>> Need for Speed: The Run (2011)

T (Teen)

Title: Need For Speed: The Run

Genre: Racing

Publisher: EA

Available Consoles: Personal Computer (PC), Playstation 3, Xbox 360

Reviewed Consoles: Playstation 3

Ship Date: November 27, 2011

Players: 1 (up to 8 online)

Official Site

False starts: the nitrous, coast-to-coast racer, Need for Speed: The Run has had a few. The big one happened at its unveiling at E3, when the debut trailer worryingly focused on the game’s, erm, innovative QTE-led cutscenes. The trailer, unsurprisingly, was met with a mixture of confusion and bafflement.

Do we really want cinematic on-foot sections in our arcade racers? More important, do we want QTE sections that are as bland and emotionless as the one shown? The trailer cast an unnecessary shadow over the project by drawing attention away from the series’ trademark high-octane racing to wonky cinematics. The bad news is that the rest of The Run’s QTE cutscenes are equally poor, but thankfully they are few and far between — so few, in fact, that they are barely worth mentioning.

Nevertheless, Black Box Studios’ eagerness to establish a Hollywood story does lead to The Run stuttering early on. We start by escaping a car crusher (Our guy Jack owes the mob a lot of money, you see), before jumping into a car. It doesn’t really properly take off here, though, because we’re taken back into cutscenes after our very brief getaway. Subsequent races are also very short, and all of this is broken up by loading screens.

The first half hour, or so, of The Run is a lot more stop–start than we had anticipated, but it does thankfully open up once you escape San Francisco and head out into the open rural area, where the driving takes its rightful place at centre stage.

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