Putting Pedals To Metals In "Need For Speed: The Run"
The Electronic Arts booth at E3 this year was bombarded with gamers and press. It was a miracle of sorts that no one passed out from the sheer insanity engulfing their space, as every big-named title they were pushing was on the floor for all to try out. I almost found myself unable to play a single title EA was promoting, until I quickly found an opening at the Need For Speed booth. This year will mark the eighteenth release in the popular racing series, and from what I demoed in Need For Speed: The Run the folks at EA are raring to keep your heart pounding with excitement.
Need For Speed: The Run has you taking control of Jack, a man on the run from the law and those who want him dead. In order to escape from life behind bars Jack must partake in a three-thousand mile cross-country race, starting off in San Francisco and ending in New York City. In order to partake in the race Jack must get his wheels by any means necessary, as evident in the level I played.
The opening to the level had Jack dropkicking a Chicago cop before stealing his police cruiser. From there you had to race through the streets, avoiding police vehicles who are trying to push you off the road, helicopters that try to cease your vehicle's operations via shooting it to pieces, road blocks and other hazards that do all that they can to stop you from reaching your objective. You can evade these dangers by swerving into ongoing traffic, driving through tunnels and running any driver off the road in order to reach your goal. Once the main level finished Jack found himself crashing off-road, waking up in a daze on the train tracks. Quickly I had to unbuckle my seatbelt, smash the front window and make my escape before my journey was cut short.
The amount of detail put into Need For Speed: The Run was outstanding, as I noticed even the tiniest scratches and dents were finely-tuned in the game. When a nearby car exploded its pieces flew everywhere, and it even gave your vehicle a good shaking up to throw your steering off a bit. Quick thinking seems to be the key to survival, as you weren't given much time to decide on turns and navigating through tight spaces. One issue I had with the game, however, was a tad bit of lag in the controls department. There were a couple moments where I told my controller to veer off to avoid oncoming vehicles, only to see that I crashed headfirst into them.
I am curious to see how Need For Speed: The Run will use on-foot tactics. In some of the videos I noticed Jack evading police fire on a rooftop, followed by controller commands during jump sequences and fights. Whether or not the on-foot segments will be free-roaming or be interactive FMVs remains to be seen, though I hope it'll be the former so as to make the gameplay a bit more interesting. Also interesting to see is how weather conditions will affect the overall gameplay, with natural occurrences such as avalanches and desert storms playing a role in where the level takes you.
It won't be long before we hear more about Need For Speed: The Run, as it is due for the Xbox 360, PS3, Wii, 3DS and PC on November 15. Those looking for the true successor to Hot Pursuit might have their title right here, as the game is looking to be packed with enough adrenaline and jaw-dropping moments that will keep you at the edge of your seat.