Need for Speed: The Run Review

Once again, my urge to play a racing adventure game got the better of me and I ended up with a copy of Need for Speed: The Run. What was meant to be different about this particular Need for Speed was that it was claiming to focus more on the adventure which I thought was a good thing – this is one of the reasons I enjoyed Need for Speed: Underground 2 (NFSU2). Unfortunately, The Run misses the mark in almost all areas.

Plot (2/5)
The plot is pretty threadbare in this latest iteration, even by Need for Speed standards. This means you never really end up appreciating any of the characters since you don't really know their motivations, beliefs and place in the story. Sure, you've got the occasional bio for some of the "bosses" but that's about it. Instead you've got a rather non-descript player character on the run from some mafia-type baddies and apparently the only way he can secure his freedom is by going in a race across the U.S.A. That's pretty much all you're told, regardless if you want to know more or not.

Gameplay (3/5)
In Need for Speed: The Run, you spend the game driving in a series of races from the west coast of the U.S.A. to the east. Your goal is to come in first place at the end of the entire race.

As you can imagine, this means the gameplay is linear. This is a major drawback for me as one aspect I enjoyed from the likes of NFSU2 was the fact you could explore the city. In fact, this game is even more linear than Outrun – at least in that game you were able to pick different routes as you made your way across the map.

Another annoying aspect is that if you want to pick a new car, you have to do so in the middle of the race thereby causing you to lose precious time. The game becomes quite difficult in the later stages and the distinction between car classes is not clear-cut (i.e. exotic, tuner and muscle cars are meant to perform better on different tracks)

Sound (3/5)
No complaints in the sound department. Radio chatter from the police cars is always a highlight in NFS games.

Music (4/5)
There are some good tracks in this game. One of the highlights for me must be the level where you drive an American Muscle Car through the Mid-West with "On the Road Again" playing in the background.

Graphics (4/5)
Despite some framerate issues, the game has some pretty good graphics. You will appreciate the graphics most whilst cruising through the varied landscapes of the United States. In fact, The Run reminds me of Outrun in this regard.

Replay (3/5)
One of the better aspects of the Run is its Facebook-like NFS Wall. It encourages you to compete against your friends in beating their times for various sections of the race. There is also multiplayer but I never got into it since it was poorly implemented. For example, VOIP was set on all the time and even after some extensive Googling, I still couldn't find a way to turn it off!

Polish (2/5)
Game is kind of buggy and tends to crash a lot. Also framerate cap is annoying. You can fix the framerate cap using this link

Score – 7/10

This isn't your typical NFS game and has more in common with games like Outrun than anything else. Cruising through the US was a great concept but unfortunately you’ll only end up spending a couple of hours experiencing it.

If you want to get the game, you can get it off Origin.

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