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Need for Speed: The Run Preview

Anthony_Severino By:
GENRE Action / Racing 
DEVELOPER EA Black Box, Firebrand Games 
T Contains Language, Mild Suggestive Themes, Violence

What do these ratings mean?

I ran all night and day.

Need for Speed has been around the block once or twice… or 17 times to be exact. Since 1994, it has never run out of gas and has remained the series to beat by constantly reinventing itself with new style and vigor. The newest rendition of Need for Speed, dubbed The Run, is EA's most original yet.

After discovering a newfound appreciation for the athletes known as race car drivers, I took the wheel of Need for Speed: The Run. And while it’s hard to match the exhilarating experiences of tearing up actual pavement, Need for Speed does a great job of making you feel like you’re in the driver’s seat. 

The game is gorgeous and blisteringly fast. Both of which are staples in the series, and The Run is no different. It’s even faster with a well-timed boost of nitrous, which can help propel you ahead of your opponent. If you’ve played a Need for Speed game before—or any racing game—you will be right at home with The Run.

But that’s because it’s not so much the racing itself that makes The Run special. The Run uses the Frostbite 2.0 engine used in Battlefield 3 and other EA titles to push destruction full throttle. This was shown expressly through a massive avalanche that was triggered in a snowy mountain stage during a high-speed race. The snow effects were realistically threatening and served to pose additional obstacles for drivers and opponents alike.

Catastrophic destruction is everywhere throughout The Run’s cross-country trek from San Francisco to New York. During the tour of America, you come across opponent after opponent waiting to race you for glory. Meeting each opponent is seamless for the most part; if you can stay ahead of one opponent until the timer runs out, you’ll find another after a short distance down the same road. There’s no wait in between, no loading screen, nothing—just good ol’ street racing. The only time that there is a transition is when you complete all of the races for an area, thereby moving onto a new US location. Although we didn’t see any cut-scenes during our time with the game, these transition periods will flesh out the game’s story and characters.

The game was polished to show-floor condition, but we need to spend more time in the interior and take a longer test-drive to pass a full verdict. Look out for our review of Need for Speed: The Run as we race toward its November 15th release date.

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