Sunday, December 23, 2012

Need for Speed: The Run Review

Many people would say that Need for Speed is the Call of Duty of the Racing genre, to which I would fully agree. I mean, there’s multiple sub-series of the game (Most Wanted, Shift, Hot Pursuit, Underground, etc.), there’s a new one at least once a year, and for the most part the games are mediocre at best. And while I will say The Run isn’t that great of a game, it’s still something that may be worth checking out.

The game has you play as a guy by the name of Jack. Before the events in The Run, he got himself into some trouble with a gang. You start off barely conscious with your hands taped to the steering wheel of a car, and you’re about to be made into a cube of metal and blood via a crusher. In typical movie-game fashion, you are supposed to press buttons that come up on screen to continue through the cut-scene (which for me was a pain in the ass because I got this game for my xbox, with which I had very little experience with which buttons were where). You are then running for your life to find a conveniently placed vehicle that you can start and then drive off in, with them chasing you, guns blazing (at this point you are actually driving, finally). Once you finally escape, you meet up with this one chick who you were friends with, who sets you up to compete in a large-scale illegal street-race from San Francisco to New York, called “The Run”. Thus begins the game.

I’ll start off with what I don’t like about this as a game. For one, this is the most linear I have ever seen any racing game be. In fact, I don’t think it’s possible for a game to be any more linear than this. You see, with most racing games you have a money system with which you can buy, sell, and upgrade your cars. This is nonexistent in The Run. Because of the lack of money, you are required to win every race you get to (in most games coming in second would still net you some money, which in theory allows you to upgrade your car and eventually win), and you are given a set of cars that you are allowed to use, which have about the same overall performance. This makes the majority of the cars available in the game useless inside the main story (however they are still available for the challenge series and online).

But I want to drive my Golf across the country...

There is also a lack of the personal customization that Need for Speed is known for, which admittedly is both a blessing and a curse. They were nice enough to allow you a choice in colors and a few body kits, as well as providing some special edition cars that were pre-tuned and customized. For the most part these cars look decently tasteful; while you are stuck with very little customization, at least you don’t have to see the abominations created by 12 year olds with terrible taste if/when you race online.