Need for Speed: The Run

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Need for Speed: The Run
Black Box's one last dying effort to revive both themselves and the series, but failed completely.
Genre: Racing
Platforms: Microsoft Windows (Origin)
Xbox 360 PlayStation 3
Nintendo Wii Nintendo 3DS
Release Date: November 15, 2011
Game Engine: Frostbite 2
Developer: EA Black Box (PC, Xbox 360, Playstation 3)
Firebrand Games (Wii, 3DS)
Publisher: Electronic Arts
Franchise: Need for Speed
Previous Game: Shift 2: Unleashed
Next Game: Need for Speed: Most Wanted (2012)

Need for Speed: The Run is an arcade racing game, the 18th title in the Need for Speed series and the last Need for Speed game developed by EA Black Box, as they're shutdown in 2013.

Bad Qualities

  1. The story feels very short and confusing. You can definitely notice how rushed the story was made. For example, we can barely know anything/anyone behind The Run (in-game race) itself. Also it is never explained why Jack owes the mob money in the first place. Some of the already-defeated rivals even magically reappear in front of Jack with no explanation whatsoever.
  2. Laughably bad story in the Wii and 3DS versions that's full of plotholes along with extreme stupidity of the main characters that make it feel like it was written by a 10 year old.
  3. Unskippable cutscenes and QTE. This is due of the next Bad Quality mentioned below.
  4. The whole singleplayer part tries way too hard to be like a movie. Movies have scripts, obviously, which means all singleplayer events are heavily scripted. From the The Run Mode (Basically the Story Mode), to the Challenge Series, nearly all the actions of opponent racers, cops, environment, and even some traffic cars are very fixed and predictable. This may be fun for the first time, but also severely decreases replay values.
  5. Speaking of the singleplayer events being scripted, you cannot drive off the track. Even the slightest going outside of the road will consider you as doing such. This will cost you a Checkpoint Reset every time you do so, but after an update it will just reset you right where you are without spending one. And even with the update, it's still nonsensical. Heck, not even the NFS: Shift Sub-series (which not to mention that the games of this sub-series are Simulation Racing ones) is this punishing.
  6. Obvious reuse of tracks in the The Run Mode. Some of the highways (in very different places) are clearly the same track in different directions and/or environments. One of the tracks was used for even 4 or 5 times.
  7. AI Rubberbanding, except this time, they're not even trying to hide it. During the finale, the final boss Marcus Blackwell can go up to 500 kph (313 mph) right in front of you. This is combined with the aforementioned scripted gameplay.
  8. The entire Challenge Series Mode is made of glorified time trials. You do get different race types, but you still have to finish them in time to get medals.
  9. Irritating and unskippable crash cutscenes are still a thing.
  10. The game does have a seemingly long car list (presets included), but the selection is extremely narrow. In the The Run Mode, you can only use Tier 4 or 5 cars (thankfully you can swap for other cars using a glitch), and a lot of the Challenge Series events also limit your car selection to one or two, making said list pretty pointless.
  11. Customization is barely a thing. First, only pure stock cars can be customized. Then, the customization only contains some fixed, pre-selected body kits and liveries. No performance customization at all.
  12. The legendary cars in classic NFS games do return, except all of them are lame replicas with none of them even getting the car models right. Some of them, especially Rachel's Nissan 350Z (Z33) (which is a 370Z (Z34) replica here), are pretty hideous even by themselves.
  13. This game over-emphasizes multiplayer gameplay. For example, more than half of the aforementioned long car list is unlocked within multiplayer progress. Speaking of which, many of the barely selectable cars in singleplayer get a lot more appearances in multiplayer too. After the Italian DLC update, some multiplayer-unlockable-only cars were added that are rotated per week (you can only unlock one of them every week). Since the rotation is long gone, they will never be unlocked without using modifications.
    • The Xbox 360 version adds up to the problem, as unlocking them requires the player to pay a monthly fee starting at $9.99 to get a Gold Membership, which is required for Multiplayer.
  14. Similar to previous games (starting with ProStreet), no kinds of DLC for the PC version except a handful of cars. At the very least they are free on that platform.
  15. If you play the game with V-Sync disabled (in which it caps the framerate to 30), the engine sounds are glitched and the snow particle completely blocks your view.

Good Qualities

  1. If you treat this game as a game-movie, then you will most likely enjoy it very much.
  2. Fairly accurate adaptation of some cities in the US such as San Francisco, Las Vegas, Chicago, and New York. However, highways are a whole different story.
  3. Very beautiful scenery combined with epic events, such as the avalanche run and mob chases.
  4. The cars do sound very nice.
  5. While driving physics is not the best, but the grip handling makes a return, instead of Burnout-ish brake to drift handling.
  6. Rock-based soundtrack is very fitting to gameplay. Original score by Brian Tyler & Mick Gordon is also amazing.
  7. Some preset cars' design are very decent.




one month ago
Score 0
Nobody talks about this one.

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