you'll want to keep playing till you to your goal. The fact that this involves racing ludicrously fast cars around lovely rural and city settings in the US, being chased by the mob and the cops, is surely just a bonus.
I loved it. It's meant to be about having fun. This game certainly delivers.
on 19 December 2011
Dear Fellow-Gamers, this is my first review on Amazon and it is for this particular game because I strongly feel that it is underrated. I own quite a lot of racing games on the PS3 and on other systems so I feel that I can compare it with other games from the same genre.
Graphics: In my eyes simply stunning, when you stop the car, the graphics can look a bit blocky and there is room for improovements on details such as the vegetation, but as soon as you are racing along with 200km/h (and that is what you are doing most of the time) it looks and mooves great with a very satisfying feeling for speed and draw distance.
Sound: The music is nothing special (again to my personal taste) however the engine sounds are beefy and they differ a lot from car to car. Also the engine sounds from your competition are nicely done and are true audio candy.
Gameplay: Here I have my issues with most of the critical reviews! The game is fantastic and satisfying if you like simple, fast arcade action. This game is not a super hard car simulation but rather a "Test Drive" (an accolade classic, well known to the elder gamers among you) on steroids! The game is fast paced, the story simple and the action comes immediate with the ignition of your virtual engine. The steering is perfect in my eyes for an arcade racer and the content/value for the asked for price is great. I am again and again amazed what kind of progress the game industry went through in the last 20 years, this game is a dream come true for me and reminds me of old arcade racer gems such as Out Run, Test Drive, Chase H.Q. Also the choice of cars is solid, with a nice choice of the most expensive and exclusive supercars.
Hardcore Driving Simulation fans however are likely to be disappointed with this BlueRay disc and should rather stick with Gran Turismo.
kind regards, your Retrogamer.
on 18 November 2011
I have know idea what game the other reviewers are playing but it can't be the run....
There are a few bad points... ie the beginning sequence makes you push a bunch of buttons to escape a car, very tedious and a video would have done. Also the crashes are good but you only ever see the damage to your own car and so no satifaction destoying a camper van on the way to their jollies... The pop ups giving you info 'ie pull into a petrol station to change your car' seem to come at the worst polissble time, the only times I seem to crash are right after those bloody pop ups which thank fully are only about once per race and will hopefully stop once I've got further (3 hours into playing). My final niggle is the story line, so you escape from a car and get spotted on the run, so surely the idea is your on the run? but wait now your racing against 200 other cars, confusing and not fitting to the title and game... Oh and the Music score is pants
HOWEVER, the gameplay, graphics, controls, cars, tracks etc are STUNNING, I own a PS3 and a 360 and can hands down say I have had more fun with this than any other racing game, PERIOD, beats GT, Forza, Dirt, F1 etc etc, the graphics are stunning, the cars are gleaming and every detail is there.... I am blown away by this game....
The whole point of a game for me is to be immersed and enjoy myself and that is what this gives, it's not like GT and F1 where you need days of playing to perfect the driving skills, this is a get it out the box and play type of game, no experience required to win first time..... Great for a Friday night when you've finsihed work and just want to kick some A$$.
And to think I got this on pre-order from Amazon for £24.99 makes me even happier (37.99 on the day of release).
Great Job, Recommend
on 27 June 2012
I read a few online reviews that suggested this game is not that good, but I still went ahead and ordered it (I prefer to try things for myself than rely solely on reviews). Having never played any of the games in the Need For Speed series, I was quite keen to try it out as a newcomer. The graphics are fantastic, the gameplay is brilliant and it is one of those games I just cannot switch off - it really does keep you hooked.
The Need for Speed series had for a long time languished in the sleazy end of gaming. Obsessed with street racing, car modding, and scantily clad girls, it was a game series for those who think 'Nuts' is a quality publication. Last year however, Criterion games reinvented the series with Need for Speed Hot Pursuit. The sleaze was gone, as were the city based illegal racing and tabloid sensibilities. Replacing them was a kind of A to B racing across open country, as with a game like Out Run. The game wasn't perfect, particularly on the frame rate front, but it was a successful re-invention.
Now we have Need for Speed The Run, a game which on the surface appears very similar to Hot Pursuit. It'a also A to B racing, this time across all of America, and it even has a set-up this time - it's essentially a video game version of The Cannonball Run, or The Gumball Rally. So far so good...
Sadly it starts to go wrong at this point. Not content with the Cannonball Run set-up, there is an additional story about being chased by the mob. It's never fleshed out in any way and is therefore totally meaningless and adds nothing. The game also has a cast, which consists of a highly obnoxious and truly hateful main character, his girlfriend, and a bunch of 'rivals', who if they're men all look like murderers, and if they're women look like strippers. Classy stuff EA.
The game itself is a series of short stages, typically 2-5 minutes long, rather than an Outrun style non-stop race. The locations change regularly as you would expect, with the early stuff set in Yosemite Park and The Rockies working well. Once they're over, it's all downhill unfortunately. I can't say how accurate the scenery is, but if it's in any way like the real America, I think you can safely cross it off your 'to visit' list. There are a lot of industrial estates, chemical plants, empty fields, and boring motorways. Yes, motorways. Some stages of The Run are like being stuck in traffic on the M6.
The game tries to add life to the ugly scenery by mixing up the objectives of each stage. Some are checkpoint races, some are elimination races, some are straight races where you must beat a certain number of other drivers by the end, and some are one on one rival races. This leads me to the biggest problem with The Run by far - the A.I.. The other drivers never feel like real drivers, they feel like scripted cheats. Most stages against A.I. follow much the same formula - you'll make virtually no progress until the near end of the stage, when in the last half a mile or so all the A.I. cars will let you catch them up for a heated final showdown. Should you manage to get ahead before you're supposed to, the A.I. cars will usually rocket past you with completely impossible speed and handling. It all feels fake, like you're not really playing the game. Bizarrely the game also has levels where you're attacked by the mob. They attack with enormous black cars armed with machine guns (yes, really), which are surprisingly capable of comfortably outrunning a Lamborghini despite being as aerodynamic as a brick. They even attack with a helicopter gunship at one point, which is so absurd and laughable as to be nearly game breaking.
The difficulty is also above average, with some nasty spikes in places, so be ready to re-play some stages many times to get past them. Despite that, the game is short, - my in game clock read 2 hours and 20 minutes when I had finished the game, but you could add another hour onto that with all the failed attempts on various levels.
Despite the many flaws there is still an enjoyable game in here, it's just difficult to get to thanks to the cheating A.I., heavily scripted feel of everything, truly obnoxious characters, brainless story, and forgettable scenery. Had this been a pure A to B race, had fair A.I. opponents, and been set in Europe, it would have been hugely improved. Needless to say if you haven't got Hot Pursuit yet, buy that instead.
on 4 March 2012
I don't understand why this game is worse than NFS: Hot Pursuit. That game was a very good arcade racer. This isn't.
You feel like you're playing partly controllable cutscenes throughout the game. I know it's an arcade racer, but the handling of the cars is just horrible. Again, they got it right with Hot Pursuit so why change it for this game? It feels like one of those old handheld games where the scenery is moving, not the car. You simply move the car from side to side to avoid obstacles. It reminds me of the silly driving bits in 007: Bloodstone.
There doesn't seem to be any motivation in the game. You will win the run, unless you stop playing the game halfway through. No car is actually faster than any other. They just handle worse or better. This means there is no motivation to unlock new cars.
They tried to twist a storyline into the game. Characters etc. This is serviced with a few 'on foot' parts where you just have to press certain buttons to get away from enemies.
The Police have a confusing role in the game. On some stages they attempt to stop you with a few roadblocks and shunts but for the most part they are nowhere to be seen. Also, 'baddies' sometimes chase and shoot at you. That's about it really.
on 7 August 2012
The premise of this game is brilliant - a coast to coast run against scores of high performance cars with cops to avoid on the way. Think Cannonball Run or (ignoring the game's pointless plotlines) Gumball Rally and you're not too far off. Unfortunately, the gameplay is hugely misjudged and the sense of this epic race is completely lost in the short stages, each with a set number of opponents to overtake.
The staging just kills the flow of the game and makes the whole thing dull and repetitive. Would have been much better to have a target of what your position should be at any point and a sense that you can work hard to catch up or even push yourself ahead of target if you're doing well, rather than 'Get to position XX by the end of this stage.' Add to that some pretty ropey physics (lift off the throttle and you can take most corners at whatever speed you fancy) and you have a disappointing and thoroughly unsatisfying experience.
Even the ever-changing scenery as you pass through the states doesn't really add to the game as it should. The arrival in Vegas in particular should have been something really special, but it was just a few lights, loads of cops and a really terrible button-pressing getaway scene, then back on the road for the next stage.
It's just not rewarding enough to make you want to bother getting all the way to New York. And given how good this game could have been, that's a real shame.
on 17 December 2011
The game is good, nice graphics, nice cut scenes, all done very nicely. The only problem that i have with the game is, say you have friends over and want to race against each other, it's non existent, so unless they bring their console over, and link it up etc etc, you won't be racing your friends! the game is well thought out, just feels like a stepping stone again for the Need For Speed series. Also the lack of free roam i think is a bad idea, if Batman Arkham City can have free roam, you'd think a driving game would too! Overall, its a 3 star game, not enough to warrant a higher score.
I had fun playing The Run but as I write I find myself dwelling on the negatives. It's unfair to draw bad comparisons with the classic screwball movie Cannonball Run. As awesome as a video game adaptation would be, this isn't one and only shares the race across America premise. All the same, it's impossible not to think back to Burt Reynolds, his moustache and a legendary supporting cast when you get dumped in the boots of a nonentity with a buzzcut called Jack Rourke. You're supposed to help him save his life by getting him to New York in first place but all I wanted to do whenever a cutscene came up was to drive him into a concrete wall at 200mph. Characterisation and storyline are so passe that you wonder why the developers bothered to throw money at cutscenes when they only serve to alienate the gamer. You couldn't come up with a scenario blander than this. Moreover, many of these cutscenes feature on-foot Quick Time Events, which, for those unaccustomed, means you get to follow button prompts to make these cut scenes that you don't want to watch play out. Salt in the wounds. You can't avoid them, pressing the X button at various points makes you run when all you want to do is press it to skip.
Another comparison The Run suffers from is with its 2010 predecessor, Criterion's Hot Pursuit. In developer Black Box's defence, there are few who can match the work of Criterion. And, yes, the Frostbite 2 engine does a great job here, the handling is fine and the races can be incredibly exhilarating in first person mode, which is how everyone should play it. Some of the stages look fantastic, notably the snow-covered Rockies. It's not a bad game once you're on the tarmac (or dirt, snow, ice and anything I might have forgotten) by any means. Other aspects let the side down. In addition to the aforementioned lame characters and plot, it often feels as though your time is taken up by waiting for the races to load as much as actually participating in them. The scripted nature of the racing, though perhaps necessary, is limiting as you attend to your task of passing a predetermined number of the 200+ opponents in each section. This then leads on to the one flaw that comes close to ruining the game - the AI. The Run can steer dangerously close to Mario Kart with its rubber banding, except there are no weapons, so what happens is you'll often see the car in front of you practically come to a halt to allow you to pass on the final straight. Other times, you'll drive a perfect race only to see a rival overtake you on the finish line at an impossible speed. In other words, you only need to drive a safe race, keep within touching distance of the stage leader and unleash your nitrous of fury towards the end.
And yet I enjoyed The Run for its wish-granting setting and solid arcade racing. It's not a classic, it's not even the second best Need For Speed title released in the space of 12 months, but the pull of driving from San Francisco to New York is just about enough to win through.
on 8 December 2011
Need For Speed Hot Pursuit was an outstanding racing game, it just felt so good, it looked amazing and it was so gorgeously fast. How then did the follow-up manage to fail so completely? Surely all that was required was for the makers to take the same basic machanics from HP and design some new tracks, new cars and maybe (if they were feeling ambitious) some new race modes. The thing is I loved the concept when I heard about The Run: a race from San Francisco to New York, simple but fun, surely? But somehow it's just bad.
The race is undertaken in stages, each stage having various different kinds of races and generally all requiring you to move up the ranking by a certain amount in order to progress.
Firstly the major difference between the difficulty settings seems to be whether or not the cars actually have any handling whatsoever, I have no idea who thought that was a better system for increasing the challenge. It's just frustrating.
Secondly thus far generally the only opportunites I've had to change my car has been mid-race. Yeah, again what the hell were they thinking? So I start a race in one car and if I'm not happy with it I have to stick it out until a petrol/gas stop comes up at which point the race is paused while I make a new choice. As if that weren't a ridiculous enough system, such opportunities don't even come up in every race so one finds themself stuck with a car which may have been perfect for the race they were in the middle of when they chose it but is useless in the race they're currently struggling with.
Thirdly, the aforementioned requirement to climb the ranks is a straightjacket. Failure to gain the required postion forces you to participate in the same race again, however one cannot gain more than the required number of places in any given race.
Fourthly the putton-pressing cut-scenes are horrible and stupid. Either give me full control or don't give me any.
As I said, the concept appeals to me. If I'd been in charge I'd have had a system where the player is required to move up the ranking a certain amount by the end of each stage (as they do how it is) but would give the player more freedom so that say there is ten races in a stage, they have those ten races to move the required 50 positions, regardless of how many they move in any particular race. Then if one finds themself struggling in the last race of a stage they may find they have to go back and drive some of the earlier races again. This would also give the player the ability to get ahead of the required position. At least then the game wouldn't feel like it was forcing the player in to such a rigid form.
If you're considering buying this, forget it. If you don't have it already you should get Hot Pursuit instead, or Burnout Paradise, or even Mod-Nation Racers is better. This is just embarassing.