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Customer Review

120 of 129 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Lazy Design, November 19, 2011
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This review is from: Need for Speed: The Run [Download] (Software Download)
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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Tracked by 4 customers

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Showing 1-10 of 14 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Nov 19, 2011 7:03:45 PM PST
Chuck says:
Nice review. I was hesitant about this game, not wanting to be forced into installing Origin anyway. Sounds like a step backwards from Hot Pursuit.

Posted on Nov 25, 2011 4:02:31 PM PST
momo says:
haha! perfect review, you sir, literally read my mind, the theatrics of the game were awesome i.e. avalanche race, being chased by helicopter gunship... but the handling just made everything terrible

Posted on Nov 30, 2011 11:10:22 AM PST
Redeemer says:
I got it for $40 when it first came out and yeah, I agree with you. Here's my take. The game is short, really short. Only ten stages and they felt that they come from a fighting game by Capcom. It would be better if the game has 16-17 stages like you see in a racing season. There are some places we haven't seen like Green Bay, Dallas, Bowling Green or the Niagara Falls. As a local of Las Vegas, Black Box did not depict I-15 and the parts of the city right. If you have been to Vegas, there is no gas station next to the freeway. This is definitely that Black Box wasted their money on some concept that didn't work as mine. $40 isn't so bad when I got it, but they need to ditch working on this franchise and have EA get somebody new. Otherwise, they'll be bankrupt when I took over their market and their assets.

Posted on Dec 11, 2011 9:55:23 PM PST
Expedito Paz says:
Hi! I've just bought the pc version of the game, and agree with your review. However, I have a question: the game doesn't let me remap all the controls, so on the quick-time events, which keyboard letters equals to X, Y, A and B on the Xbox layout? I simply didn't get into story mode due to this. Thanks in advance.

Posted on Dec 21, 2011 10:42:11 AM PST
this game is the worst racing game I have ever played. My system has all the hardware recommendation and I still have
problems with the video being unsteady. I wish I had never bought it, fifty dollars is quite high to pay for such lousy performance.

Posted on Jan 2, 2012 2:18:58 AM PST
O says:
You may be used to the arcade-style handling of Need for Speed cars, but I think this one tries to aim more for realism (even though it's far from it).

Posted on Jul 9, 2012 8:26:19 PM PDT
Incubus Jax says:
How in the world did a tester not point that out?

I'm sure several did, and were probably told to be quiet, because they have a deadline. I played this game at PAX and literally told the EA rep there that it was a pile. I didn't get a T-Shirt, which was fine with me. Unfortunately they refuse to port Gran Turismo or Forza 4 to the PC so we're stuck with Need for Speed for racing on PC, which just should not happen.

Posted on Aug 30, 2012 7:42:16 PM PDT
Fani says:
What an excellent review. Kudos to you on that.

I have now decided not to purchase this game. I absolutely LOVE the Hot Pursuit sections of the NFS series while I absolutely loathe the Carbon and Undercover sections of NFS. I am neutral on the Most Wanted section - actually, make that slightly positive for the MW section.

I want to drive fast, cool, exotic cars with excellent gameplay and graphics and handling at cool locales with cops in pursuit or as a cop in pursuit with gadgets. NFS:HP is just that. Simply perfect. It also now has the Burnout style Takedowns which means NFS:HP2 is the epitome of this NFS racing genre at present.

Carbon and Undercover are just crap IMO. Cheapo cars that you need to sit and tune so you can drive in the darkness under neon lit city streets. Horrible. At least MW was a free roamer fun. Oh! and Shift was great too for that Forza/PGR style experience, but its more simulator-y instead of arcadey.

The one positive aspect of NFS:HP2 was it had NO rubber band AI and now that you've mentioned rubber-banding, it is game over for me. No pun intended. Not buying NFS:Run.

Rest of the annoyances you mentioned will send me over the edge and I cannot have that. I'm looking for fun, not frustration. A challenge, sure, but not an impediment where the computer cheats. NFS:HP2 - in some races you can build up a 30sec lead and be more cautious. It is more real to me that way instead of constantly struggling against AI cars that magically catch up to you just to keep it competitive. It actually ends up being counter-competitive and frustrating. Car handling also seems poor by your mention and some Youtube reviews.

I won't buy this game even on sale. Moreso because it is not on Steam anyway. And rubber-banding AI.

Posted on Oct 17, 2012 1:36:14 PM PDT
A customer says:
The car handling on Shift is terrible! Can't even control the car...I think EA made the games a little too realistic to the point where it isn't even fun anymore. That being said, I LOVE the older NFS games, like Hot Pursuit 2, because I can actually control the car.

Posted on Oct 29, 2012 10:44:50 AM PDT
Why wouldn't you play this game using an XBox360 controller?
Does anyone seriously play racing games using a mouse and keyboard?
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