Top positive review
11 people found this helpful
Need for Speed returns to it's roots
on 21 November 2011
After a long list of seemingly random adaptations to Need for Speed, it's come back to the origin of it's creation. The Run is a cross-country race from San Francisco to New York, there's some tenuous explanation of why this is going on (something about mob-debts) but effectively, you get to race the long stages that NFS used to be famed for. Gone are the infinite customisations to every single detail & decal - spending more time in the menus than on the road - and the silly meters for getting your drift on etc. and in it's place a proper racing game with eye-meltingly sharply rendered models of modern cars. The scenery is incredible, from racing through the winding forest roads of Yosemite National Park, to the long deserts & canyons of Utah to the gritty city of Chicago there is something for everyone.
Stages come in various types: "Gain X Positions" where you have to move up the ranking by a specific amount in a set distance. "Make Up Time" where you effectively time-trial the course and then "Battle" stages where you race more skilled drivers over an indefinite distance head-to-head and have to be ahead of them when the bell rings. You win cars and minor adaptations to your car (e.g. the size of your NO2 bottle) with each race and there are unlockable challenges for each stage that increase the replayability of the game. The scenery alone in Death Valley, NV will keep me coming back again and again. The soundtrack is incredible to boot; a track from the Black Keys' new album is also present, and that hasn't even been released yet!!
Where this game falls down are the annoyingly stupid cut scenes where if you don't bash space, return or left arrow within a split-second placement you die instantly and have to watch the cut scene over. It's a noble effort to wrap some story around the game, but I have to say, I want to race, not tap space repeatedly during a cut scene. If I wanted to play an adventure game, I'd buy one, but I bought NFS to race, so let's get on with it already!!
A word to the wise; NFS the run is extremely resource-heavy. I could run most new games on my set-up but NFS has put pay to that, the level of detail on the cars and scenery causes slow-down aplenty at higher resolutions - especially during the inane cut scenes. I have had to scale back the graphics massively to maintain the speed of the game, but this isn't the fault of the game, just something I thought worth mentioning. Aside from this, recommended for all NFS fans or anyone out there looking for a great racing game!!