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Preview: Need for Speed: The Run

Gearing up for its release this Thursday, Stevivor.com was able to get some hands-on time with Need for Speed: The Run last week. Here’s what we thought!

At the preview event, developer Black Box teased Need for Speed: The Run’s in-game story – we only saw footage, so while we didn’t see how it shapes the single-player campaign, we did, thankfully, get confirmation that it isn’t all a dream like Driver: San Francisco. What we did get to play was a series of out-of-context races – one on a highway, and the other, on a mountainside.

This generation’s fascination with ‘realistic’ (read: completely not fun) car mechanics rears its head pretty quickly, but unlike Driver: San Francisco, it doesn’t take long to master each vehicle’s handling. Once you’ve got control of your car, it’s just a matter of steering, boosting and… earning more boost by steering with style. For the most part, The Run is a joy to play.

The mode afforded players a series of respawns. Basically, if you total your car or veer too far off-course, you respawned at the last checkpoint. Use up all your respawns, and it’s Game Over. While the totalling the car bit, we understand, the veering off-course spawning proved… problematic. We had no dramas on the highway, thanks to walls that made veering off-course impossible, on the mountainside, it proved to be massively painful (and massively inconsistent). Sometimes, I drove metres off the road, no respawn. Other times, I’d overshoot a corner slightly and bam, respawned. Sure, it made a more careful driver out of me, but it was more than a little frustrating.

NFS: The Run hits stores in Australia this Thursday 17 November. Look for it on PC, PS3, Xbox 360, Wii, and 3DS. We’ll have a full review after its release.

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About the author

Will Kostakis

Screenwriter, author, gamer and purveyor of all things inappropriate. His new book, THE FIRST THIRD, is out now via Penguin Australia.