Given Black Box's long relationship with the franchise, one would expect the cars to handle much like they did in previous Need for Speed games. However, I found the police car in the demo to be incredibly sluggish. Perhaps the title refers to my desire to go faster; I felt as if the game were running in slow-motion. Given that there was a helicopter chasing me, shooting bullets at my car, you'd think I could feel a bit more excited. While I walked away from the racing segment unimpressed, I'm hoping the final build will play more to my liking. (This is an early build, after all.) What made me really concerned were the on-foot QTE segments that define "The Run." Trapped in an upside-down car with button inputs appearing on the screen, I couldn't help but feel as I've done this before. The similarities between the QTE section of The Run and the car chase sequence from Heavy Rain invite further comparison. The two scenes are very similar, both conceptually and mechanically. However, Heavy Rain adapts to failure, with the story changing based on your performance. The Run, on the other hand, simply presents you with a Game Over screen. More importantly, the story gives you reason to care about the peril of the characters -- will The Run be able to do the same? I'm not entirely sold on Black Box's storytelling capabilities based on the E3 demo. I'm glad to see EA try something new with the series, and I'd love to see Black Box succeed with this concept. But with an uninteresting, and possibly misguided "story" mode, and a racing segment that felt sluggish and boring, Need for Speed The Run was one of my disappointments at the show. Watch the Shacknews E3 2011 page to follow all our coverage of this year's show. You can also subscribe to it with your favorite RSS reader.
Need for Speed The Run