Saturday, October 22, 2011

Need for Speed The Run Impressions

The Need for Speed series is all about racing, but they focus on keeping the games fun and graphically impressive, but shy away from realism. The newest Need for Speed game, The Run, seems to meet both of those goals, letting players participate in a high speed race across the United States. While the game controls with a smooth arcade feel, the goals of each race are unique but don't stray too far from normal racing parameters. This game uses the Frostbyte engine, the same engine as Battlefield 3, but they obviously utilize it different and it looks a bit different. The graphics do look gorgeous on this engine though and its great to see the engine running on something so entirely different. This is another Electronic Arts game, so it's not surprising actually that they have use of that engine. The game comes out on November 15th and it is available on far too many platforms; PC, Xbox 360, PS3, Wii and 3DS. It will be $60 for PS3/Xbox 360, $50 for PC/Wii and $40 for the 3DS.

Apparently there are police in the game, but not in the demo
The first demo level, Desert Hills, gives you the premise of the game before starting the race; you are racing across the United States against many other drivers in order to win a million dollars. After each level it will tell you what rank you are among all the racers depending on how well you do in the race. The two levels in the demo are quite different and I applaud the demo designers for not showing two levels that are the same mode or design. The Desert Hills map is not too far into the game and the course layout is pretty much how you would guess. It is a desert track, lots of sharp turns, steep hills, dirt roads and traffic. The first thing I noticed about the game was the traffic, rarely these days do racing games have other non racing cars populate the world. The traffic makes the game more difficult and makes you want to be a little more careful about what side of the road you are on. Other than the gorgeous views the track was pretty typical, but it was well made and shorter than I would have liked.

Need For Speed The Run - Demo Trailer

In this game you have an afterburner on every car and it is done very well. The boost from the afterburner feels right and sounds excellent, making you feel like you might lose control yet also giving you sense of extreme speed. Desert Hills has you racing eight other drivers and all it asks you to do is get to number one by the time the level ends, but like I previously mentioned the map is quite short and it wasn't that easy. Your car also can be destroyed, as can others. The damage model is good and while it's not the best I've seen it certainly is better than the way it works in Forza 4. Destruction merely sets you back ten or twenty seconds. The second map is called Independence Pass and it is farther into the game.This map is one versus one, racing only other driver through a snowy pass. A snowy pass that has planned demolitions set all over the route, demolitions intended to cause avalanches and clear rocks away. So, throughout this whole level you are driving on a tiny snow covered mountain road all the while explosions are going off. The best part of this level was when I thought the falling rocks and snow where just for show, but then I got nailed head on by a large boulder and it instantly totaled my car. This was a really fun level, but also too short for my liking, just like the demo itself.

If I were a rich man, Ya ha deedle deedle, bubba bubba deedle deedle dum... just kidding. Anyways, if I had an unfathomable amount of wealth then I would certainly get this game just to see how it all works out in the long run. It has gorgeous graphics, enjoyable smooth controls and an emphasis on fun, not realism. Need for Speed The Run does come out after most of the big November games, so maybe check it out once it goes on sale. There currently is a demo for PS3 and Xbox 360, but I must warn that it requires you to have an EA account, damn EA. There online intrusions get them a mark on our newest poll from me, but if you feel so inclined do check out the short demo, it is interesting and gorgeous at the least. Thanks for reading and be back with more later tonight or tomorrow. 
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-Written by Sean Cargle


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