Hands on with Need For Speed: The Run

64 13
Hands on with Need For Speed: The Run

Need for Speed: The Run is the boldest departure for a series known for its laser-like focus on fast cars and tight driving mechanics. For the first time in Need for Speed history, you’re not a nameless, faceless driver; You play as an actual person named Jack. And Jack is facing tough times. “He’s a marked man,” explained Product Manager Darin Perfonic in a hands-on showcase last week. “He’s got serious problems with some guys who want him dead.”

Those “guys” are actually wiseguys — the Mafia. And Jack’s last, best hope for survival lies in entering The Run, a sprawling 3,000-mile cross-country race from San Francisco to New York City. With a cool $25 million for a first-place finish, The Run represents Jack’s last chance for salvation before the goodfellas find him and settle Jack’s debts — permanently. “Imagine a Michael Bay summer action-driving movie and that you get to play it,” Perfonic elaborated. “That’s our vision. We want to create a playable summer blockbuster.”

Need for Speed: The Run (Run for the Hills)Need for Speed: The Run (Run for the Hills)

Sitting behind the wheel of The Run, I was struck by the game’s gleaming graphical fidelity and huge draw distances. The graphics are based on the Frostbite engine, better known as the rendering technology that powers the Battlefield series. “Frostbite allows us to iterate really quickly and to create a lot of environment depth,” Perfonic noted. “It’s also allowing us to make the biggest Need for Speed game ever — more than 300 kilometers of track.”

The cross-country theme and new tech also lends The Run some welcome visual variety, with tracks ranging from the heavily populated downtown urban settings of San Francisco and Chicago to the lush valleys of Yosemite, the imposing mountains of Colorado, and the sprawling plains of the Midwest. You won’t only be battling fellow racers and the mob, but also the elements. In The Run, environmental hazards such as dust storms and blizzards are just as dangerous as an aggressive competitor.

Need for Speed: The Run (Run for the Hills)

With The Run’s emphasis on cross-country pack racing, you’ll begin the game dead last in the race and slowly work your way through the pack as you approach the final showdown in New York City. Each state in the game tasks you with passing a certain milestone. “If you don’t make the cut, you’re out of The Run,” Perfonic added ominously. “It’s a new element we haven’t had in the series before, and it pushes you forward in the game.” When you win races and completing challenges, you’ll earn XP that you can use to access new cars, new challenges and other rewards.

The Run includes another first for the venerable Need for Speed series: the ability to leave your car. “You can’t get out of the car whenever you want,” Perfonic clarified, “but the narrative will force you into certain situations and you’ll have to advance the story.” The out-of-car sequences help provide some context for why you’re switching cars mid-race — especially once the mob catches up with you in Chicago. “You’ll drive multiple cars. The fiction drives what vehicle you’ll commandeer,” Perfonic explained.

My play session was set early in the game on the outskirts of Las Vegas, a dusty desert track riddled with dirt-road shortcuts. Based on my hands-on experience, the racing physics felt like a hybrid of NFS: Hot Pursuit and NFS: Shift, with the arcadey accessibility of the former and the weightier vehicles of the latter.

After my hands-on time was over, I was left with many, many more questions. Will the racing extend from cars to other vehicles such as motorcycles? “You’ll have to wait and see!” Perfonic teased. Perfonic did confirm that multiplayer will be a major focus and that the social-media-infused Autolog feature will make a return from NFS: Hot Pursuit.

Comments are closed.


13 Author Replies

  • Might be on of the first EA Blackbox titles that I buy Day One! Any Chance of this being a PSVita title? If so, any idea or chance for EA to cross play the PS3 and PSVita? Thanks and cant wait to have the Race for my Life and Race of my Life!

  • Video forbidden
    this video is private

  • What happened to the video

  • My time to shine … FIRST! … oh wait…

  • @2, Phatcat, are u using an iPad? Because I do, & there is frequently a big white space where I think a video link should be

  • Game looks great.. same engine as BF3 which stands to reason why and I hope it looks this great on PS3. Like the almost “Fast & Furious” like setting and focus on story as long as gameplay is top notch.

    • Honestly? I’m not a big fan of racing games. I haven’t played a Need for Speed in *years*, likely since the PSone. The Run is grabbing my attention in a big way for the reasons you noted above. I’m a little shocked, honestly.

  • didn’t NFS Undercover have a story that you followed and you didn’t play as a faceless character?
    Still, i like this concept a lot. You should get some Interstate 40 on there, maybe in Texas, like Amarillo area particularly.

  • just watched the video and see the map looks like its in the I40 area in CA and AZ into NM before going north, thas a nice stretch of highway. looks good

  • “For the first time in Need for Speed history, you’re not a nameless, faceless driver…”
    Ryan Cooper – Need For Speed: ProStreet.
    But he didn’t have a face :/

    • Hehehehe. The game’s product manager, Darin, noted that some previous NFS games experimented with more storytelling, but that The Run was the first game to focus on character and story in a big way.

  • Uggghh looks cool.. however I was expecting something like Most Wanted.

  • Hey Sony, Will Record of Agarest War Zero be coming to the Playstation store?

  • Day one for me!

  • quirowekjefhgekr

    @8 this:
    some of the people who commented on it have great points so stop complaining. Sony knows that we want that on ps3 and if you know that they COULD put the feature on you would stop bugging them about it. trust me darkspace(www.darkspace.net) has the same problem. in conclusion stop bugging them about it and they MIGHT add the feature to the ps3.

  • I saw E3, QTE in a racing game? Silliest thing to have ever been done.

    • That moment was very Heavy Rain, in a way, but those moments are far from the focal point of the game.

  • the game looks good, but whats up with the aliasing? I hope that gets fixed.

  • Digital-Big-Boss

    Why are they releasing NFS games every 6 months?

    • A fine question. Officially, from what I understand, Shift 2: Unleashed is not technically a NFS title. I’ll try to dig more into this the next time I meet the team.

  • @15 to reach other demographics, some users dont like the true pristine realistic that Gran Turismo offers, some dont like the unreal racing that Midnight club offers so they turn to Need For Speed, its games that are still realistic (Shift, Shift 2, Pro Street) but still possesses arcade elements. Also since its a Mega Franchise other features, tools are invented to weigh out what us gamers are looking for. So with Need For Speed and releasing a game ever fiscal year not six months they experiment and at the same time are not locked to only Exotic racers on the cross country (Hot Pursuit), or illicit racers on the strips of Los AngelesUnderground, Most Wanted, Carbon), or the smell of oil and brake dust on a closed track (ProStreet,Shift, Shift 2) Need For Speed is for everyone, and I thank EA for that!

  • no, no no nope nope and nope i’ll stick with Hot Pursuit but even that isn’t great.

    High Stakes was the best and so was the Hot Pursuit mode in that game.

    you guys just keep dishing out Need For Speed games like no tomorrow

  • Wow This is a nice video and that car was driving in air for while.

    Anyway I got a question and wondering if you guys can answer it. I would be very greetful.

    When will I be able to creat a new PSN account? the website says it is under maintenance. Really need to create a new account . thanks

  • Do the out-of-car sequences affect your place in the event or how does that work? How do those elements interact?

    • They are being tight-lipped on the details, but you won’t be strolling your character around like it’s a Grand Theft Auto game. Instead, they are more like action sequences where you have to escape danger and find your way to a car.

  • Oh and PLEASE EA stop making the controls for the new Need for Speeds feel like Grand Turismo! I liked the way it felt playing Most Wanted the best, I played undercover and sold it the first day I got it because I cannot STAND the feel of Grand Turismo >_>

    • Did you play Hot Pursuit? I don’t think that feels like GT at all! Nor does this, though it’s slightly more realistic than Hot Pursuit.

  • love that nice white GT500 on the photo!!! Going to grab this one!!

  • @ #17 – EddieMX07

    Which country are you in, dood? Some places still are accepting new accounts, even if your original account is valid i.e US, Europe etc.

  • *still AREN’T*.

    Sorry! :s

  • Frostbite 2 engine is crazy cool

  • I can’t believe it NFS will now use Frostbite 2.Now this game will be amazing.

  • I might actually buy this game now. Looks AWESOME

  • All interest in this game for me was lost when they started comparing it to GT5. I’ve played their racing games in the past, you’d think the devs don’t even know what physics are with the way the cars move around so unrealistically.

    On top of that, they milk the series like activision milks the cod franchise, or like ea milks their NHL franchise. Graphics look barely passable compared to gt5 (at least it competes half decently vs forza), and nothing new to bring to the franchise by now, and a guarantee you’ll see a new version of NFS out within another year. Not even worth dling a demo (assuming they release one eventually).

    And who could honestly say without feeling like an idiot “Hey guys, I got the runs!!!”.

  • at Huanchu

    I’m the USA and the new account page still down. Is this happening to everyone or is it just me?

  • Looks better than GT5, which had some horrible looking tracks, non existent crash damage despite the promises and PS2 era standard cars and was one of the biggest disappointments this generation. Hope Yamauchi is taking notes.

  • this looks just like any other NFS

  • and btw this uses the frostbite 3 engine

  • game looks ok.

  • this game looks cool.

  • As much as this game looks promising, when are we going to get another NFS game like NFS:Underground?
    NFS:Underground 1 and 2 had a really good Fast and Furious feel.
    The music in the game was good and I deeply enjoyed the vehicle customization that I was allowed to do.

  • @8 sony might not add cross game voice chat to ps3 soon because the ps vita is coming out and if they add it now the vita will not sell so much

  • I have need for speed: hot pursuit and this is better compared to it, one reason because the graphics are better and they look more realistic and its even more intence and instead of being just you driving a bunch of different cars in races you are actually a person trying to do something for a reason and that exact reason is death from the mafia if he doesnt pay his debt, and so that gives the game an actual reason for it to be even more playable by everyone that will own it in the future when it comes out and i hope to be one of those people that get to have it.

  • NEWS FLASH, SONY: Character based Need For Speed is not a departure AT ALL. You forgot Undercover and all the others already?

    Still buying though… I went on a real cross country road trip from NY to Seattle. So much fun. Now I can see it in reverse, basically.

    • Yeah, like I mentioned above, they’ve experimented with storytelling before — but mostly through video clips. This game’s story is interactive and rolls out during gameplay, and the main character is much deeper than in any previous NFS games. You’ll get it once you try it for yourself!

  • crazier

  • Holy Crap am i seeing things or did end of video just show FrostBite Engine 2 the one thats powering BF3

  • I am Jack’s fiery rage. PLEASE EA don’t ruin this NFS like you did SHIFT 2.

    I loved your series and have now been burned please don’t burn me again.

    While “The Run” does look good I am really worried about these qte “out of the car” moments……

    Please make this a good game. I will buy it either way…don’t make me regret my purchase.

  • im thinking that they should add the cars from need for speed hot pursuit 2, & you can fix it like in need for speed most wanted, & that u can have free roam, in online and career,

  • Also come on guys….NFS has always been about tricking out your car….how do you customize when your “On the Run”? That is kind of a deal breaker…..

    As to the trailer….the Porsche GT3 should watch those guard rails at high speed, it could hit the rail and then flip off the road and catch fire burning you to death.

    Don’t drink and drive kids.

  • Maybe its because I always drive with hood-cam or because it’s early in the game but that race looked extremely slow paced. Graphics are amazing though

  • Stories for nfs games have been lame since most wanted… And don’t get me started on the “acting” and voice work. Hot pursuit is great, why such a departure?

  • Looks ok. Still won’t get me away from GT5 though.

  • Meh… just looks like DLC for NFS Hot Pursuit or an expansion for it, right down to the finish markers, shortcuts & cars …is EA going to turn this into another Madden.

  • Only 23 races? I counted when they show the U.S. map and its around 23 segments counting the smaller dots also. That seems really short.

  • Personally I am glad to see that jumps have returned, that is one of the reasons I liked Hot Pursuit on PS2 so much. Nothing like jumping OVER road spikes.

  • is this game going to be on psnetwork for psp?

Please enter your date of birth.