Developer: EA Black Box, Firebrand Games (Wii/3DS)
Publisher: Electronic Arts, Sega (Japan)
Platform: PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, Microsoft Windows, Wii, 3DS, Mobile
Genre(s): Street Racing
Mode: Single-Player; Multi-Player
First Released: November 15, 2011
Played on: Microsoft Windows
2010 is done with Need For Speed Hot Pursuit and for 2011, we have EA’s street racing game Need For Speed The Run. In The Run, you play as a guy named Jack and you are a made-man, chased by some rich people for having so much debt, and there goes a racing competition that will take place from San Francisco until you reach the outskirts of New York city. Having heard of the competition, Jack decided to get in and settle all of his debts once and for all as his last resort, racing 1st. In the game, aside from driving, you will meet story sequences that will make you press something in your machine in accordance to what is shown on the screen. It is a Need For Speed Hot Pursuit game added with a story.
I finished the game just last week, and the number one thing I have noticed so far is that, the game is short, specially the Story mode. You race from San Francisco to New York from being the 200th placer and once you reach 1st, then you’re simply done. But anyway, before I tell you the real conclusion, let’s take a look at the graphics first. Below are some screenshots of the game while I’m playing Story mode, using none other than our favorite recording utility, Fraps.
If you have noticed, the car detail is quite impressive, a little better than how the cars in Hot Pursuit was presented. Lighting is quite nice too, making the terrain and the environment look much more captivating, also better than Hot Pursuit. If you have read my Hot Pursuit review, I told there that the game flawlessly works well, except the heavy loading times and the framedropping encounters during cinematic cuts. Well The Run loads faster but unfortunately, framedropping is still present and believe it or not, much more disappointing. There is also a large complaint by most hardcore gamers about the game.
The Run is heavily capped to render up to 30 frames-per-second only, so if you have Fraps installed and running, you’ll see “30” on your screen most of the time, plus the framedropping issue, even if you have the fastest GPU out there. Well, if there is a fix, then that could do but it sounds impossible for a release. Here is a video of a race with Mila and her sister (opponents in the game):
Anyway, going back to the graphics, there are so many cinematic cuts in the game. One is the presentation of the stages, let’s say San Francisco, wherein the game shows how the stages will look like, just like the picture below:
It looks good at first as it is just an image, but sadly, the real thing is that, when you are actually playing and watching the cinematic cut, you’ll experience a lot of framedrops, resulting for you to get annoyed and skip the scene (if you could, but there’s no way!). In fact, the scene is made in low resolution, lower than your native resolution, and I believe, lower than 1280×720 (coz’ that’s the resolution I’m using while recording with Fraps).
looks much better, with almost no framedrops and the likes. Good thing coz’ that’s a real rendering of your GPU, not a video being played in the game or something like that. Actually there are a few scenes like this in the game, so cherish every moment you’ll see heavy effects like this, ok?
Back to the cinematics, I am so sorry I haven’t had any Jack-moment videos. But why? Well, simply because those scenes are really made up of crappy rendering, heavy framedrops and… well, annoying storyline, so leave it just like that if you don’t wanna see a disappointment. Sigh, they even used Frostbite 2.0 for rendering the physics of the scenes, but looks like EA Black Box forgot about the quality of the PC port (good for you console gamers).
Sounds. I turned off the music and played my own playlist in Windows Media Player coz’ I thought EA messed up with the EA Trax since the release of Need For Speed Carbon, loaded with crappy music. Sound effects are satisfying. However, if you were watching the cinematics, because of the framedrops, you’ll end up with the word “disappointing”.
Other than Multiplayer, you can still play the game in solo in Challenge Series, which is also present in most recent Need For Speed games. There, you’ll race to complete lots of objectives and earn rewards or earn experiences so you can level up your profile.
All in all, the game is good, if you’re into a street racing game like me. Played the game first on my 2-year old custom Core i7 Rig equipped with a “still kicking former beast” ATI Radeon HD 4850, with very good performance (videos were taken using this machine), and then transferred all my savegames and finished story mode using my new 17.3-incher Core i5 and GT540m-equipped ASUS K73SV multimedia notebook (works flawless too!) the night when my girlfriend also finished the game called “Life Quest”. The contradicts are the 30fps limit, the heavy framedrops and very short Story mode, however, I still enjoyed playing the game for an estimated 3 days. It might sound like another disappointment to EA Black Box (after failing to attract audiences in 2009’s Need For Speed Undercover), but it’s a good attempt to try combining a racing game and an action game into one. Good game! Crappy features…
Again, here’s another video of the game, with Porsche 918 RSR and Shadows Fall playing in the background:
|> Shadows Fall – Redemption
Developer: Criterion Games, EA Digital Illusions CE, Exient Entertainment (Wii)
Publisher: Electronic Arts
Platform: PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, Microsoft Windows, Wii
Genre(s): Street Racing
Mode: Single-Player; Multi-Player
First Released: November 16, 2010
Played on: Microsoft Windows
This is Electronic Arts’ street racing rendition of the Need For Speed series for the year 2010, just before the Christmas Eve. Also, this is the 4th game by Criterion Games (who were famous for making the Burnout series which I really liked). Need For Speed games developed after Most Wanted, from 2006 to 2008, including Carbon, ProStreet and Undercover, were all huge disappointments, atleast for me. After the fresh success of Shift back in 2009, EA decided to bring back the street racing and action together in a Need For Speed title, and because the Burnout series’ became famous for the “bumping and busting cars” element, EA put Criterion games to develop the new game instead of EA Blackbox. So what they did is bring a police story aside from the usual street racers chased by cops. This means that we play both as a cop and a street racer, and chase each faction to gain level and unlock new cars, missions, race locations and most importantly, race weapons.
It’s true. This Need For Speed game will let you drive the famous REVENTON car by Lamborgini. As you can see, the REVENTON looked exactly as what we can see it in real life (if you can really see it in real life). Great details and lighting effects. Aside from cars from Lamborghini, there are also real and concept cars by Porshe, Pagani, Dodge, Chevrolet (including the 2010 Camaro used for Bumblebee in the movie Transformers), and many more. But these are just cars. Let’s take a look at the graphics during a race.
Up there is a screenshot of the game during a Gauntlet race, wherein you are solely chased by cops. What I’ve noticed during gameplay is that, the game can render graphics as fast as how we enjoy a race. I cannot see any major bug in the game. AI is great because: your enemy racers are good enough to beat you at times, that makes you throw your controller or smash your keyboard down; your enemy cops can make you annoy most of the time. In short, enemy AI is well produced. I have no complaints on it. My GPU is ATI RADEON HD4850 with 512MB memory, and I can play the game at the very maximum settings at a screen resolution of 1360×768. I had no lag or framerate drop issues, and I believe I can still play this game in maximum settings with 1920×1080 screen resolution.
Next thing I noticed are a few bugs that, well, not really frustrating but just can make you laugh at times. There was a time when I was playing a Duel race and then my enemy racer crashed his car and stuck in an edge and after that, it does not move again. Weird but funny.
The game, as I’ve said before, made me play as both a Street Racer and a Cop, both with different profile management, both with some different exclusive cars as well as weapons to use. Weapons you can use during the game are: EMP – makes you fire the opponent in front of you; Spike Strip – if you’ve played Most Wanted, you know this already; Jammer – a Street Racer exclusive that can distract the race, turn off your opponents’ gps and weapons for a short period of time; Helicopter – exclusive to cops, can help you chase cars and deploy spike strips; and Turbo.
The console version (PS3, Xbox 360) have the ability to use custom music/playlist saved from the system’s hard drive, but the PC version lacks that feature. In anyway, that is not a problem for PC users as we can always turn off the in-game music and turn on our favorite media players, just make sure to reserve more RAM.
Also, the game includes Autolog system which basically is the menu of the game, features Online capabilities, specially if you have Facebook, it can send information in your wall feeds regarding your recent race, etc. Good idea? of course.
Because of these almost-flawless features of Need For Speed Hot Pursuit, I will, without a doubt, buy myself the PS3 version, just for trophies. Too bad there’s no 2-player split screen, oh well there’s online multiplayer anyway.
Below is a race footage I just recorded with Fraps earlier. It is a Gauntlet match and I have Slapshock’s Carino Brutal and In Flames’ Reflect the Storm playing in the background. Take a look:
Final Score: 9.5
Final Commet: “Action, Racing, Adrenaline Rush. All combined.”
|> Oasis – Some Might Say
Recently, my Mom managed to buy me the computer set I’ve been dreaming of, for Gaming, Multimedia, Programming and other things I can use it to in school. Overall, it’s worth 60,000PHP. A bit pricey just because it has almost all the latest in the market, specially the processor which is an Intel Core i7, a recently released powerful quad-core processor.
– Black Honey –
CPU: Intel Core i7 920 2.66GHz
MOBO: Intel Bulk DX58SO
RAM: 6GB Tri-Channel Corsair XMS3
GPU: PowerColor Ati Radeon HD4850 Play!
HDD: Seagate Barracuda 500GB S-ATA
PSU: Hec Cougar Series 700CM 700Watts
ODD: LG GH22 Super Multi DVD RW
CASE: Antec 300 Versatile Midtower Gaming Case
LCD: Samsung SyncMaster 943snx 18.5″
MOUSE & KEYBOARD: Logitech EX-100
OS: Microsft Windows Vista Eternity 2009 x64 (modded by Rockers Team International)
|> Slipknot – Dead Memories