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3.3 out of 5 stars
Need for Speed: The Run - PC
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120 of 129 people found the following review helpful
on November 20, 2011
Platform for Display: PC DownloadVerified Purchase
This game is beautiful. The graphics are actually gorgeous, and the designers of the Frostbite 2 engine and the people who implemented it to should be proud of themselves.

That said, if I were a game designer on this and someone asked me what I'd been working on for the last two years...I'd lie.

1. There are quick-time events scattered throughout the game that demand that you push X, Y, A, B, etc. in a limited amount of time or you will die. On a PC, you may not be using a controller with these labels, and if you remap, it doesn't change what flashes on screen, so you get to die 30 times while trying to figure out which button they want you to push when they flash B at you insistently.

2. If you remap your controller, the game will forget you did so when you next start the game. So prepare to remap every single time.

3. The game has a system wherein if you get by a checkpoint and crash, you can then restart at that checkpoint. You have a limited number of these in a stage. Obviously, if you crash in the first leg (which will happen very frequently for reasons I will explain), you're better off just restarting than taking the deduction on the number of checkpoint restarts. The game shouldn't deduct one until you clear a checkpoint. How in the world did a tester not point that out?

4. The cars handle horrifically, but don't worry. On many of the courses you can just bounce off the track barriers and take hairpin turns at speed.

5. On the other hand, there are roads running parallel to the main street that if you get on them, your game ends. Or if you touch the arrow barriers marking the track, you will lose. Sometimes if you touch the grass on the shoulder, that's it. Other times you can drive many meters off the road in a shortcut. Feel free to engage in a lot of trial and error by losing.

6. The rubber-banding effect is insane. Being passed while at your car's absolute top speed because you got into the lead "too early" is infuriating. Watching a standard Crown Victoria police cruiser blow by you when you're driving 200+mph is infuriating. On the other hand, feel free on some missions to just sit a few seconds at the start line. You'll catch up. One of these days they need to make a game where the AI just drives. They don't cap their speed when you're behind them and they don't get a jet pack strapped to their car when you're ahead of them.

7. The gameplay types are not fun. Running from the cops in the Most Wanted/Carbon/Undercover trio involved using side streets and obstacles and hiding. In Hot Pursuit, you had abilities. Cops in this game are just around to ram you as you're driving and occasionally force you to lose a race because they've blocked your ability to turn or pull out right in front of you. There's no cleverness. There's no coordination. It would make as much sense if a pickup truck just stayed in front of you rolling barrels off the back.

8. The main character is unlikable.

9. You switch cars by pulling into optional gas stations along the way. Pulling into a gas station will, of course, make you lose time, so you are punished for driving a variety of cars. If that wasn't a strange enough design decision, sometimes they'll put the gas station at the end of the level, so you'll get to make a choice, "Do I want to switch cars and thus likely lose this race, or not?"

10. The manufacturers should get to have a say before this game is released. All else equal, given the vehicle handling, I'm now less inclined to buy any vehicle featured in this game. A walrus on roller skates could take a turn faster than some of these vehicles.

Last year's Hot Pursuit convinced me that it was worth spending $40+ on a Need for Speed title at loss. This has proven me wrong. If you love racing games and gotta have a fix, try and hold off until it's $19.99 at least. You can't get a refund on these downloads, else I would have handed it back in after 20 minutes.
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16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
on July 20, 2012
Platform for Display: PC
The name Need For Speed used to mean something. The early 2000s could be seen as the series's prime, with great titles like Underground 2 and Most Wanted.

The name today doesn't mean anything anymore. Most Wanted was my favorite game of all time and I got The Run with the hope of re-experiencing the good old days. The two games are made by the same people at Black Box studio.

How can they fail this so spectacularly?

The good:

Good graphics.

The game features a variety of roads to drive on. From snowy mountain roads to arid, sand covered roads that travel through the desert.

The bad:

The story is bad. You start out in debt with some bad guys. You sign up for a race. You win the race. You get the money and solve your problem. That's it.

There are special rivals in the game. They are better drivers than the rest. And there's a total of... 5 of them. How's that for a challenge? They didn't even bother adding more rivals so basically the game makes you beat all of them twice.

Except the first and last rival you don't get to interact or anything with them. The other three rivals. Well the game shows you their name. Their background and why they're in the race. All this is done through text on the screen. That's it.

Car damage is bad. Fender bender and crumpled door along with shattered glass is about everything you will get.

The reset system is stupid. Not because of its existence but because how the game treats which instance to count as a reset. Say you enter a corner too fast and your car goes sideways. If your rear tires slide on the dirt for too long the game counts that as a crash and resets you. Keep in mind that this happens even through you didn't hit any object and half of your car IS STILL ON THE TARMAC.

The rubberbanding is stupid. You could be doing top speed and the cop will still blow past you as if you're standing still.

The way you eliminate the cop cars is stupid. Say you're being chased. You can take the cops out by hitting their car. In one instance I found myself accidentally hitting a cop car from the side. His car went through the barrier and down a cliff. I thought to myself "Well, that's the end of him". Two seconds later as I'm doing top speed the SAME COP CAR BLEW PAST ME and started the chase again.

The game is way too short. You can beat it in about 4 hours.

Some cars are very hard to handle. Like the Shelby Mustang. That car is a boat that only wants to go straight. Good luck trying to steer it.

Overall very bad game. I'm disappointed that this came from Black Box. The studio that made my favorite game of all time (Most Wanted). This franchise is pretty much dead to me. Need For Speed hasn't introduced a good title since '05. Do not buy.
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22 of 28 people found the following review helpful
on November 24, 2011
Platform for Display: PC
Although the game is decent and fairly enjoyable, plus it's not buggy like last year's release of Hot Pursuit 2010 (the multicore issue that took them 6 weeks to get straightened out for the PC!!!) They've limited PC users of this game once again.

First of all, I think EA games needs to remember where their roots are; namely PC gamers. I've been a dedicated NFS gamer since 1998. And although I could get a console and have the ability to buy the car add-ons as well as other console exclusive features, my gaming system out performs any console out there. Hell, my graphics card alone could buy an XBox & a PS3. But I'm sorry, I'm a PC gamer, mainly because no console out there can produce the visual quality a good gaming system can produce. DirectX 11, 32X AA 32xAF (or better), textures, shadows, volumetric light, & visual FX all maxed out at higher rez than HD, that NO console can even come close to. I think the 360 can't do anything past 4x antialiasing, same with the PS3. And yes, for you console gamers, you say there's no difference, well, you obviously have never seen the visual qualtiy a REAL gaming system can produce.

But, here's my beef with EA games last few year's Need For Speeds, not just The Run, it's several of the last NFS releases that EA games has come up with; I can't buy the expansion pack that unlocks the cars or gives you additional cars, or tracks, or races. In past games, namely Shift 1, I couldn't get the Ferrari pack, Pro Street was the same thing, and so on and so on. With, The Run, played on the 360 you can buy some car package that unlocks all the cars for you. But will that be available on the PC? Of course not.

I know some of you console players are saying, well too many hackers make it too easy to get the games for free from places like those illegal download sites, but they need to get a clue and stop using that as an excuse. Those same sites have all the console games that can be download as well if you know what you're doing, or at least that's my understanding (NOT THAT I'M CONDONING DOWNLOADING ANY SOFTWARE FROM THESE PLACES FOR FREE AT ALL) I feel that if you want a piece of software, buy it!!! Support your software developers!!!!! End of story.

On NSF The Run, I'm locked out of over 2/3's of the cars because I have to compelte so many autolog or multi-player objectives. I want to play the game, not play online with others and have to put up with juvenile comments from onliner's, or this stupid autolog garbage EA has come up with in the last few releases. Supposedly you can enter cheat codes on the PC version, but I'd rather earn them myself, and although you can play the 'challenge series' to unlock some cars, only a handful of cars are unlocked by doing that. And no one even knows what any of the cheat codes to unlock the cars even are. (yet)

As for game play, most of cars handle like a 1967 Ford Galaxy 500!!! Land yachts in other words. And being this is most definately an arcade racing game, there's no reason for the poor handling, it should be fun not make you so mad you want to shut off your computer. They should have made the cars handle like they did in Undercover. The only ones in The Run that do handle at all and even make the game playable, are some of the Porsches, Nissan GTR, M3, and most of the AWD cars.

If a Ford Mustang Cobra/Shelby handled as badly as it does in this game, Ford would never sell even one of them! You couldn't give me one for free. I'd whipe out the first corner I took too fast and kill myself. Same goes with the Dodge Challenger in the Run. Even some of the high end exotics like the Pagani's can be tricky to manuver around tight corners without spinning out. The best one in the game is by far the Porsche 918 RSR, it's about the only supercar that's even playable. (And I say that only because I haven't gotten a chance to drive A LOT of the other cars because they're locked out until I jump through EA Game's autolog or online hoops.)

The cars are rated from easy, normal, challenging, difficult, very difficult, expert, (maybe not in that order) based on how hard they are to drive. ALL the muscle cars are either, difficult or above, so I don't even bother with them unless I have to for a challenge. But for example, the Gallardo and the Merc SLS are both classed as 'challenging' and pretty much same 0-60 and top speed, but the SLS is far easier to drive and actaully tops out faster than the lambo that has the same specs. While on the other hand, the Audi R8 is slow, handles poorly, takes forever to top out, and no fun to drive at all, but yet it's suppose to basically be a Gallardo in a German package, so what's up with that EA Games??? I KNOW you do your homework on these cars.

I do know with all the new NSF's and even other racing games, it takes a while to get the driving down just right, but in The Run, it's just rediculous, and makes you only want to drive a handful of cars, when you should be wanting to try all the cars.

The AI is also pretty messed up. When you're topped out at 200+ and a car that's listed as only having a top speed of 190 played by the computer, passes you like you're standing still, well it's a bunch of BS!!! The cops are there only to annoy you I think and get in your way. You can knock them off the road and wreck them but it takes some practice and some luck. Once you've gone through a particular level of the game that has cops in it, they become predictable as well so they get less and less challenging to deal with when you replay that same level. The roads are very unforgiving. Go into the grass and that's it, restart, try to take a short cut not on the map, restart, hit something a little too hard, wrecked and restart. I'm certain I could whipe out in a corn field and NOT total my car but in this game, they think you can and do,so.... restart.

In a nut shell, I'd like to see EA NFS series start giving their dedicated PC gamers the extras that console users have been getting for some time now, but as far as the game goes, YES, it is a reasonably fun game, all-be-it easy to finsh. The graphics are great on a well equiped PC, the cars selection is great (if I can ever get them all unlocked) BUT, since I got it last week, I've finshed it twice and I'm on my third go around, so it's easy to play. I've finshed all but a handful of the challenges, and I'm happier playing Hot Pursuit 2010 to be quite honest.

Another thing I REALLY don't like about The Run and other's have mentioned this too, is A: I HAVE to use an XBox 360 controller if I want to use a dual analog controller. The one I've used on all the other NFS titles and prefer by Saitek, just isn't supported & won't work. And B: there are a few places in the game that are just plain stupid. You have to press AAAAA, then YYYY, then BBBB to escape out of the car crusher at the beginning of the game for example. WHY???? It's a damn racing game, not grand theft auto!! That whole business of pressing a combination of buttons to escape the police or the mob or whatever, has no place in this NFS or ANY need for speed. I wish they'd come out with a patch to REMOVE those parts of the game. They are meaningless in a Need For Speed game of any kind. And the worse part it, it's not even hard or a challenge. WHAT IS THE POINT?

I'm giving it a 3 star overall rating of 5, -1 for the stupid A.B.Y.X 360 controller to do these cut scene actions, (which only happens 3 times in the game anyway and has no place in a racing game) and a -1 for limitting the PC gamer from buying the car unlocking package and having to play all these stupid autolog & multiplayer objectives to unlock all the cars. Had they left those 2 things out of the game, I'd give it a 5 star rating as it is a fun game to play even with the poor handling of a lot of the cars and the fact it's easy to complete in a short amount of time. I think it was about 3 or 4 hours of total game play and I was done the 2nd time around. And, I have to say, on my pc at least, the graphics in 1920x1200 with everything maxed out on a 28" LED/LCD monitor, does look awesome! So way to go on the graphics at least.

EA GAMES, GET WITH IT for your PC gamers!!! There are some of us out there that DO actually buy your games and support you still, though I'm questioning my wisedom in doing so any more.

I'm giving it 4 stars for how much fun it is only because the visuals on the PC are very nicely done and selecting the right car does make the game very playable. Next year I am NOT rushing out to my closest retail store to pay top shelf pricing the day it comes out. I'm waiting for a month or 2.
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21 of 27 people found the following review helpful
on November 15, 2011
Platform for Display: PC
Ok, I will stay away from my gut reaction to one star this game as it is actually fun, and the graphics are good (with one major caveat). The caveat is that the game is capped at 30 FPS on PC with no way around it. A twitch reflex game like a driving game deserves all the frames you can throw at it.

The developer chose to do this to prevent the frame rate from jumping all over the place based on whatever was happening on screen at the time. This is definitely useful for consoles which have aging hardware; however, if you have a recent graphics card, there is absolutely no reason you could not maintain 60 FPS easily.

What is frustrating about this is that there is really no additional testing to do for enabling this. It is a freebee from a developement standpoint - so not sure why the developers chose to prevent higher frame rates.

As a side note, there also is no way to enable AA in the game. Not as big of a deal though as the 30 FPS cap.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
on July 9, 2012
Platform for Display: PC DownloadVerified Purchase
I've been waiting for this game to go on sale and for $9.99, I couldn't pass up the deal. I've mostly read negative reviews for this game and I guess I can understand why especially with the common complaints about the 30fps framerate cap. Well, if you turn off vsync, that will fix that. If you're worried about screen tearing, if you're using an Nvidia graphics card like I am, use adaptive vsync and now I'm playing on 2560x1600 with smooth 60fps framerate. The game is a ton of fun if you like arcade style racing games and the frostbite engine is amazing. I highly recommend it especially for $9.99 as it is currently.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
on December 3, 2011
Platform for Display: PCVerified Purchase
The game's alright, but not as fun as Most Wanted (my first and favorite NFS game). It also has its drawbacks (I'll try to remember them all).

1. Game can crash randomly, which can be a big annoyance if you're in the middle of or are about to finish a hard race/chase and you're winning. It happened to me. What's worse is that there's no patch on the NFS official website.

2. You can only revert back to a checkpoint for a limited number of times. After you've used up all of your "lives", you'll have to restart the race from the beginning. This is the first time I've seen this in a NFS game (the last one I played before this was Carbon). This really blows when you're in a tricky race. Seriously, I don't feel like restarting a hard, long-winded race after I almost won it.

3. Speaking of checkpoints, it'll automatically reset you back to the last checkpoint if you go off-road in the slightest. This got old fast.

4. It tends to forget your controls settings. I changed the accelerate/brake keys, and it changed back to default several times. I finally got fed up and stuck with defaults. (While I'm here, I think I'll share my displeasure that you can't use arrow keys for accelerating and braking).

5. It's not easy to change cars. Instead of having a safe house, you have to find a gas station, which isn't in every race, and can easily be missed if you're not paying attention. Also, heading in to a gas station to change cars costs you race time.

6. You can hardly hit anything without wrecking your car (and causing a checkpoint reset). This does make the game more realistic, but also more tedious if traffic's heavy, or there's a police roadblock where you can only hit the wooden barricades.

7. As far as I can see, there's hardly any car customization in career mode. You can't change the car's looks or performance parts. You're only stuck with what the game gives you.

8. Career mode gets boring and repetitive after a while. It's basically just gaining positions and working your way to the #1 spot. There's no variety of races like in Most Wanted.

9. Lack of fun with cops. Instead of being able to mangle their cars up in Most Wanted, they're just an obstacle. There's also no bounty or cop chase milestones.

10. There's really no reward for beating rivals, such as getting their car. They also appear randomly in The Run, so there's really no storyline behind them. They're just like the other regular racers.

11. Career mode's pretty short. The game officially has me logged at about 2 hours. It's actually longer, when you consider how many checkpoint resets I've had due to crashing or going off-road, or having to repeat a race because the game decided to crash. I was able to beat the game in a few nights playing an hour per night.

12. When installing the game, it forces you to register through Origin. Not only is it annoying having to download the program and open an account, but it also makes offline game loading time slower with its "AutoLog".

13. Quite a few cars (including the 2011 Shelby Mustang) handle like shopping carts.

After beating career mode, it's not fun enough to make me want to play again, but I do enjoy playing online with other people. It's not the best NFS game, and the multiplayer is probably the only thing that makes the game worthwhile.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
Platform for Display: PC Download
The Good: Excellent visuals, varied environments, lots of fast real world cars, idea is interesting

The Bad: Only a few race types, gets repetitive quick, doesn't last vary long, not much to do after you beat the game

Need for Speed has taken many different directions in the last decade, but The Run tries to go back to its roots while trying something new. Sure you're being chased by cops, doing illegal stuff in a car, great graphics, super fast sense of speed. Sounds like an NFS game right? Well in a sense it is, but it won't change haters minds or make hardcore fans happy. This isn't the true return like Hot Pursuit was, but it does convey a nice idea. You play as a guy named Jack Rourke who owes a mob a lot of money. You hear about a race from San Francisco to New York and your "agent" will give you a cut of the prize money and make your little mob problem go away. You start at 200th place and make your way to 1st.

This sounds like it would take forever, or be just one straight race, but it isn't. The game is broken down into 10 stages and each stage has various races. The terrain obviously changes a lot and this means lots of different environments to look at which gets help from EA's latest Frostbite 2 engine that was used in Battlefield 3. While it doesn't look as amazing as that game it look fantastic and probably the best looking NFS game to date. There are so many different places to race from snow, open fields, farms, factories, cities, you name it. There are several different race types, but they are thrown up variously, but the overall experience is repetitive.

Races range from gaining a certain amount of positions, to battling against the clock in elimination races. There are "boss" races that have you racing a good distance, there are also races solely against the clock to catch up time. That's about all there is and the only thing keeping you from getting really bored are the constantly changing environments which are great to look at and not one stage is the same. There are some better elements that make the game thrilling and these are survival sections. One has you running from an avalanche, another from a helicopter shooting at you, as well as a mountain demolition, but these are so far and few between you yearn for them between the constant drag of gaining positions.

While these moments are highly entertaining, and probably the moments in the game, a few times Jack will get out of his car and initiate quick time events which are also entertaining, but pretty pointless since you normally don't play an on foot NFS game. Don't worry you don't control him, just think of it as an interactive cut scene.

A great NFS game needs fast real world cars and there are plenty here from Ferrari to Lamborghini you will find it here. You can change cars by pulling into gas stations throughout stages, but overall you usually stick with one car until the next group is unlocked. You can earn experience through things like drifting, jumping, overtaking cars etc., but I found this kind of useless since you only earn one thing when leveling up and its usually an avatar or something like that. You can use resets during a race if you crash or really screw up, but watch out they are limited.

The game features Autolog that everyone has grown to love, plus there are Challenge Series races to do after you beat the short 4-5 hour campaign mode. Multiplayer is pretty standard and nothing to write home about, but The Run is a fun weekend rental and nothing more. You will quickly forget about this one, but the whole idea is fun while it lasts.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on December 14, 2011
Platform for Display: PCVerified Purchase
I was more excited to get hold of this installment than previous ones because it featured driving in known locations in the US, but in the end that's about all it has going for it. The game itself is too easy, the main 'character' is so bad you almost want to crash on purpose, there's barely any cop interaction (and you can't take the cop role in this one), the interactive cut scenes are condescending, and the characters you defeat start repeating towards the end of the game (didn't I already run this guy off the road? How'd he get into 2nd place?). The worst for me though is that on some challenges you can overshoot a corner for a second and it forces a restart - why not let the undergrowth slow the car or cause it to flip with dramatic consequences, like it might if you really hit a grass verge at 200mph? Instead you get an immediate restart screen that drags you back to the reality that you're not really driving on the edge in a race across America to save your own life, but instead learning to drive within the limits of the game to get a good enough finishing position to see the next city in America in the hope you'll recognize some landmark that you can smash your character's face into. At one point the dialogue is so bad that the sponsor chick says, 'Be careful Jack, no race is worth risking your life over'. Well actually it is, if you believe the premise that Jack has to win the race or he'll be killed by mobsters. I wish them luck.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on December 27, 2011
Platform for Display: PC
Typical EA crapsmanship. Looks pretty, the few minutes of cut scene I get to see... repeatedly.

This game was not properly ported to PC. The controls are still specifically set for xbox style controller / gameplay, rather than with I dunno.. a Thrustmaster Ferrari GT wheels/pedals - which this game does not support well at all. With default settings, you press the accelerator, you get backed out and into the quit menu - handy feature, that.

Even if you manage to set keybindings, not ALL required keys/buttons are (re-)mappable to controller or keyboard. In fact, some keys seems to be multi-pirposed so sometimes you have to hit space and/or enter (for B or X button), while other times it appears to be space/enter for A/Y buttons. This was a gift, I'd never have bought another EA game with my own money and this epic EA fail is another stellar example why.

For those masochists who insist on buying this, search google for "crusher B key" and you might get past the first obstacle. I gave up trying.

Oh, and whereas many better games (even BF3 which uses the same frostbite2 engine) support nVidia 3dVision, NFS:TR does not.

Go buy a copy of "Test Drive Unlimited 2" if you want a PC driving game that just works out of the box.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on December 14, 2013
Platform for Display: PCVerified Purchase
Sick story ! No one wants to be that Jack dude ! Auto reset and auto camera is annoying ! Don't expect much, I just had a good feel while driving in my state.
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