Need For Speed: The Run – Review (PS3)

I hadn’t played a Need For Speed game for years as they didn’t really interest me. Then I played the demo of Hot Pursuit back in 2010 and, while I didn’t go on to get the full game, I found it to be a very enjoyable experience.

When EA announced that the follow up game would be The Run, a Cannonball Run style race across the US, I was a lot more intrigued.

Then all of a sudden we were seeing scenes where the character was out of the car and the player was taking part in Quick Time Events to progress the story. It looked completely out of whack with what you’d expect from a driving game.

However, knowing that EA had done a great job of bringing a story element to Fight Night Champion, I was willing to give it a chance.

So first off, let me say the cut scene Quick Time Events are minimal and, while not bad, don’t add anything to the game. Need For Speed: The Run is strongest when you’re behind the wheel.

The cars handle well and this is definitely the arcade style of driving. You’ll have great fun power sliding a Porsche through corners as you swerve to avoid oncoming traffic.

Unfortunately the pace of the game feels a little off. Some ‘levels’ are, literally, minutes long which wouldn’t be so bad if the game didn’t suffer from horrendous load times. I could accept this if it only happened the first time you get to a level. But if you fail and have to restart you’re treated to another loading screen for anywhere between 30 seconds and a minute. Annoying doesn’t cover it.

There is a good, but limited, selection of cars which all look fantastic. The Run does look really nice and some of the set pieces (racing against an avalanche for example) showcase the Frostbite engine that works so well for the Battlefield game series.

Occasionally I found that I hit a wall in terms of difficulty. Whatever I did I just couldn’t make it through one particular section. It was extremely frustrating but is something that happens across most driving games of this style at some point (Driver: San Francisco I’m looking at you). However the load times I mentioned above make it ridiculously annoying in The Run.

The story is much of a muchness and was a bit too serious for my liking. It left me wondering whether EA might’ve been better to just go the opposite direction and create a cast of deep, colourful characters to race against. If they’d taken a bit more inspiration from Cannonball Run this could’ve been a great title.

Don’t get me wrong, The Run is a fun game and you’ll have a good time playing it for the most part. The load times and odd difficulty spike do have an impact but the biggest issue I had with the game was walking away from it thinking it was one hell of a wasted opportunity to create something a little more unique.

Rating: 7/10

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1 Comment

  1. Many thanks for the evaluation, I have heard similar things in
    regards to the game and will likely be reviewing it for myself next week.

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