Need for Speed: The Run Review
Xbox 360 | PS3
Need for Speed: The Run Box Art
System: PS3, Xbox 360, PC, Wii, 3DS
Dev: Black Box
Pub: Electronic Arts
Release: November 15, 2011
Players: 1 - 12 Players Online
Screen Resolution: 480p-1080p

Through the course of the game, you'll naturally progress and unlock special "abilities," leveling up your drive with experience points earned in each event. These abilities allow you to become a better racer all the way around, while letting you make some glorious explosions.

A lot of the visual prowess is due to the fact that the Frostbite 2 engine is pumping out some of the best environments we've seen this generation. The framework on the vehicles look spectacular and the characters models also show off the graphical power behind this phenomenal first-person shooter engine. While there are only a few small hindrances in the character models (the occasional stiff, blocky movement), their faces are very impressive, modeled after their respective voice actors and actresses. This was so impressive, in fact, that my wife even noticed that Sam Harper had the face of Christina Hendricks, who provides the voice. While there was never anything visually unsatisfying in prior NFS titles (considering their respective time periods), it is impressive to see Black Box taking that extra step to showcase the power of the engine and get another step closer to reaching their ultimate vision for the franchise.

Need for Speed: The Run Screenshot

This also comes across in the audio department. Sure, we heard how authentic Gran Turismo and Forza could sound after all the painstaking hours they put into the vehicle sounds. However, it's not just the engine sounds that impressed me in The Run; it was the simple crunching of sand under the tires, or the sound of the tires desperately trying to hold onto the road as you spun around a corner. Even the gruesome glass shattering sounds of a head-on collision were so satisfying that I "felt" that crash more than I have with any other racing game.

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Need for Speed: The Run does so many things right. It's an action game for people who like cars, or perhaps a racing game for people who like action. In fact, it's both of these things at the same time. Too often racing games get repetitive and lose their luster about halfway through. The Run takes a simple formula and amps it up to appeal to junkies of both genres. Do yourself a favor; pick up The Run and unlock the demon inside you. What demon? The one that has a Need for Speed!

By Matt Walker
CCC Editor-In-Chief

RATING OUT OF 5
RATING DESCRIPTION
4.3
Graphics
The Frostbite2 engine looks wonderful. I cannot wait to see what else it can do for other genres.
3.9
Control
There's a learning curve here, and it can be tedious as heck at times.
4.2
Music / Sound FX / Voice Acting
Solid voice performances and music make this game a rarity in the racing genre.
3.9
Play Value
Racing and action fans alike have no reason to not play this game.
4.0
Overall Rating - Great
Not an average. See Rating legend below for a final score breakdown.
Review Rating Legend
0.1 - 1.9 = Avoid 2.5 - 2.9 = Average 3.5 - 3.9 = Good 4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy
2.0 - 2.4 = Poor 3.0 - 3.4 = Fair 4.0 - 4.4 = Great 5.0 = The Best

Game Features:

  • Get involved in an illicit, high-stakes race across the country, from San Francisco to New York.
  • No speed limits. No rules. No allies.
  • Battle hundreds of the world's most notorious drivers on the country's most dangerous roads.
  • Weave through dense urban centers, rocket down icy mountain passes, and navigate narrow canyons at breakneck speeds, all the while evading a relentless police force prepared—and willing—to use lethal force to take you down.

  • Videos / Game Trailers
    Need For Speed: The Run - E3 2011: Trailer - click to enlarge
    E3 2011: Trailer
    Need For Speed: The Run - Michael Bay's TV Commercial - click to enlarge
    Michael Bay's TV Commercial
    Need For Speed: The Run - Multiplayer Trailer - click to enlarge
    Multiplayer Trailer
    Need For Speed: The Run - Race for Your Life  - click to enlarge
    Race for Your Life
    Need For Speed: The Run -
    "Jack is a Marked Man"

    Screenshots / Images
    Need for Speed: The Run Screenshot - click to enlarge Need for Speed: The Run Screenshot - click to enlarge Need for Speed: The Run Screenshot - click to enlarge Need for Speed: The Run Screenshot - click to enlarge Need for Speed: The Run Screenshot - click to enlarge Need for Speed: The Run Screenshot - click to enlarge Need for Speed: The Run Screenshot - click to enlarge Need for Speed: The Run Screenshot - click to enlarge Need for Speed: The Run Screenshot - click to enlarge Need for Speed: The Run Screenshot - click to enlarge

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