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Need For Speed: The Run Review

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Feel the need...

★★★★

Although Need For Speed is one of the best-selling videogame franchises in history – and, to date, has shifted over 100 millions copies around the globe – the series desperately needs a makeover to reignite the passion of petrol-heads unmoved by EA’s annual updates. And with The Run, the developers at Black Box have pulled it off.

The most obvious difference in The Run is a greater sense of storytelling, with the individual challenges forming part of a daunting race from San Francisco to New York, giving players more reason to stick with the game and see how its twisted tale of mobsters, stolen cash and racing rivalries plays out. Occasional out-of-car movie sequences – where pressing the correct button at the right moment keeps your driver alive and advances the plot – are rudimentary but help create a compelling story experience, making The Run an innovative evolution for the series.

The Run’s coast-to-coast structure also brings variety to the breakneck action, taking players through diverse landscapes such as crowded city streets, wide desert roads, and deadly scrambles through narrow canyons where one false move will see your ride crashing and burning in spectacular fashion. And, as you’d expect from a NFS game, the presentation throughout is stunning, with sprawling landscapes that convey an epic sense of scale, sexy cars that’ll give Top Gear fans the horn, and thumping sound that puts you right at the heart of the action.

But while the natty new features make The Run feel different to other entries in the series, the developers haven’t lost sight of what makes NFS so much fun in the first place; outrageous arcade racing, tight and satisfying car handling, and an impossibly thrilling illusion of speed that’s genuinely nerve-wracking when you’re going bumper-to-bumper with an aggressive pack of rivals while weaving through heavy cross-town traffic.

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