Saturday, November 5, 2011

Need For Speed The Run--Even More Opinions

Just recently, I decided to waterboard myself by playing the Need for Speed: The Run demo off XBL.

Okay, now to tell you the truth, if you strip away all the damn cinematics, this game is not that bad.  Yes, I said it.  But let's talk about how the demo went.

Okay, so I download the friggin demo and then start it up.  Before it takes me to the menu, it requires that you create an EA online account.  Now I already had one (ages ago when I played Madden online a few times) so I figured I could just slip in there.  WRONG!  Since the EA Policy & Terms of Use had been updated, you had to go through the whole "You must accept the terms before continuing" nonsense.  Oh, and there's not just one document but two--Terms of Use AND Policy.  Two different things.

Now both these things were over twenty pages long.  And I'm like "Are you kidding me?"  Who's gonna read this whole thing?  I just want to play a game, not sell my life away to EA.  And I didn't need to read some Terms of Use to play Call of Duty or any other massive XBLA game so why do I need another one now???

I don't know ANYTHING that was in that agreement.  Basically don't pirate the game or trash talk little kids--I get it.  They could've slipped anything in there like "By agreeing to this document, you must sacrifice your first-born child to EA," or "Critiquing this game will result in a $50,000 lawsuit," or something of that nature.  Terms of Uses aren't new of course.

EA never ceases to amaze me.

So, what was I driving at here?  Okay, playing the damn game.  So there's two stages in this game.  One takes place in Death Valley (the desert).  The other takes place in Independence Pass (the snow avalanche level).  You must beat the Death Valley stage before you progress to the Independence Pass stage.  All while driving a Lamborghini Gallardo, of course.  Typical Need For Speed set of wheels.  Although you can unlock the second car, a Porsche Carerra or something, for inviting one or more friends to play the game with you.  So in other words, brainwash your friends and unlock new junk.  Once again, EA just blows my mind.

So Need for Speed: The Run does something interesting in that the AI people go from 1st to 200th position or something like that.  So you're in this massive cross-country race.  Well, duhhhhhh.  It's kind of like Sega Rally's Championship Mode where there's 50 cars and you run one lap on three consecutive courses.  Your position carries over from race to race so you can progressively move up the pack to 1st across races.  NFS: The Run doesn't really care if you smash the other cars off the road which is kind of cruel but I know the kiddies won't care.  The game offers "Clean Pass" bonuses which is good enough, I guess.

Now about the car handling. just plain pisses me off.  Best way to explain the handling is it's like you're driving a brick on wheels.  The handling is clunky and unresponsive and it takes some time to get accommodated with although I never felt comfortable with it ever.  I think Need for Speed was aiming for realistic handling--you know, because a 600+ HP sports car shouldn't be able to turn on a dime.  But for being such a mainstream racing game, damn I was pissed.  Seriously, just try it for yourself.

Funny how much I wrecked for fun in this demo run.  First thing I did was drive off the road into the chasm below.  When that happens, the game teleports you back onto the track.  Just piss easy--it seems cheesy but whatever.  Then I smashed head first into oncoming traffic--a blue Dodge Charger or something like that.  We just sat there in the middle of the road.  We were about to get out and exchange insurance information but then I was like f*** that--this is a video game.  Funny because we know that Jack the protagonist will get his Gallardo destroyed/stolen down the line so what's the point?  Plus he's also being chased by the cops so isn't he already in hot water??

EDIT: Guess the reason I drove off-road and crashed was to see if the AI would rubber-band it up and make it easy for me to catch up but I guess not.  They just zipped to the finish line.  Oh, this game is so cruel.  And I was playing on the easiest difficulty too.

To beat the Death Valley level, you need to pass 10 cars before the finish line.  Okay, did that, although it took me three tries to do it thanks to these awkward controls.  Then I ran the Independence Pass level.  Basically, it's you vs. one other guy.  Rocks and snow fall down from the sky in your face like some Split-Second level.  Hit the rocks and your car gets totaled.  Then you respawn a few seconds back with little penalty.  Oh man, that is great.  So I won that race quite easily by about 30+ seconds.  The rocks kept falling in the same predictable locations so it required some trial and error to figure out where to go.

Then there's the multiplayer trailer which makes the game look better.  By the looks of things, there's no circuit courses--just sprints from Point A to B.  It's like Cruis'n USA all over again.  And the trailer looks rather exciting but there's nothing revolutionary about it.  It's all cinematics to me.  The way the car bobs and weaves is kind of sweet though.

Oh and while we're on cinematics, Michael Bay (yes, THAT Michael Bay of Transformers/blow s*** up fame) created a trailer for NFS: The Runs.

This game has officially SOLD OUT.  First shoes, then Dr. Pepper advertisements, then SI Swimsuit Magazines, then Hollywood actors/directors.  I give up.


  1. Well... it seems they forgot everything about NFS after all. They couldn't even get the driving right, if what you say is true - no doubt it is, given your experience with all the driving games.

    Maybe I'll give the demo a go, even if I like the driving, I'm not gonna buy the full version. Never. I don't want EA to take my money for this not-NFS. I know one purchase doesn't make a difference, but it's always one less person convincing them they're actually headed in the right direction.

    I'm still bitter. They killed NFS entirely - last time I looked at the comments on Youtube, everyone wanted EA to make another Underground or Undercover game! I feel like cursing out loud, ARGH! Noone wanted the return of NFS 3 or 4... not one soul.
    Ugh... and these two were the best in the entire franchise! After Hot Pursuit 2 everything got tainted with this whole street-cred nigga criminal bullshit.

  2. The handling didn't piss me off, but I definetly do get where you're coming from. For me it's something that I'll have to adapt. Overall, it's interesting and I would like to see what the reviewers and users think when this comes out. I stopped caring about what approach Need For Speed goes for every single year. I just want a need for speed game plain and simple. HP2 will always be my favorite in the series followed by Most Wanted. But I loved HP2 for different reasons besides the cops. Need for Speed is racing plain and simple. It doesn't matter if it's on the streets in a tricked out import, on the track flying through a chicane at 200mph, or in a beautiful exotic screaming down lush landscape with cops on your tail. To me Need for Speed is racing. And although the styles changes over the years, one thing remains constant. You get racing. Yeah that sounds like a stupid philosophy, but that's how I feel about one of EA's longest running franchises. I stopped caring about if the game does or doesn't have customization, cops, storylines etc. So The Run does look interesting and I hope that Blackbox can redeem themselves after the abysmal NFS Undercover.

  3. Meh, I guess you're taking the right approach here, Collin... I had to do the same thing with Sonic - take a clear, open-minded approach with every new installment in the series (really - I found Shadow the Hedgehog to be a great Sonic game, despite all the unfavorable reviews from practically everyone), but...

    I just can't do the same with NFS.

    To ME, NFS was all about love for cars. Remember that Showcase mode thingy, where you could look around the cockpit, look at car photos? Remember how detailed the cockpit view was? The sound of gearstick being moved, engine roaring, it was a game for car enthusiasts who wanted excitement.

    ... now it's for illegal racing junkies and I can't stand it.

  4. I feel ya It's not that I don't Like the Undeground Era. They're good games, and made NFS even more popular, but I strongly think that the fanbase for that era has overblown it a bit too much, treating UG1, UG2, and MW as the best in the series and negating all of those that stood before it. Most Wanted is my second favorite game in the franchise, but I kinda think that it's overrated after people keep saying stuff like.

    Best game in the series
    The series went downhill after Most Wanted.

    1st.... You don't know that. Think about Pro Street. Yeah it wasn't as polished as Most Wanted or Carbon, but after the comments I've been reading, I think that this was a step in a new direction. Think about it. If Blackbox had thrown out game after game comprising of the same formula and not doing anything new to it, NFS would get stale and redundant, really fast.

    I think that's were the problem lies with us. The Underground Fanboys. They would defend Undercover. Once Shift 1 came out they started bitching about it and we didn't care, because we probably had different reasons to bitch about the game. When the series was taken back to it's roots thanks to Criterion, we were happy about it. Yeah the handling felt like burnout and the free-roam should've followed the same mechanics as most wanted, but we were still happy about it. But the UGFB still bitched about it and it started to get a little annoying. Then when Shift 2 came out, UG fans were still bitching about it and I kinda found it refreshing to see comments on the Shift 2 trailers telling them to shut up. And now here we are with The Run. The instant that fans start to bitch about the game we would immediately tell them to piss off. And I found that there are good reasons to go back to the underground era, but I found more good and possibly logical reasons to continue forward.
    That's the point when I stopped caring and just focus on if this NFS will be a good game altogether. Yeah I had to make a little rant on the UGFB's out there, they just annoy me.

  5. You guys are NFS fanboys??? Lol, I don't have much to say other than bring back the old Need for Speed. The old High Stakes was ACE...

  6. That's no problem. As long as you don't come on this board trashing Sega racers that is. Otherwise, I'll have to ask you to leave.

  7. I have to admit it, I really like Most Wanted, Hot Pursuit (new one) and even Shift 1.

    But not a patch on Sega Rally, Daytona and Outrun 2006 :)