Saturday, January 28, 2012

Need for Speed The Run Review

Platform: PC
Genre: racing

Again, november came with my birthday and a new NFS title. As always the NFS was a gamble not sure if it's gone go into the good pile or into the let's_just_pretend_it_didn't_happen one. Well ... we s
hall see.

You are Jack, a professional racer who took a wrong rurn and finds himself tied to the steering wheel in car to be crushed. A bit later you free yourself and so the game starts.

On the first note, after playing The Run on hardcore after finishing it
on normal ... I noticed that in the intro movie ... "Sam" says that it is a 3000 m

ile race and then i noticed it . It was the perfect driving game I always wanted ... it's the actual Gumball3000 game ... although it's presented as race not a rally. If you don't know what Gumball is here is a shirt sentence from a Gumball participant:
"Gumball in 1 wrapsentecnce: if you haven't done it in tour lifetime you only do it once and take it to your grave and say "that's the best damn thing i've done in my life" "

So, moving on with the game ...
The story (which is pretty short to be honest ...) takes you all over America from the Golden Gate to the Empire State. From behind the wheel (well, not literary s
ince it doesn't have a cockpit view) you will see around you frozen snowy mountain passes, huge plains consumed by storms or lifeless deserts. Also you will pass through big cities like Chicago or New Vegas. The game is divided into stages, each with it's own kind of environment. The cities are sorta major checkpoints which await the player with some quick-time events ... Yes a Need for Speed game with on_foot quick time events. Although it sounds weird and some might say that it destroys the series ... but they offer a nice distraction from a time to time. And the producers didn't exaggerate with these so they won't annoy you a bit (I have to say that in one playthrough you have ti perform around 4 or 5). They also give some action to the story taking the player from the steering wheel. And so the game gives it's story a bit more importance and makes the player get a bit more involved.

Although the story is something new, it's important how it's delive
red, right ? Again, as any Need for Speed game, it's looks are above jaw-dropping/puking-rainbows. The vehicles are very nicely done and the level of detail surpasses anything from it's category. Also, like in Hot Pursuit(the 2010 one), all of the traffic is fully licensed and got the same attention as the vehicles you are driving/have access to. On the same note, the environment looks awesome ... from the icy roads to the weather effects or city landscapes filled with highways, skyscrapers or subway stations. Although all of these come with a high-price. The game doesn't have any directx9 support. It only runs on 10 or 11 s
o ... you might a need a computer with a bit of power to fully enjoy everything the game has to offer. It also sounds good ... the voice-acting is ok ... not perfect ... but ok, the cars sound awesome and the music is very well chosen and it differs from stage to stage.

Although the game delivers on the story, graphics ... sound ... it is not all perfect or not even ok. If you (like most of the population) buy the simple version instead of a limited edition, the game will constantly taunt you. In the beginning when you get to choose your first vehicle, you will be presented with two more option nicely labeled "Available if you bought the Limited edition" (or something like that). As for the other cars, after completing the game you haven't even unlocked half of the cars ... Most of them come from the multiplayer.

Here, we bump into Autolog again (not like it's a bad thing). By beating your autolog times, or your friends times you get to unlock cars. Also you get a sort of multiplayer challenges that will grant you cars. From the singleplayer and multiplayer you get XP which will increase your driver level ... and will unlock different stuff like better nitrous, badges, icons, profile background and some cars. When you start a multiplayer game, you can choose between different series of races and at the beginning there is a wheel that will determine what the winner of the series will get (of course there are some cars that can be unlocked only from here). The problem with the multiplayer is that it's very laggy ... the oponents just teleport or fly or whatever around you ... and at the start of a race it gets very very messy because of this.

These being said, the franchise made a step forward with it's storytelling and I wish to see more like this one ... but it still needs some polish ...

the bad: short story, multiplayer
the good: presentation, car list, the last race (if you get a certain part on your first try ... you will feel awesome)

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1 comment:

  1. You said on Reddit that you want feedback, so here it goes:

    The formatting is an issue that needs to get resolved, it creates too many line breaks where words, sentences and paragraphs are cut off. Furthermore, while everyone is guilty of the odd spelling mistake or grammatical error, here those errors undermine the review in its entirety. It takes time to learn this stuff (I've always been bad with it myself) but it improves the reader experience exponentially when they don't have to trip over sentences that misuse words. Consider looking into The Little Brown Essential Handbook - it's what I used to help along my grammar for writing.

    Also - I'm not sure if it's formatting or what, but you constantly use _ (an underscore) when you should be using - (a dash). Switch that up and things will read more clear.

    As for the review content:

    I think one thing you may want to consider is to try and figure out how to explain something to a reader without falling back on "good" and "bad". Telling me the story is "good" or "something new" tells me nothing at all about the story. In fact, I don't even know from this what the story is, though you do explain the setup. Why does Jack race across the country? What happens if he loses?

    I think if you want to gain more readers and traffic to the site it'll help if you remember that not everyone can follow games closely and this might be the only time they read about a game. You do a good job with that when describing the DirectX support and the experience from the campaign and what it unlocks for the player.

    Finally - I'd also consider leaving a final thought. It doesn't have to be a score, but a recommendation fcr other people. IE: "If you wanted an experience as polished as Hot Pursuit, this might not be it, but you do get an excellent story." Or whatever works for you.

    I know how hard it is to write reviews on your own, and you've got a great start here. Just clean up the formatting, run the review through a Word doc to spell and grammar check and you'll get your point across a lot easier to the reader.

    Great work and keep it up.