For this particular article i played the demo of Need for Speed: The Run on my Xbox 360. One thing is very clear after playing through the demo, which was good by the way. Blending in game cinematic set pieces while racing seems to be The Run’s mudus operandi. Need for Speed: The Run is a GT/Street Racing game developed by Black Box and published by Electronic Arts. Supported systems are 3DS, PC, Playstation 3, Xbox 360 and Wii. It releases November 15, 2011.
The protagonist of The Run is Jack who is taking part in a illegal cross country street race aka cannonball. The full game features gameplay sequences where you control Jack outside of his car on occasion. The demo obviously didn’t have any of that particular gameplay but did give me some really good racing gameplay. At the start of the demo you can choose between difficulties such as Easy, Normal, Hard and Extreme. I picked normal which was enough for me as i died from avalanche debris enough times on a certain level. The Lamborghini Gallardo and Porsche 911 Carrera S (only available with a second controller hooked up).
Autolog is involved with Need for Speed: The Run from a statistical standpoint and updating your Speed Wall. The two tracks available in the demo was Desert Hills and Independence Pass. Desert Hills took place in Desert Valley Ca, The track itself was decent featuring twisty turns long straight aways and plenty of shortcuts in between. The better track in my opinion was Independence Pass. The beginning of the race shows a cutscene of Jack and his rival smashing through a Blast Zone in the Colorado Rockies.
The latter track shows the in game action set pieces that The Run wants to provoke. As you race around Independence Pass you must contend with avalanches and falling debris on the road. Let me make it clear you will die and have to rewind a few times to remember where all of the debris on the road is located. There are pedestrian vehicles on the roads in Need for Speed: the Run that you have to navigate around depending on which tracks you race on. For the most part your either racing against one car or many depending on the situation.
Using nitrous coming out of corners evens the odds when you get behind the other drivers. Rewinding like i alluded to before (press select) can save your life as well. The driving isn’t as polished as Criterion Need for Speed games but not bad by a long shot. The driving is fun as well engaging. Earning XP is achieved by performing certain in game accomplishments. i earned the Clean Pass (50 xp), Rapid Pass and Dirty Pass bonuses while i played. Each giving you different amounts of XP. At this time i have no real idea what the XP will be used for most likely better cars for Jack, or clothes, who knows.
The visuals are decent in The Run. The fact your driving across USA makes for some diverse scenery. The demo featured a desert as well a snow level. Both looked good. The framrate seemed kind of shady at times. The music was really good adding dramatics to the already engrossing gameplay. The sound design of the motors and nitrous was music to my ears.
I wasn’t expecting anything before i played Need for Speed: The Run’s demo. However i did get more than i expected. The demo was good. It sorta reminds me of the dramatics of Hot Pursuit except with a protagonist you can see and in game action set pieces while racing. I say check the demo out if your even half curious. Thanks for reading.