As part of a new series Id like to start this year, if I play something new or exciting, Im going to share with you all my thoughts on how I felt towards a specific title(s). So let’s get right down to it! On Friday, I noticed a game I had considered getting on release, had finally went on sale. My first experience with the title a year or so ago was a demo that led me to not purchasing it. Need for Speed: The Run came out around the time Battelfield 3 was released and I recall playing the downloadable demo on my friends 360. The graphics and controls felt horrible, and I decided then not to pick it up. $60 (US) is a hell of a lot of money and there were definitely more titles that I wanted to pick up at the time. One of the biggest gripes for me not picking it up was the fact that when it came to past NFS games on console, such as Shift 2, I noticed a fairly distinct input lag in controls compared to the PC ports and it showed in the Run.
So flashback to Friday night, I decided to buy it for $4.99. Later in the evening it was time to let the 15GB install work itself out and off to bed I went. The next day I spent mostly hanging out with friends and doing other things, but later in the evening I completely recalled that I had bought the title, so I dived right into it. The Run instantly didn’t feel like your typical sim racer, go figure, the NFS franchise has steered far away from that for a long time and nothing has changed in that department. However, one thing they seemed to have done recently, is cater to the non automobile enthusiast that doesnt breath for that realism and visceral immersion of driving the actual cars. From the beginning, The Run feels much like an action racer movie much like the Fast and Furious franchise. A lot of unrealistic, hokey-ness, forgettable characters, and yet for some odd damn reason it’s entertaining and fun. The cut-scenes overall weren’t too distracting and obviously do add a little to the campaign mode of the game, despite occasionally forcing you into a damn quick-time event.
Yet through all the things that would push me towards saying a game is terrible, the few hours I have played it, the shallow cut scenes and repetitive game-play modes seem to fall shadow to the overall fun “Rad Racer-esque” moments I used to have when I was younger. Racing to point A to point B, with occasional interference from the overly aggressive AI
, the game still for some reason has me coming back and wanting to see what happens at the end of the protaganists journey across the United States. Did “The Run” somehow nail a certain niche of racing games that isnt a “burnout” style of racing or a Gran Turismo/Forza type sim? I think so. Developer Black Box has been making NFS games for over a decade, and they bring a lot of that arcade style. Growing up I enjoyed playing a lot of Rad Racer and Top Gear (SNES), and I seem to enjoy The Run in much of the same way. The career gameplay seems very short as Im almost 75 percent through the campaign within 2 hours, but that doesnt take away from the fun I’m having while running through it. Going back around the time of the games release, Frostbite 2 (DICE’s flagship engine used in Battlefield 3) was used as a marketing point for this title and it shows through the “Rockies” stage, driving the mountains. Showing off it’s engine with cleverly timed avalanches and explosions (WE ALL LOVE EXPLOSIONS) throwing snow and boulders everywhere, it was obvious that The Run caters to the action racer fan. Throughout my runs up and down the huge peaks I instantly thought of Alborz Mountains in Battlefield 3.
So there we have it. For $5, The Run was for sure a title I could enjoy. Cheap thrills and overall entertaining. Not the best of the NFS franchise by any means, I would have been fairly upset if I had paid $60 for it, much like the day I lost mental acuity and bought Operation Raccoon City for $60 on day one. Other than playing NFS: The Run this weekend, I dived into a couple hours of Metro Last Light. Last Light was a pleasant surprise and has kept my attention already much more than 2033 did. I’m not going to toss my thoughts on this title just yet however, considering I’m only two hours in. As we part ways from this first Casual Weekends, be on the lookout for more articles like this from me!
(FB Vita vs 3DS winner: Daniel Ferriera)