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Need for Speed: The Run has been released on 360 and been provided for us to preview/review by the publisher.
Believe it or not we are still playing it. Here are some extracts of what we made of it in chronological order:
"Need For Speed: The Run turns its back on circuits in favour of a story driven point-to-point race. Blessed with Hot Pursuit's Autolog system and Battlefield's Frostbite 2 engine, it delivers a good game that should have been a lot better..."
- Multiplayer Gamer (Tue, 20 Dec 2011)
"Need for Speed: The Run is an action story on four wheels. Effective and dramatic this delivers a real big screen experience..."
- Novel Gamer (Wed, 14 Dec 2011)
Need for Speed The Run gives the original developer, EA's Black Box, a chance to show what they can do with the franchise -- with everyone else having had a go, it only seems fair. The biggest risk here is not that it will be a bad game, but that the Need for Speed brand will finally hit its saturation point and evaporate into thin air.
Having split the Need for Speed offering into three racing brands (NFS: Shift, NFS: Nitro and NFS: World) in 2010 and then diversified further earlier this year (with NFS: Hot Pursuit and NFS: Shift 2) there is no stopping the unstoppable will of ever more variants of EA's chief racing franchise.
Need for Speed The Run takes the series back to more illegal activity and the thrill of the chase. The game, which by no means signals a dead end for either Shift or Hot Pursuit, is back in the hands of EA Black Box -- the people behind the original Hot Pursuit games and Need for Speed franchise in days of yore. Still following?
The Run challenges you to accomplish an illicit, high-stakes race across America. The back story here, such as it is, incentivises this pursuit as the means to recovering your life -- having been hit by a high speed train if the trailer is anything to go by.
The Run champions a "no speed limits, rules and allies" ethic which, unlike the press release would have you believe, is pretty much bread and butter to the other games in the series (with the slight exception for the goodie two-shoed Pro Street).
The challenge pits you against an onslaught of traffic through dense urban spaces, icy mountain passes and narrow canyons. And like in Hot Pursuit (both the new one and the original) you have to do all this while evading a relentless police force trying to use lethal force to take you down.
It is interesting to see a Wii release slated alongside the 360 and Playstation versions, but it is likely that this will mimic the approach of Hot Pursuit that offered a spin off edition on Nintendo's console rather than the full game. If this is the case, it is also likely that we will see the same (lesser) game appear on the 3DS -- with the Wii to 3DS porting habit proving popular in the early days of the new portable's life.
Also of note is the absence of a DS or PSP version of The Run, one can imagine EA are more than happy to leave behind the thankless task of cramming their latest offering onto the diminutive handheld systems.
Need for Speed: The Run is released on Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, PC, Wii, Nintendo 3DS on November 18th.
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