EA press conference

EA Shows Off High Speed Action Of Need For Speed: The Run

by Jeff Marchiafava on Jun 06, 2011 at 10:13 AM

Today at Electronic Arts' press conference, an action-packed demo of Need For Speed: The Run showed off just how much of a departure the game will be from previous titles in the series.

A rep for EA started the demo by explaining that the autolog system introduced in last year's Need For Speed: Hot Pursuit will be even more integrated into into The Run. Autolog ratchets up the rivalry between you and your friends by sharing your times and Achievements with them, in addition to traditional head-to-head play. In The Run, autolog will also track your times and score throughout the campaign as well, making every aspect of the game a competition.

Next, the rep showed a gameplay demo from the single-player story, starting with the mafia chasing the protagonist through the dark streets of Chicago. As the criminals race dangerously close behind him, the player's car swerves in between traffic before finally getting sideswiped in an intersection. Without missing a beat, the protagonist jumped to his feet and ran into a building, eventually bursting onto the rooftop. Most of the on-foot action played out like a cutscene, with some QTEs thrown in every now and then. Although the action was impressive, with the character jumping off of rooftops and dodging the turret fire of a tailing helicopter, the QTEs didn't really seem to add much to the action.

After knocking out a cop and stealing his car, the game transitioned back to racing, with the previously mentioned helicopter chasing after him, blowing civilian cars off the street. Another car crash left the player pinned on a set of train tracks, trying to kick his way out of a window, before escaping an oncoming train in the nick of time.

If done right, this cinematic, story-driven approach to NFS could result in an engaging experience like Fight Night Champion's story mode. If not, these out of car segments could be an unwanted distraction -- we'll have to wait until the game is closer to the finish line to find out The Run's fate.