Need for Speed: The Run Hands-On Preview

We race through the desert between Los Angeles and Las Vegas and find out more about our protagonist Jack.

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During this year's Electronic Entertainment Expo in Los Angeles, EA took the chance to show off its upcoming racer, Need for Speed: The Run, which marks the first time in the series that players will be required to spend time on foot.

The game will see players taking part in an illicit race from San Francisco to New York, incorporating the Autolog networking system that was used to foster competition between friends in last year's Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit. During the E3 demo, EA revealed a chunk of the game that saw the protagonist, Jack, leave his car and run through a portion of the city while running away from a pack of bad guys. Button prompts saw Jack performing a series of platforming stunts before finding a new car and speeding away again.

This time around, we had the chance to get some hands-on time with one of the sprint-racing time trials in Need for Speed: The Run.

Our demo took place in the desert between Los Angeles and Las Vegas, where Jack needed to defeat 10 other racers to arrive at the destination first. The environment looked crisp and detailed, and there were plenty of shortcuts to be found along the way, alongside plenty of oncoming traffic. The controls are quite sensitive, with just a slight tap on either side of the thumbstick sufficing for correcting steering. We found that getting the balance of acceleration and drifting didn't come easily, and it took a few turns to correctly identify when and how much to slow down when taking corners and the right time to speed up again in order not to lose too much momentum.

The course included regular checkpoints, something that works alongside the game's new rewind feature. The latter becomes available only when you crash; so, rather than going back all the way to the start of the race, you're simply taken back to the last checkpoint and allowed to reattempt the part you failed. This is a particularly handy feature when completing a new track because it lets you learn from your mistakes without being too punishing. It also has the added advantage of giving players time to explore the track to discover shortcuts without losing too much time.

While the rewind feature takes you back in time, EA says the number of times you can use it is limited throughout the campaign, changing depending on the track and difficulty setting.

During the demo EA also emphasised that while the game's reveal focused on Jack's on-foot adventures, players shouldn't expect to see too much of this aspect, as racing will still be the main component of Need for Speed: The Run. The publisher also hinted that Jack will have to survive certain environmental challenges, and while we recently saw the avalanche scenario during Gamescom, they're remaining tight-lipped on others.

The demo certainly held our interest, and we're excited to see more of Need for Speed: The Run's racing and on-foot elements in the months to come.

Discussion

52 comments
cromen
cromen

NFSU 3 plz! still playing nfsu 2 and it rocks with it's customization features and street racing theme!

PinkFloyd2003
PinkFloyd2003

What's with all the hate? Everyone hates when a company pumps out the same game over and over. They're actually doing something different here. It's nice to see them put a spin on it. Plus it's not like this is what NFS is going to be like from now on. That said: I actually love point to point racing but hate doing laps on tracks so this sounds pretty interesting. Plus I love the idea of a road race across America. I've been waiting for a newer Cruis'n USA. Only problem I have is I'm not a huge fan of racing games with in depth story lines. I don't think they need them. To me the premise just needs to be "there's a race across the country and you're one of the racers." The End.

Defsolidus
Defsolidus

Juste freaking bring back the customization and all that made the old games great before the stupid "we want to compete with Grand Tourismo" idea came about. Or is Midnight Club that intimidating.

Pyrobolo
Pyrobolo

inteeereesrting... offroad races maybe?

MuffintopX
MuffintopX

Reminds me of the original Need For Speed which had long linear courses in it, which were the best tracks. I hope that racing from 1 end of the country to the other at least has multiple routes to take, sortof like how you play through Starfox.

smp13
smp13

Split-screen? Custimisation? Funky modes like drifting, or fre-roaming cop evasions? That is all I really look for out of a NFS game nowadays, and they don't seem to provide.

leoansa2
leoansa2

I would like to say this as technical as possible....OMFG....another piece of sh*t...

k0k066
k0k066

is there any free roam or customization options in the game???

JGMRACING
JGMRACING

@pidow Trust me, you got a good buy with RAGE vs this. I pre-ordered Hot Pursuit the day it was announced, and that was the biggest waste of $60 I've ever spent. Just wait until 3 months after it's released and all the hype wears off and people realize that again, the NFS games nowdays just plain suck.

JGMRACING
JGMRACING

What was with the one guy that just rated down all the comments? I'm rating them all up then.

zidan4000
zidan4000

my opinion? the QTEs are so pointless and they feel like they were forced in there , the videos should have just stayed videos and if they wanted us to play some on foot sections so be it , give us a full tps gameplay along with racing , that would have been cool.

Salgo53
Salgo53

i really wish they can add a cockpit view to the NFS arcade games

NightFox313
NightFox313

I liked the idea of street racing in NFS while driving away from the cops without all of these cinematic clashes in the story. In fact, NFS doesn't really need a story, does it? It's a driving game where you race illegally to get some cash! The game's got a good thing going for it, and I think some hard work is being put into The Run, but I'll stick with NFS Most Wanted on this one. Great idea though, EA.

topeira
topeira

just the idea of this particular NFS is horrible, IMO. this idea of a linear route may sound cool for a movie, but as a racing game it sound terrible. im predicting a poor game i wouldnt want to play myself. Driver:SF does sound cool , however.

guertt
guertt

they should produce a console named NFS HD

ZachBobBob
ZachBobBob

@senator990 Technically it would be Burnout 7 if we just talk about the console games ;) Plus criterion make it, EA just sell it. But still, I'd LOVE another burnout (that isn't that arcady new crash game or whatever it is)

MJ12-Conspiracy
MJ12-Conspiracy

Sorry EA but I'll only grab Forza 4, I made the mistake of buying NFS: Shift when I could have gotten Forza 3..... NFS has lost it's appeal to me, The Run looks nice and the racing looks okay but the whole out of the car button prompting mini games sounds stupid, I hate that kind of mechanic in games....I hate failing a whole section just because I messed up on one button press......

senator990
senator990

Damn it EA. enough of every year 2 NFS! give us Burnout 2.

JangoF-76
JangoF-76

So, you write a preview focusing on the on-foot sections, but don't give us any screen shots or gameplay vids of them?

Mwells15
Mwells15

Handling looks extremely heavy and uninteresting. Another NFS I'm unlikely to be purchasing. Shame...

Tanares
Tanares

Pretty standard fare... but love the movie-like soundtrack though. Really added to the intensity. Whoever is in charge of the sound for this game, give him/her a raise.

pidow
pidow

I would like to get this game very much but, I spent the money on Rage!.

ecurl143
ecurl143

Crikey..... a split route! Landscape looks a bit bland.

melvz99
melvz99

Another NEED FOR SPEED???????????? What's this, NEED for SPEED part 47th?

Tviper7
Tviper7

Dead On Ice, the small description of the on track handling, already sounds like crapterion's "The controls are quite sensitive, with just a slight tap on either side of the thumbstick sufficing for correcting steering." (DeadZone created for major failage) hot pursuit exactly like it to be honest....

ICE_PREDATOR
ICE_PREDATOR

oh c`mon people are you really blind? Can't you all see that this game is not gonna have customization options? It's gonna be like Hot Failsuit with some slight changes , I expect it to be a 7 out of 10. No customisation = Not Need For Speed. it's starting to die.

RockmasteR-_-
RockmasteR-_-

@CptRexKramer Checkpoints rewind or restart can be found in action games FP or 3rd Person Shooters but in Racing that is a cool thing to restart from a checkpoint if you messed up

wld007
wld007

HOTPURSUIT!!!!!!

SadPSPAddict
SadPSPAddict

Sounds good - just hope the time spent out of the car is less that 5% of the game....it's a racing game EA!!!!

TWO1FIVE
TWO1FIVE

Glad I'm not the only one calling for Underground 3, 2 was one of my favorite racers of all time

Carlos161
Carlos161

I want a good game. Please don't disappoint EA

rcgamboa20
rcgamboa20

[This message was deleted at the request of a moderator or administrator]

jlm2k5
jlm2k5

on foot, avalanche, Seriously!!! Need for Speed is starting to show all the signs of a game without an identity.

sardarhassan
sardarhassan

Lol...there is no customization in This game.... Check out all the pics vids that are revealed uptill now..u wont find any customized car...

sardarhassan
sardarhassan

Lol...there is no customization in This game.... Check out all the pics vids that are revealed uptill now..u wont find any customized car...

CptRexKramer
CptRexKramer

Not sure about the "rewind feature". I thought at first it might similar to the Forza series rewind feature, but all it seems to be is a checkpoint system. So, what's the big deal? The majority of the games out have some sort of checkpoint system. Not sure how this "feature" adds to the overall gaming experience, but I'm still looking forward to the game. It'd be cool if they made all 2900 plus miles from SF to New York drivable. That would be a hell of a racing challenge.

RockmasteR-_-
RockmasteR-_-

Hope this is the next Most Wanted with lots of Vinyls and customizations, but what I was surprised to read: "ON FOOT" so I really hope this is not the next "DRIV3R" game we know how that game failed

vivalatour
vivalatour

This makes me feel The need The need for Motorstorm Apocalpse !

redder1111
redder1111

why all cars we saw so far are without vynlis and visual tunings ?!

Giga_Surfer
Giga_Surfer

I still think this game is too shallow, with that said, I'm not considering buying this one unless it gets a 8.5 score or higher. EA disappointed me one to many times with the NFS series.

Ballen04
Ballen04

Quit stalling and bring out Underground 3 is all I have to say to EA.

Gladestone1
Gladestone1

Loos good enough for me to pre order.Havent pre order a need for speed in a long time..Alost got shift2 and i still might..

21nikola
21nikola

i don't see any difference between this and hp2...

mosavm01
mosavm01

this game is G TO THE NEED FOR SPEED :)