Need for Speed The Run

NFS The Run Preview

Recently we were able to visit EA Black Box in Canada and played the upcoming Need for Speed The Run! Read in this article Junkie's first impressions of the game:

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After three years abstinence EA Black Box is back on the Need for Speed stage - since the release of NFS Undercover back in 2008 the studio had quite some time to plan its comeback with new ideas and new engine.

Six years ago the developers already had a plan to create a virtual Cannonball race through the USA, but they didn't have a proper engine to enforce this task. Interestingly, this problem was solved by Battlefield 3: the Frostbite 2.0 engine was originally designed for a first-person-shooter and may seems inapplicable for a racing game, but its capability to render extensive landscapes, atmospheric cities, detailed vehicles and characters quite fits the developer's requirements.

Although the same engine is used on all major platforms, you can see distinctive differences in the graphics. Hardly surprising the PC offers the best visuals compared to the consoles, of course with the according high-performance hardware.
The Playstation 3 version looks fine, but could use a little more anti-aliasing, as already seen in the Battlefield 3 Beta. (which is unfortunately not possible..)
On Xbox 360 the game looks a bit dull and slightly blurred textures seem to reduce details and reflections - but keep in mind we didn't play the final build, so we expect the developers to shape the engine a bit more before the game ships.

When it comes to the story of NFS The Run is shows that the efforts adjusting a shooter-engine for a racing game will pay off. During your race from the west- to the eastcost you get a feeling for the elaborated design concept behind the game: when driving through rolling landscapes, sprinkled with windmills, listening to country music, heading down to Las Vegas, or racing for your life between the street canyons of Chicago, you see the beautiful visuals and get the desire to stay a while longer. Together with the sophisticated and iconic sound scenery, you feel the vibrant ambient and just want to explore e.g. the streets of San Francisco - but when you want to be the first one in New York on the Race for your Life, you shouldn't waste any time.

On your way to New York you will encounter several police units, which subconsciously led to comparing The Run with its predecessor NFS Hot Pursuit. Regarding the graphics both titles are on a similar level: thanks to Frostbite 2.0 The Run offers a better and most notably wider view on the landscapes, Hot Pursuit appears slightly more detailed and seems to fit more for Arcade-fans.
When we take a look at the driving physics, we can also see differences here: In Hot Pursuit it was even for beginners quite easy to drift around the corners, but in The Run you have to work hard for drifts - but you are even happier after a successful manoeuvre. If you hit the gas too early after a curve, strong RWDs tend to break out and you get the damn-why-is-this-game-so-realistic-here feeling, without leaving you frustrated, since you immediately are aware that it's your own mistage.

» Continue reading..

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- Junkie

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