Need For Speed: The Run
An enjoyable racing game that's unfortunately still plagued by bugs
- Heaps of cars to unlock
- Great graphics
- Enjoyable gameplay
- Still riddled with bugs
- No free roaming
Need For Speed: The Run is a fun racer for the PC, with great graphics, and lot of cars and challenges. However, it's still a buggy game that's unstable in addition to having a few other niggly problems. I'd wait for a patch to come out before investing in this game. I haven't given it a star rating because it kept crashing during stage eight and I was unable to finish it.
Price$ 79.99 (AUD)
The main goal in Need For Speed: The Run is to make it from one side of the United States to the other, racing for your life to win the cross-country event so that the mob won't smoke your rear-end due to bad debts. Or something like that anyway.
'The Run' is the game's single player mode and race stages are interspersed with cut scenes and limited-interaction-action-sequences. In these sequences, you have to press the corresponding key that appears on the screen until it goes green so that you can get your driver out of a jam and progress the story. This is how the game actually starts: your driver is about to be crushed at a wrecking yard and you have to make him escape by hitting the space bar, enter key and arrow keys when prompted on the screen. Throughout the game, you get some advice from a female friend and you also have to race against other notorious drivers, some wishing much death upon you. There's no character development here, it's just a bit of a distraction from all the racing.
I tested the PC version of the game and found installation off the DVD to take over half an hour. That's because it's a huge game with tons of art and it ended up consuming almost 16GB of drive space -- that's more than Battlefield 3. To play The Run, you need to be logged in to EA's Origin, through which you can compare times with your online buddies (via Autolog), and there is also a multiplayer mode, which I found to be problematic at the time of testing -- the audio was horrible and made the game hard to enjoy. (There also didn't appear to be many players.) Multiplayer is a necessary component of The Run if you want to unlock lots of cars; there are 124 cars in total, including the Lamborghini Sesto Elemento and NFS-edition Shelby, Corvette and BMW models among others.
As you progress through the storyline mode, you'll earn points for your driving (jumps, drifts, clean passes, reaching maximum speed and slip-streaming all get you points), your driver level will increase, and you'll end up unlocking cars and challenges, as well as more mundane things such as profile pictures and backgrounds. The graphics in the game are well detailed and smooth, and there are times when I wished I could just relax and drive at a normal pace so that I could explore EA's recreation of America's landscapes.
The game starts off in San Francisco, where you pelt down familiar locations (if you've visited San Fran before, that is) such as the Embarcadero and China Town; you can briefly take in sites such as the Transamerica Pyramid and eventually cross the Bay Bridge. As you make your way towards New York, you'll encounter more eye candy, whether it be the bright lights of Las Vegas, the snow-covered Rocky mountains or the urban jungles of Chicago.
Once I reached Chicago, I again wished that I could stop and take in the scenery around me, especially when I saw the Willis Tower (formerly Sears Tower) looming high in front of me and was transfixed by it while going over 200km per hour before realising I had to negotiate a turn -- whoops. The driving is relatively forgiving in normal mode and even easier if you choose to drive with automatic transmission; you can use up to five resets per race in this mode. You can pick a car that is right for each race by pulling in to a petrol station, which I thought was a nice touch, but I stuck with my Porche 911, which got the job done in most situations, until I was forced to change to an Audi in Chicago.
The obstacles you'll have to overcome while you race are not just in the form of your opponents, but also the cops and their roadblocks, oncoming traffic and, depending on the stage, dust storms that reduce visibility, avalanches that can total your car and gunfire from mob-driven SUVs that'll cripple you. Barricades along the side of the road can mostly be hugged and bounced off, but there are some in mountainous areas that won't protect your car and you'll end up crashing straight through them and falling off the side -- reset.
If you use too many resets, then you have the option of just restarting the level -- this is to your advantage as the more resets you save, the more points you get at the end of the race. Don't be too cautious though; the main aim of the game, as with all Need For Speed games, is to basically nail the accelerator to the floor of the car -- and use the nitrous bottle that you're given generously because it gets replenished as the race goes on and as long as you drive really fast. It's the way the game is supposed to played -- at speed -- and it's much more enjoyable and satisfying to play it this way. Oh yeah, and if you don't floor it you'll never win anything.
Coming in second is not an option in any race, but winning isn't all that difficult in most stages, To me, it seemed as though the game let me win as soon as I caught up with the last of my opponents. Not only that, in some races where the opponents were seemingly nowhere in sight, I eventually, and quite easily, caught up with them and overtook them to rush through the red smoke finish line in first place. That's not altogether a bad thing; after all, the game is meant to be enjoyable -- it's not a simulator and it doesn't require any technical skills. The only things you have to master are the track layouts and the scenery, and make sure you can handle your car as you swerve to avoid highway patrols and oncoming traffic.
In addition to the main races, the game throws up time trials and battles, but these also aren't that difficult and even if you fail a couple of times, eventually you'll end up winning. If you get sick of the main race, then you can turn your attention to the challenges (as long as you've unlocked some). These are individual races in which you can earn medals based on your finishing times. There is a platinum medal that is almost impossible to attain unless you run an absolutely perfect race. With enough practice, you will eventually.
I played The Run on an AMD Phenom II X6 1055T-based PC with a 7200rpm system hard drive and an ATI Radeon HD 5700 Series graphics adapter with the latest Catalyst drivers at the time of writing (11.12). (I tried playing it with integrated AMD graphics, but the game wasn't at all smooth, even at the lowest possible detail levels.) With this ATI adapter, which is relatively old (so old it's still called an ATI), I was able to run the game at a resolution of 1920x1200 and with maximum graphics detail (sans anti-aliasing) while experiencing super-smooth frame rates and no jerkiness whatsoever.
Using these settings, Need For Speed: The Run proved to be a good looking and exhilarating game, but it felt like it took ages to load and some of the cut scenes in between races, the ones meant to tell the story, were annoying. In a game like this, it's not really the story you need to focus on, but going as fast as you can, having as much fun as you can while doing so, and finishing first so you can progress to the next level.
One thing that I found disappointing was the lack of a free roaming mode so that I could explore the tracks at my own pace and take in the detail of the surroundings. That said, there might be a free mode that unlocks when I finish the story mode. I wouldn't know because the game continuously hung at stage eight in Cleveland. I couldn't get any further than a black screen with a visible mouse pointer whenever I completed that race and Windows 7 informed me that it was an 'APPCRASH'.
That's the major bug in this game, but there are some others, too: it would not always bind my keys properly and I would have to exit a race and head back to the main menu screen to change the controller settings; the Autolog didn't always work either. A patch for this game is desperately needed and I'd recommend waiting until EA releases one before buying this game, otherwise you might end up with a game you can't finish.
Join the PC World newsletter!
Epson EcoTank Expression ET-2500
Everki ContemPRO Roll Top Laptop Backpack
Lexar® JumpDrive® S57 USB 3.0 flash drive
Samsung portable 1TB T3 drive
Smart LED Bulb LB130
UE Boom 2 Bluetooth speaker
Linksys AC5400 MU-MIMO Gigabit router
Microsoft L5V-00027 Sculpt Ergonomic Keyboard Desktop
Lexar® Portable SSD
Epson WorkForce DS-360W
Logitech G403 Prodigy mouse
3SIXT Ultra HD Sports Action Camera
Belkin MIXIT Metallic Lightning to USB Cable
Acer Swift 7
Lexar® JumpDrive® S45 USB 3.0 flash drive
Huawei Mate 9
Google Daydream VR headset
HP Pavilion x360 13”
Audio-Technica ATH-ANC70 Noise Cancelling Headphones
Garmin Fenix Chronos smartwatch
Lexar® JumpDrive® C20c USB Type-C flash drive
Dell Inspiron 5000 series 2-in-1
Lexar® Professional 1800x microSDHC™/microSDXC™ UHS-II cards
Dell XPS 13 laptop
Blade 28 backpack by Arc’teryx
Surface Pro 4
HD Pan/Tilt Wi-Fi Camera with Night Vision NC450
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 Oppo R9s Plus phone: Full, in-depth review
- 2 Samsung 2017 QLED Q7 TV: Full, in-depth review
- 3 HTC U Ultra phone full, in-depth review
- 4 Gigabyte Aorus GA-AX370-Gaming 5 AMD Ryzen AM4 motherboard review
- 5 Venom Blackbook Zero 14 laptop review
Latest News Articles
- StarCraft Remastered updates a legend with 4K widescreen support, updated audio, and more
- Obduction's new VR hand-tracking makes Myst's spiritual successor even more stunning
- Star Citizen dumps DirectX 12 plans to focus on Vulkan-powered graphics
- Dungeons and Dragons ditches pen and paper with D&D Beyond
- Exclusive no more: PlayStation 4 games are coming to the PC via PlayStation Now
PCW Evaluation Team
A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.
I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.
As a freelance writer who is always on the go, I like my technology to be both efficient and effective so I can do my job well. The HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 Inkjet Printer ticks all the boxes in terms of form factor, performance and user interface.
I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.
Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!
For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.
- LG G6: unboxing, hands on review and detail shots
- Samsung Galaxy A5 2017: unboxing, hands on review and detail shots
- And the 2017 winner of the Formula 1 Best Pit Lane Boom Gantry is...
- What's the difference between an Intel Core i3, i5 and i7?
- Laser vs. inkjet printers: which is better?
- FTSocial Media ExecutiveNSW
- FTRACF Mainframe Security Analysts / Engineers - Multiple Roles - SydneyNSW
- FTCisco Network Engineer (FIFO)WA
- CCChange LeadNSW
- CCPega TesterVIC
- FTLinux System AdminstratorQLD
- FTInfrastructure ArchitectWA
- CCChange AnalystQLD
- TPEngineer Desktop DevelopmentVIC
- FTProject Manager - Financial Forecasting SystemsNSW
- TP.NET DeveloperWA
- FTDrupal Developer - SeniorQLD
- FTBusiness Change Lead, OrganisationalNSW
- FTService Desk ConsultantACT
- CCSenior Full Stack Web Developer - Port MacquarieNSW
- CCApplication Support Specialist- Bathurst or Port MacquarieNSW
- FTData Centre Technical SpecialistACT
- FTTechnical Business AnalystVIC
- FTArchitect (Technical)NSW
- FTDirector, Centre for Cyber Security SolutionsVIC
- TPLead TesterNSW
- FTService Desk Operators (Part time and Full Time)SA
- FTProject Manager, FinanceNSW
- CCFirewall EngineerNSW
- CCSenior Full Stack Web Developer - Port MacquarieQLD