Need For Speed: The Run
No one has ever played Need for Speed for its gripping storylines. So it's a
shame that EA has placed so much emphasis on the plot for the series'
latest instalment, Need for Speed: The Run.
It starts promisingly enough with stylised comic-panel cutscenes not
unlike the ones found in Driver: Renegade. You're placed in the shoes of a
typically rebellious hot-headed bloke who must race from one side of the
US to the other with a mysterious female companion in tow.
This image looks like the profile picture of that guy you barely talk to on
Facebook. You know, the one that saw that car one time and had to take
a photo with it?
The straight racing segment are terrific and the graphics look better than
Ridge Racer 3D, Asphalt 3D or Driver: Renegade. There is a frame-rate
drop when switching from 2D to 3D, but nothing significant to hamper your
enjoyment. What will, however, are the entirely unnecessary set-pieces
and quicktime events that quite often don't work as they should. This
means you'll find yourself crashing into barriers and hurtling into chasms as
you try to figure out exactly what went wrong in the first place, and how
to refrain from doing it again. In some games, this sort of experimentation
is to be expected, but with a racing game, where speed and flow are the
focus, it's just intrusive and irritating.
On a more positive note, the game features some inventive use of the
Nintendo 3DS touchscreen - tapping at the windshield to break it after
your car is pushed into a river, or unscrewing wheel nuts in order to
replace a tyre. These mini-games aren't the most thrilling part of The Run,
but they are entertaining, if more for their enthusiastic efforts than for the
Fortunately the story mode isn't the only thing on offer here. The game's
challenge mode features events divided up into five unlockable levels of
difficulty. Earning a gold medal for each event will take a considerable
amount of time and provide plenty of replay value as you unlock new,
faster cars for each event, encouraging you to go back and beat your
The events are varied enough to keep things interesting, with sprint,
shutdown and checkpoint all proving to be quite addictive. Even the speed
trap vents, which require you to maximise your speed as you pass a series
of speed cameras will have you trying over and over to beat your
The story mode here isn't as strong as it should have been, what with the
huge amount of focus on it and all. But even without it, there's plenty to
enjoy. Here's hoping that with the next installment, EA lose the plot and
focus on the insanity of high-speed racing.