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Need For Speed: The Run

Need For Speed: The Run

Need For Speed: The Run

Need for Speed: The Run is a racing video game, the eighteenth title in the long-running Need for Speed franchise, and developed by EA Black Box and published by Electronic Arts. The Wii and 3DS versions were developed by Firebrand Games, the team behind Undercover and Nitro . It was released in North America on November 15, 2011 and November 18, 2011 in Europe.

The game is described as an "illicit, high-stakes race across the country. The only way to get your life back is to be the first from San Francisco to New York. No speed limits. No rules. No allies. All you have are your driving skills and sheer determination".

Producers Jason DeLong and Steve Anthony stated during an interview that Black Box aimed to obtain critical acclaim after their last game received universally poor ratings. The Run was in production for three years, though previous Black Box titles had much shorter development periods. The Run was Black Box's last game before its restructuring in 2012.

Need For Speed: The Run Plot

Jackson "Jack" Rourke is a fearless street racer and a mechanic, who owns a garage in San Francisco. He is indebted to the mob as he is unable to repay them the money for starting his business. He attempts to hide, but they manage to locate and kidnap him. After escaping an attempt on his life in a car crusher (his first car, a Porsche), due to Joel Madera's death, Jack, in desperation, goes to his former girlfriend and his current business partner Sam Harper at a restaurant in Chinatown. She recommends a way out: a massive illegitimate street racing event named "The Run", which is a 3000 mile (4828 km) journey across the continental USA, starting in San Francisco and ending in New York City. Sam manages Jack's $250,000 entrance fee for the race and promises him a 10% cut of the $25 million jackpot, but he has to defeat 210 other racers to win. To complicate things, he is in debt to both the police and the criminal organization, and both want to make sure that he never finishes the race.

Jack culls out a car from his garage and begins the race. After escaping from San Francisco by driving off the unfinished replacement span of the Eastern San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge, Jack passes through Altamont Pass, Yosemite National Park, and Death Valley, before making it to Las Vegas in the top 150. Upon arrival, two female team racers interrogate him about his skills, and he is nearly apprehended after police shut down the city. However, he manages to escape out of Fremont Street, but is nearly crushed by a semitrailer truck. He manages to acquire a new vehicle, and heads to Chicago to make it in the top 50. On the way, he passes through the desert and up into the Rocky Mountains, where a one-on-one race against an opponent unfolds as the mountain slopes are detonated with dynamite to remove excess snow for the year. He races through Denver and the Badlands and across the Mississippi River, and upon arrival in Chicago, Marcus Blackwell, Jack's biggest rival and the main antagonist of the game, uses his connections with the mob to organize a "welcome committee". Jack is then forced out of his car and pursued on foot by the mob's machine gun-mounted helicopter. After Jack temporarily escapes from the helicopter, he acquires a stolen police car, but is pursued by the helicopter again down Lower Wacker Drive and along the river. He tries to stay out of the spotlight of the helicopter to avoid getting the vehicle shot and destroyed, but ends up crashing in a train yard. Jack escapes from the overturned police car seconds before a freight train runs it down. Escaping Chicago and entering Cleveland, he drives through an industrial train yard filled with high explosives, trying to escape the mob. Crashing through the window of a warehouse, Jack wrecks the helicopter by slamming into its tail and sending it into the side of a building. After this, Jack is directed to and see a man named Uri for a new car. On the final leg to New York, Jack races through rural Pennsylvania, the Appalachians and Big Run State Park, defeating the final racers in the process. Jack makes it to New York in the top 2, passing through New Jersey. He races Marcus Blackwell (who drives a heavily modified Tier 6 Aston Martin One-77) through the crowded morning streets of Manhattan and Brooklyn, and on the final stretch Marcus is killed after he flips his car. As a result, Jack wins The Run and claims the $25,000,000 jackpot.

Later on, Jack meets with Sam, who gives him the key to the deposit box at the Grand Central Station. She also informs him about another job, which he happily accepts. Jack is then shown on a desert road in his Mustang. Sam calls up and asks, "How's it goin' down there? Havin' a good time, Jack?" to which Jack responds, "There's no place I'd rather be." Smiling, he looks in his rear-view mirror, as the camera pans overhead to reveal a number of police cars chasing him.

Need For Speed: The Run Gameplay

In The Run, players are participating in an "underground world of illicit, high stakes racing," in a race from San Francisco to New York, with stops through Las Vegas, Denver and many other locations, making it the first title in the series to use real locations. The cops aren't the only ones after the player though, as the player "blows across borders, weaves through dense urban traffic, rockets down icy mountain passes and navigates narrow canyons at breakneck speeds." There are over 300 kilometres (190 mi) of track, three times more than Hot Pursuit, making it the biggest Need For Speed game.

The Run is powered by DICE's Frostbite 2 engine, making the game the first non-shooter and one of the first console titles to use the engine, which provides visuals and car physics that "hug the road even at top speeds all built around a gripping storyline." Additionally, Need for Speed Autolog, the Need for Speed franchise's social competition functionality, which was introduced in Hot Pursuit and was previously used in Shift 2: Unleashed, is also back as it continues to track career progression and compare game stats.

The game features quick time events, with the player for the first time in Need for Speed history, exiting their car and traveling on foot. These events won't always be about harsh success or failure states. In some sections there are branching outcomes, so if the player mangles a certain button press, they'll get another chance to pull through.

A new feature also appears in the Run, Gas stations. Gas stations enable the player to change their vehicle during a race to any other vehicle on the same tier as theirs. The player can choose a body kit and new paint colors for their vehicle if it is available. Some vehicles, like Signature Edition or NFS The Run vehicles, cannot have a different paint or body kit installed. For example, a driver may drive their Camaro ZL1, a Tier 4 car, into a gas station and trade it for a NFS The Run edition Shelby GT500, another Tier 4 car. However, driving one's vehicle into a gas station causes the player to slow down to 50 mph upon exiting the gas station, and causes the player to fall behind by about ten seconds. Also, if the player had an opponent behind him, his opponent would take his place.

The driving model of the game is described as "sit somewhere between Shift and Hot Pursuit", not as arcade-styled as Hot Pursuit, but neither as simulator-styled as Shift. The Run employs a large range of real-world vehicles, seemingly taking in the usual mix of muscle cars, street racers and refined exotics, described as "each car presents a different driving challenge for the player." Exclusively digitized for the game is the 2012 Porsche 911 Carrera S and the Pagani Huayra. The damage system is similar to that seen in Hot Pursuit. The cars can be altered with performance upgrades and visual upgrades, such as paint colors and body kits. There are cosmetic body kits known as Style Pack kits and Aero Pack kits, which affect aerodynamics as well as performance.

An XP (Experience points) system is used for unlocking cars and events in multiplayer and Challenge Series races. The game also feature a Rewind option to allows the player to restart an event to their last checkpoint if they wreck their vehicle or rewind their vehicle from a collision or missed opportunity. Rewinds are only available in limited quantities as their amount dependent on the difficulty level that the player has selected; Easy have 10 Rewinds, Normal have 5 Rewinds, Hard have 3 Rewinds and Extreme have 1 Rewind as well as the most difficult AI opponents.

Reception
Need for Speed: The Run was met with mixed reviews. Aggregating review websites GameRankings and Metacritic gave the Wii version was 70.00% and 64/100, the Xbox 360 version 69.92% and 68/100, the Nintendo 3DS version was 68.20% and 65/100, the PlayStation 3 version 64.04% and 64/100 and the PC version 60.14% and 69/100.

The first review was published by Game Informer, which gave the game 7.75 out of 10, saying that "Need for Speed: The Run is by no stretch a bad game; it just fails to capitalize on its chances. San Francisco to New York is a long haul, and it's even longer when not enough happens in between."

A couple more positive reviews include GameTrailers, which gave it an 8.4 out of 10, writing "Need for Speed: The Run falters with its high-profile but underdeveloped plot as well as some awkward design choices. However, it overcomes these potholes with courses that are a blast to drive and simple multiplayer that keeps you hooked in." Gaming Nexus which gave it an A-, and stated "The Run takes the venerable franchise in a startling new direction while preserving all of the aspects that have made the series so successful. This one is definitely worth taking a look at."

IGN gave it a 6.5 "Okay" rating, stating "All this awesome racing action gets somewhat lost amid the nonexistent story, the dumb/scripted AI, the lack of options, and the overall shortness of the game. The Run is not a marathon racing game, it's a quick and dirty drag race." 1UP gave it a C+, stating "The Run takes an awkwardly serious approach to its story, eschewing the over-the-top fun and wackiness of its clear inspirations -- movies like the Cannonball Run series and classic arcade games like Cruis'n USA --to deliver a cross-country campaign that's sometimes exhilarating, but often frustrating and surprisingly banal."

Eurogamer gave it 5 out of 10, saying "The worst of the game's technical sins is performance, with appallingly low frame rates in our patched PS3 retail version when you brake suddenly or drift through many a corner."

GamesRadar was more positive to the game, which gave it 8 out of 10, and stated "It's possible Need for Speed The Run won't provide as many hours of entertainment as previous NFS games, but then it packs in unique events and some incredibly exciting chase sequences, meaning it packs a lot of entertainment-per-hour. It's not very forgiving of mistakes, but then it provides greater rewards as a result."

VideoGamer gave it 6 out of 10, saying "The Run certainly isn't terrible, and a big improvement on Black Box's previous effort, Undercover, but it needed more moments like the avalanche and less monotonous freeways. With the campaign over in an afternoon and the rest of the package failing to offer anything to keep you playing, The Run is some decent throwaway fun that will be forgotten as soon as you move on to something else."

GamePro gave it 6 out of 10, writing "The journey across America is beautifully rendered, capturing the varied landscapes spectacularly as you travel over the Sierra, across the Great Plains, and head towards the East Coast. The quality of the movies is very good too, and the characters' faces are nicely rendered to convey emotion. But the story and the gameplay just don't hold up their side of the bargain, and the game ends up falling short of its considerable potential."

Edge gave it one of its lowest scores, a 3 out of 10, saying "The notion that playing games is a waste of your time is nonsense, of course, but... stuffed with a procession of long-winded loading sequences, protracted menu flipping and unskippable cutscenes, it often feels like there’s as much watching as there is playing. Time wasted, in other words.". They criticized the many technical and graphical glitches, saying "sometimes the lighting effects mix textures into strange oily swirls, while at other times it feels like you’re driving one big polygon.". However, in the post script, they did concede that, while flawed, the game does have a clever concept and occasionally delivers those rare feelings of escapism that many arcade-style racers strive for: "The Run may not have much else going for it, but in its unusual approach to the genre it at least tries to do something new.".


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