When people first saw Need for Speed: The Run, they thought it will be a fantastic arcade racing game, where a player can roam the open road in a Bugatti Veyron or something. And that is possible in the new Need for Speed. By taking the role of Jack Rourke, you will try to win a race across the country, to earn enough money to calm down criminals he owes money. Also, put in some cops who will do anything to stop you, and pretty girls, and what you are going to get is - much less than you've expected. Although EA Black Box had been massively advertising the game as an "illicit, high-stakes race across the country", they have made a pathetic story. The interactive elements of the story are the quick-time events, where you press buttons that appear on the screen. Interesting? Not much! Luckily, those quick-time events take only a small part of the story, so they won't annoy you much. So you'll spend most of the time behind the wheel, driving from the west coast to the east coast. The Run's physics engine is similar to the one in Hot Pursuit. That means you'll be drifting through most corners and that the damage model will only be visual. Anyway, the differences between cars will be noticeable, so it's not the same if you drive the wild Porsche GT3 or the ultrastable Nissan GT-R. The controls are okay, but some other game aspects are not. For example, the game has a bad habit of resetting your car back to the track, even if you just step slightly of the concrete. Also, the vehicle changing system is weird. You have to enter one of the gas stations (which are absent on some tracks). Because of that, you will decide to finish the game with only a few cars, and even if you wish to try out all cars, there's no time for that, because The Run takes only about 2 and a half hours to complete. Nobody expected Black Box to put all 5000km of road in the game, but, obviously, much less than that has been too much for them. The AI routine uses way too much catch-up logic, meaning that no matter how fast is your car, even the slowest one will be able to fly past you. The Run uses the Frostbite 2 engine, which looks good, but lacks basic options such as Anti-aliasing and Frameskip (meaning that if you have a slow computer the game not lag, but turn into a slow-motion movie).
The Run, unfortunately, leaves a bad impression, although Black Box had plenty of time (3 years!) to make it good.