I have finally got round to finishing Need for Speed: The Run just yesterday. So I was going to make an article about my disappointment on Twisted Metal, but donít want some disgruntled fan hunting me down in a fucking ice cream van.
But The Run is a take on the across the US sort of street race and instead of being just you gunning it for a shit tonne of hours going across the US as fast as possible. Where it could do some epic single runs through the game if the hardware could possibly handle the constant loading of new world whilst you drive. Oh no no no. This one wants to follow the story of a bloke called Jack. Jack starts off in a shit tonne of trouble where he is going to get crushed in a car. But this kicks off a quick time event and the success is where you drive out...
But after that Ďsuccessí you got told thereís a race going on and you go grab a car and off on your driving adventure of sorts.
So the game is broken up with overtake challenges (sound plausible). Battle challenges (ok... so you just pull over when you are overtaken?) and Checkpoint challenges where it says MAKE UP TIME and have to see no other drivers and get through the stage. They also throw in the odd challenge where you have to overtake these characters and win so itís the same as the first type of challenge. It sometimes starts where they will ram or damage your car somehow and fuck off but that makes no fucking difference to the handling because the cars handle pretty inconsistent from what I played. Also some of the characters you beat will show up again for no reason as to why I think of apart from the last guy where I didnít get to beat him as my car was fucked up.
Where the illusion of a big race is broken due to there being no reason why they bloody say you need to reach X position by Y location. But you canít get ahead of that in anyway because of how the game works. You just have to gain X positions to move on. Itís making peopleís dream summer of doing an illegal street race across a country feel binary and dull. I want to accidentally run a dude down in a my ill-gotten Ford Mustang and make the split second decision to just keep going and hope the car isnít completely fucked to make it to the end.
The last race though takes the piss in terms of how a racing game cannot be cinematic and a racer at the same time as it shows how clearly it doesnít care if you are good at racing. The race is 9 miles long and at one point you get separated pretty badly. When you re-join the race to the finish. The other guy is just a little ahead of you. So you go back to the race and if you get close enough. He will boost the fuck away. But donít worry, you will see both of you together at the next bend and then itís just a drag race for the last straight. Itís the only way you are challenged.
The Run shouldíve been a game where you can just concentrate on hammering through a massive race driving 50-100 mile stretches overtaking so many before hitting a checkpoint. We couldíve left out the Frostbyte engine. We donít need that to make a good racing game by making flashy effects and a terrible story. I want to be just straight up racing like a nutter across a tonne of ground finding the quickest way. The fastest way across the country. Not a linear story you will hate. I want to be speeding speeding past the desert bus and have to keep pumped on speed to not fall asleep at the wheel but start wigging out thinking spacebats are sweeping down at you. That would be fantastic.
Right Iím off to offer my script to EA to RETAKE NFS THE RUN! It will have the graphics of Outrun and the questionable ethics of Saints Row.