|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.
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.
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!