E3: Need for Speed: The Run


Need for Speed: The Run takes players out of the car for the first time, but it isn’t becoming Grand Theft Auto.

Need for Speed has always been purely about racing cars in various situations, so when EA announced that Need for Speed: The Run would take players out of the car it might have felt a little off. However, more details have revealed that The Run is still primarily focused on driving.

At a behind-closed-doors session, EA noted that Need for Speed: The Run‘s on-foot segments are only about 10% of the game. The Run actually has a linear storyline this time, so it created the on-foot Heavy Rain-like segments to flesh it out. However, the goal of these segments is for the main character to be moving from car to car, not so he can go grab a handgun or pump some iron.

The hands-on E3 demo of The Run drops you into a police car on your way out of Chicago. The goal of the game is to make your way from San Francisco to New York as quickly as possible, so hanging around the windy city just isn’t in the cards. A helicopter rains down bullets as you swerve around corners, smashing into pedestrian cars and various types of scenery. The Run puts arrow overlays on the streets showing you which way to go, but they’re not walls so you can drive right through if you miss a turn.

I made my way into a train yard, smashing into a container of explosives and initiating a segment of the main character attempting to get out of the car to avoid being killed by an oncoming train. I had a choice of which window to bang on through QTEs. I tried to smash a window with my fist to no avail. Oh, I forgot to undo my seatbelt. Kicking out the rear window was much more effective afterward, and then the demo ended

This area took place in a city, but EA says that the 300km of track (3 times the size of any previous title) will feature varied types of environments. Need for Speed: The Run actually uses DICE’s Frostbite 2 engine used for Battlefield 3, which enabled the on-foot segments to come together more easily. EA wasn’t showing too much of The Run, but don’t be too frightened that Need for Speed is turning into a different game quite yet.

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