Need for Speed: The Run Review - November 30th 2011

It's called "The Run," part cross country road race, part summer blockbuster. The latest instalment of the Need for Speed franchise will have you on the edge of your seat from start to finish in a 200MPH road trip across the United States.

The concept has previously been explored in movies, television shows, and even in real life for those who have boatloads of money to spend on the entry fees. So it's nice to see it being utilised here, because it gives those of us who don't have that extra 20 grand lying around the chance to live the fantasy. Having played every Need for Speed title since Underground, I had a feeling of what to expect. And having played the most recent Need for Speed releases, I wasn't expecting much. To my surprise, I actually had a great time playing this game.

The graphics are great, but the framerate is lacking.

Even with a story that isn't innovative or new in any way, it still manages to provide a solid fast paced racing experience. In a departure from previous Need for Speed titles, The Run consists of only point to point races, with challenges to complete before reaching the finish line. The challenges are fun, but can get very repetitive and boring after a while. Either catch up to other racers, pass a certain amount of racers before reaching the finish line, reach the finish line before time runs out, or beat a rival racer to the finish. My biggest complaint about this game is the overall length. After beating it you are presented with the total time you spent racing throughout the story. It took me a whopping 2 Hours 16 minutes and 46 seconds to complete. And after finished the story, you will have unlocked almost all of the scenarios in the Challenge Series.

The Challenge Series is the equivalent of a quick race mode, in which you select a vehicle and region you wish to race in, and just like in story mode you have the same challenges to complete before crossing the finish line to unlock new cars to use both online and in the story mode. Another major annoyance was the rewind system. In most games this is extremely easy to use and allows players to rewind to wherever they need. In The Run, players have no control of the rewind system, which automatically rewinds the race by 20 seconds every time it's used. This is irritating but forgivable; the most annoying thing about this feature was if the player strayed at least 5 feet from the road, the game would rewind the race 20 seconds. To avoid this issue, players should have been given the choice to turn the rewind feature off if they wanted. Oddly enough, even though the story mode is laughably short and the Challenge Series provides very little innovation, the game still manages to be entertaining and fun.

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