Need for Speed: The Run

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Need for Speed: The Run
Cover art with a Shelby GT500 Super Snake
Developer(s)EA Black Box
Firebrand Games (Wii/3DS)[1]
Publisher(s)Electronic Arts
Director(s)Justin Wiebe
Producer(s)Alex Grimbley
Brian Lindley
Steve Anthony
Programmer(s)Eric Turmel
Artist(s)Kirk Gibsons
Writer(s)Alex De Rakoff
Composer(s)Brian Tyler
SeriesNeed for Speed
EngineFrostbite 2
(PC, PS3, X360)
Platform(s)Microsoft Windows
Xbox 360
PlayStation 3
Nintendo 3DS
Java ME
Mode(s)Single-player, multiplayer

Need for Speed: The Run is a racing video game, the eighteenth title in the long-running Need for Speed franchise, and developed by Canadian EA subsidiary EA Black Box and published by Electronic Arts. The Wii and 3DS versions were developed by Firebrand Games, the team behind Undercover and Nitro (both DS versions). It was released in North America on November 15, 2011 and November 18, 2011 in Europe.

The game was described as an "illicit, high-stakes race across the country. The only way to get your life back is to be the first from San Francisco to New York. No speed limits. No rules. No allies. All you have are your driving skills and sheer determination".[4]

Producers Jason DeLong and Steve Anthony stated during an interview that Black Box aimed to obtain critical acclaim after their last game received universally mixed to poor ratings.[5] The Run was in production for three years, though previous Black Box titles had much shorter development periods.[6] The Run was Black Box's last game before its restructuring in 2013.[7]


A screenshot of a stage in the game. Need for Speed: The Run features sprint race events where the player must overtake all opponents to win.

PS3, Xbox 360, Windows[edit]

Need for Speed: The Run is a racing video game and the eighteenth title in the Need for Speed series. Players take part in street racing across real world locations in the United States.[8] There are over 300 kilometres (190 mi) of road, three times more than Hot Pursuit, making it the biggest Need For Speed game on release.[9] Most event types require the player to overtake opponents to win the race. There are also time attack events and survival events where the players must prevent their vehicle from being destroyed while under attack. Cars are divided into tiers based on performance. During a race, the player can enter a gas station to change the vehicle they are using and make visual customisations. Unlike previous Need for Speed titles, The Run features sections where the player exits their car and is travelling on foot. Gameplay in these sections is restricted to quick time events.[9]

The driving model of the game is described as "sit somewhere between Shift and Hot Pursuit", not as arcade-styled as Hot Pursuit, but neither as simulator-styled as Shift. The Run employs a large range of real-world vehicles, seemingly taking in the usual mix of muscle cars, street racers and refined exotics, described as "each car presents a different driving challenge for the player".[9][10] Exclusively digitized for the game is the 2012 Porsche 911 Carrera S and the Pagani Huayra.[11][12] The damage system is similar to that seen in Hot Pursuit.[13] The cars can be altered with performance upgrades and visual upgrades, such as paint colors and body kits. There are cosmetic body kits known as Style Pack kits and Aero Pack kits, which affect aerodynamics as well as performance.

An experience points (XP) system is used for unlocking cars and events in multiplayer and Challenge Series races. The game also feature a Rewind option to allows the player to restart an event to their last checkpoint if they wreck their vehicle or rewind their vehicle from a collision or missed opportunity. Rewinds are only available in limited quantities as their amount dependent on the difficulty level that the player has selected; Easy have 10 Rewinds, Normal have 5 Rewinds, Hard have 3 Rewinds and Extreme have 1 Rewind as well as the most difficult AI opponents.[14]

Additionally, Need for Speed Autolog, the Need for Speed franchise's social competition functionality, which was introduced in Hot Pursuit and was previously used in Shift 2: Unleashed, is also back as it continues to track career progression and compare game stats.[8]


Up to 8 players can participate in a single online match. Players are able to party with friends, pick a playlist of their favorite challenges and compete for supremacy across every stage of game. In addition to this, players never have to wait in a lobby again even if they are joining a race in progress.[15] The multiplayer matches are split into differing game type playlists, such as Supercar Challenge, NFS Edition Racing, The Underground, Mixed Competition, Exotic Sprint, and Muscle Car Battles. Most of these modes pertain to different car varieties for each race, but the Supercar Challenge is meant entirely for the fastest cars on the fastest tracks. The player can select an event and vote towards the race course where the multiplayer game should be taking place on. Players also take part in a reward system known as "The Bonus Wheel", which randomly selects a reward and required goal criteria for it.[16][17]

Wii, 3DS versions[edit]

The game is similar to Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit. Players race down freeways until they meet a police car. The police then try to chase them down and wreck their car. They also encounter other objectives such as a straight-up race. There is another mode where players 'duel' a rival. They can also race to toll booths that double as checkpoints.[1]

The 3DS version also features Autolog, which is integrated throughout the career mode and uses 40 in-game challenges scattered throughout the campaign. The game also takes advantage of StreetPass, letting players upload their best Autolog scores to other Nintendo 3DS devices. In multiplayer, the game features a straight race mode where eight people compete. There is also a four-on-four Cops vs. Racers mode. The game supports Wi-Fi and local wireless connections.[1] However, the Wii version lacks online play, yet it has split-screen multiplayer.


PS3, Xbox 360, Windows storyline[edit]

Jackson "Jack" Rourke is a fearless street racer and a mechanic, who owns a garage in San Francisco. He is indebted to the mob as he is unable to repay them the money for starting his business. He attempts to hide, but they manage to locate and kidnap him. He escapes from a car crusher after being tied with the steering wheel of a Porsche 911 Carrera 4S and steals an Audi RS4. The mob notices Jack and starts to chase him. Jack escapes from the mob after crossing the railway nearly before a train runs across, blocking the road between Jack and the mob. Jack, in desperation, goes to his former girlfriend and his current business partner Sam Harper at a restaurant in Chinatown. She recommends a way out: a massive illegitimate street racing event named "The Run", which is a 3000-mile (4828 km) journey across the continental USA, starting in San Francisco and ending in New York City. Sam manages Jack's $250,000 entrance fee for the race and promises him a 10% cut of the $25 million jackpot, but he has to defeat 210 other racers to win. To complicate things, he is in debt to both the police and the criminal organization, and both want to make sure that he never finishes the race.[18][19]

Jack pulls out a car from his garage. Sam informs him to get to Nob Hill to begin the race. Then, the police begin to shut down the city after noticing many racers. After escaping from San Francisco by driving off the unfinished replacement span of the Eastern San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge, Jack passes through Altamont Pass, Yosemite National Park, Tioga Pass, and Death Valley, before making it to Las Vegas in the top 150. Upon arrival, two female team racers, Nikki Blake and Mila Belova (who drive modified Nissan 370Zs), compete with him, and he is nearly apprehended after police shut down the city. However, he manages to escape out of Fremont Street, but is nearly crushed by a semitrailer truck. He manages to acquire a new vehicle, and heads to Chicago to make it in the top 50. On the way, he passes through Zion National Park, Million Dollar Highway, and up into the Rocky Mountains. At the Independence Pass, Colorado, where the mountain slopes are going to detonate with dynamite to remove excess snow for the year, Jack has to race against the Audi R8 5.2 FSI Quattro in the terrifying mountain pass with the falling snow and rocks. After the race at the Rocky Mountains, Jack races through Denver and the Badlands, where he races against his rival, Calvin Garret (who drives a heavily modified Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG), who he and Sam saw at the Chinatown restaurant, across the Mississippi River. Upon arrival in Chicago, Marcus Blackwell, Jack's biggest rival and the main antagonist of the game, uses his connections with the mob to organise a "welcome committee". Jack is then forced out of his car and pursued on foot by the mob's machine gun-mounted helicopter. After Jack temporarily escapes from the helicopter, he acquires a stolen Ford Taurus Police Interceptor, but is pursued by the helicopter again down Lower Wacker Drive and along the river. He tries to stay out of the spotlight of the helicopter to avoid getting the vehicle shot and destroyed, but ends up crashing the car in a train yard, flipping it over. Jack escapes from the overturned police car seconds before a freight train runs it down. Escaping Chicago and entering Cleveland, he drives through an industrial train yard filled with high explosives, trying to escape the mob. Crashing through the window of a warehouse, Jack wrecks the helicopter by slamming into its tail and sending it into the side of a building. Afterwards, Jack is directed by Sam to meet a man named Uri for a new car. On the final leg to New York, Jack races through rural Pennsylvania, Garrett State Forest, where he races again against Mila Belova (who still drives her modified Nissan 370Z), through the Appalachians, Big Run State Park and New Jersey, defeating the final racers in the process. Jack makes it to New York in the top 2. He races Marcus Blackwell (who drives a heavily modified Aston Martin One-77) through the crowded morning streets of Manhattan and Brooklyn. Marcus uses a dirty technique at Jack by shooting his gun at Jack's car, causing Jack to enter the subway tunnel with many Metro Trains, but Jack escapes and on the final stretch, Marcus is killed after he flips his car. As a result, Jack wins The Run and claims the $25,000,000 jackpot.

Later on, Jack meets with Sam in Brooklyn, who gives him the key to the deposit box at the Grand Central Station. She also informs him about another job, which he happily accepts. The credits roll, which during which Jack is then shown on a desert road in his 1969 Ford Mustang RTR-X. Sam calls up and asks, "How's it goin' down there? Havin' a good time, Jack?" to which Jack responds, "There's no place I'd rather be." Smiling, he looks in his rear-view mirror, as the camera pans overhead to reveal a number of police cars chasing him.

Wii, 3DS storyline[edit]

The Nintendo 3DS and Wii versions features a different storyline than its contemporaries. The plot unfolds through graphic novel-esque cut scenes that also contain mini games, though they are not the same as the quick-time event game-play of the console version. The story is divided into five acts (which is further divided into 26 "episodes").[1] The protagonist of the 3DS/Wii version is not Jack, but rather a down-on-his-luck stock car racer named "Matt". The premise remains mostly unchanged (a coast-to-coast race, from San Francisco to New York City, with a large pot at stake), but introduces a female character who takes the story in a different direction. She doesn't say her name until the run is completed. she also appears to know him while he doesn't know her.

When the game begins, in San Francisco, two unknown guys push a 1969 Ford Mustang Boss 302 into the bay from a port. Inside of the Mustang, there's a person whose name is Matt. He wakes up, and realises that he's trapped in the car underwater. He manages to escape. When Matt swims to the surface and goes to the port, he meets a woman whom he doesn't know. She offers Matt a cost-to-cost race, from San Fran to New York City, and with high rewards, and tells him that they have to get to the bridge at a certain time. Matt tells her that he doesn't have any cars because his Mustang is underwater unless someone's tow truck comes to rescue the car. But she tells that she has her car, which reveals to be a Lotus Exige. She tells that she will be Matt's co-driver. They go to Golden Gate Bridge, where the race will start in a few minutes.

When the race starts, Matt and unknown woman races through the forests, where they encounter police. Then, someone, probably their rival, in a 2012 Ford Mustang Boss 302 hit their Exige. They chase the Mustang. The Mustang stops. They also stop nearby. Matt goes to the Mustang, and finds out that there's no driver. Matt tells the unknown female to swap the car from her Exige to the Mustang. After driving the Mustang for a few minutes, they hit the broken glass bottle, flatting one of the tires. Matt fix the tires. The unknown woman tells that they've nearly drifted off the race course by 100 miles. She also tells that they have to go to Las Vegas for Qualification in time. They continue racing, and enter Death Valley National Park, where they encounters their rival again in a Dodge Challenger SRT8. This time, the rival shoots his gun at Matt and the unknown female's car. They lose their rival. Then, they stop at the gas station to refill the fuel. Matt opens the Mustang's trunk, only to find a golf clubs bag. The unknown woman tells that if they follow the tolls route, they will manage to get to Las Vegas before the Qualification deadline. Matt asks the unknown woman's identity, but she tells to leave the gas station without any answers to Matt. They finally arrive at Las Vegas. They have to find a place to rest. When they arrive at a motel, they see their rival's Challenger. Matt takes a golf club, trying to hit the Challenger, then, the owner of the car comes. When Matt sees him, he knows him, and leaves him.

The next day, when the race will start 2nd time, the unknown woman gets Matts a new car, which is a 2013 Chevrolet Camaro. They get to the start line. When the race starts, they leave Las Vegas, and encounter the police. After escaping the police, the unknown woman tells Matt to stop and tell her about the person or the rival who chased them. Matt tells that he was his teammate and his friend. Matt also tells that he dated with his friend's younger sweet sister whose name is Wynona. She was a racing freak. She hung around the pits all day, made people laugh and pestered them to let her drive their car. They promised to take care of Wynona. But one night, when Matt was sleeping, Wynona took the car key from him, took his car and pulled off. She crashed. The car burned, killing her instantly. Matt was suspended from the entire race, Wynona's brother always blamed him for this and he comes for a revenge by entering the same race. After talking, Matt's former friend and Wynona's brother comes to them with his Challenger. He opens the door, takes Matt out of the driver seat, and they have a fight together. When they get back to the car, Matt tells the unknown female that they will duel to the rock pile. Who get to there first, win. Then, Matt wins, his rival disappears, and a lot of police pursuit them. This time the police has their gun-installed helicopter. They get to Colorado and snowy Rocky Mountains. Matt takes another golf club, throws to the helicopter, destroying it. Then, his rival with his Challenger appears against and they race. Matt's rival drives his car into the snow and stuck. Matt and the unknown female rescue him. He tells that when they reach Denver for the next Qualification, he'll leave them, so Matt and the unknown woman let him go with them. Matt finds a road, which he thinks it's a shortcut. But it reveals to be a cliff. Luckily, they stop early and almost crash into the ground below. Matt's friend tells that he is crazy that he should have taken a bus. When they reach Denver, they find a motel for resting. Matt's friend find out that the Camaro's suspension is beat. He also knows some 24 hour cars dealerships in Denver. Then, they go to bed.

The next day, where the race will start 3rd time, Matt gets a new car by the unknown woman again. This time, it is a Nissan GT-R. When the race starts, they leave Denver, and encounter some chasers which are not cops. The chasers are driving black cars with a large logo on the side of the cars. still chasing Matt and the unknown woman. They head towards Mount Rushmore to shake their chasers off the road. They finally lose the chasers. Matt finds out that the large logo is "Di Marco Trading". He asks the female if she knows about this. Then, they encounter the chasers again. But this time, they have rocket launchers in their Multi-stop trucks. They escape from the chasers by jumping into the cargo train. This wrecks their GT-R. But luckily, they find an Aston Martin One-77. So they take it into the race. The female tells that they have to get to Chicago for the next Qualification. Matt finds out that the chasers are "the Mob". He wonders why they're chasing them. And they find a problem, which is the Aston Martin is running out of the fuel. They have to find a nearest gas station. When they finally arrive at the gas station and refill the fuel, they continue racing, and finally catch up other racers. When they reach Chicago, they find a motel for resting, and go to bed.

The next day, where the race will start 4th time. In the morning, Matt finds out that someone took the key from him and take the Aston Martin. Then, his friend, with his Porsche 918 RSR. Matt enters the Porsche, and they follow the Aston Martin. When they arrive at the factory, they find out that the driver is the unknown woman. She takes the briefcase to the uniformed people and they take her into the Limousine, drive away. Matt finds out that he has been used by her and should go back to the race. Then the FBI unit appears and chases them. They escape to someone's house, respray put the fake license plate onto the Porsche which will make the police forget them. They arrive at Matt's friend's used cars dealership. He tells that he had his dealerships in 20 states. Then they both get their new cars: Matt gets a [Shelby Mustang|Ford Shelby GT500 Super Snake] and his friend gets a [Lamborghini Sesto Elemento], they also install scanners in both cars to contact and communicate each other, like the regular police officers. Matt asks his friend why he helps him. His friend answers Matt that he doesn't want to see a guy who has been fooled and used by a woman, and Matt is just his decent opponent in the race and he will be his rival. When the race starts, they leave Chicago, entering Philadelphia and encounter some cops. But this time, the cops get their Lamborghini Gallardo LP 550-2 Valentino Balbonies to chase. They lose the cops. Matt tells his friend that he will find a motel to hide out and rest. Matt checks in and rest until the next day.

The next day, in the morning, Matt wakes up and opens the television. The television program he's watching is the news about Chicago Police Department announcing the details of the suspect with the suspect's picture. The suspect turns out to be Matt. The police describe that he is one of the FBI's most wanted. They and some FBI also surround the motel where Matt is hiding out. They will also enter the building in a few minutes. This shocks Matt, so that he has to escape from the motel and drive his Shelby out, but still the police notice him and start chasing him. His friend saw the news. Then he gets the truck to rescue Matt and drives ahead of Matt. He tells Matt by the radio that Matt must park his Shelby in the back of the truck and they will escape easily. Matt drives his Shelby into the back of the truck. They escape from the cops. They see the Mob's truck. Matt tries pick up the Mob's phone call by using the truck's scanner, They hear that the mob member in the truck is talking to his boss. The boss tells his member that he has to take the unknown woman, who Matt and his friend followed to the factory and has been used Matt, to Dickson Farm, New Jersey, where it's far North from Atlantic City just 15 miles, His member is still struggling about her identity. The boss tells that because of the unknown woman's identity and the orders from the top, she must die. Matt tells his friend that he will rescue her, even though she's done to him like that. His friend tells that he will get his new car in Trenton and when Matt comes, they will race to the finish line together. Matt pulls out his Shelby out of the truck and goes to Dickson Farm. When he arrives, the group of people and the unknown female are there. They shoot their guns at Matt and tells that they're FBI and they've surrounded him. They push the woman into their Charger and drive away. Matt's Shelby's tires are flatted, so Matt has to find a new car. He goes to the barn, find a car with fabric covers. He pulls the fabric, and he surprises. The car turns out to be a Pagani Huayra. He follow the Chargers to highway sections. Matt rams the Charger into the sea. Matt dives into the sea for rescuing the unknown woman, hoping she's not drowning. Matt finds that there's no woma. And when he goes to the surface, the unknown woman is already on land. She jumped out of the car before Matt rammed into the sea. The unknown woman tells Matt to go back to Dickson Farm to get her briefcase back. She admits that she has been used Matt to avoid the FBI by using the race as cover, which is the best way to avoid. She tells that she was more of an "informant". She tells that the briefcase contains the Di Marco Mob accounts for the last ten years which is the evidence for FBI to take down the Mob. But the unknown woman can't give it to FBI without a way of escaping the Mob. So she has to arrange the briefcase to the Mob in return for case to disappear. The Mob betrayed her and was about to kill her but Matt showed up. When they arrive at the Farm, Matt unlocks the handcuffs at the woman's hands, and they take the briefcase. But the Mob shows up and starts chasing them. Matt and the unknown female lose the Mob. She informs Matt to get to New York City in 1st place to win the race. When they arrive at New York City, the unknown woman tells that the finish line is in Times Square. She also tells that if they take Lincoln Tunnel, they will make it. They also see one racer ahead of them. Then they race to the finish line. And when they cross the finish line in Times Square they finish 1st and win the race, but there's very quiet with no people except Matt and the unknown female. The 2nd racer to finish the race is Matt's friend in his Lamborghini Sesto Elemento. They all confuse to this. Then, the Mob, New York City Police Department officers and the FBI arrive. They're trapped. But they manage to escape from Times Square and New York City. Matt and the unknown woman are still being chases by the Mob, the NYPD cops and the FBI. The unknown woman then throws her briefcase to the road. The Mob, the cops and the FBI stop chasing Matt and the unknown female. Then, they have a shooting and fighting for a briefcase. Matt and the unknown woman escape. Matt tells that he has a plan to go to Canada. Matt asks the unknown woman for her identity, and finally, she answers Matt that her name is "Sophia Di Marco".


Since the release of Undercover, Black Box had been working on another entry to the franchise, presumably continuing the action focused street-racing gameplay of Black Box's previous titles. This game had an extended development window to give the developers a chance to create a game that "could really blow the doors off the category".[20][21][22] It was confirmed that the game would feature a fictional storyline and characters.[23][24] The game was first hinted early in November 2010 by Senior Vice President of EA Games Europe, Patrick Söderlund in an interview with Eurogamer, before the release of Hot Pursuit. Söderlund stated he wanted to alternate developers to give them time to make a good game. Eurogamer’s Robert Purchese asked, "You say there will be an arcade NFS game every year in November, but next year's game won't be developed by Criterion. Is it Black Box?", Söderlund stated "You can assume that, yes. Yes. I would say so, yes."[24]

"This is the year that Need for Speed goes to the next level. We think that Need for Speed: The Run is going to surprise people with its intense, thrilling story and big action feel. But the game would be nothing without hot cars and crazy-fast chases. So that is what we're delivering — explosive racing that will have players flirting with disaster at 200-miles an hour."

—Jason DeLong, executive producer[8]

The game was originally set to be revealed at E3 2011, however, on April 28, 2011, a listing for Need for Speed: The Run appeared on UK retailer site ShopTo. Later, EA released the teaser trailer for all to see. On April 29, the firm confirmed the game's details.[8] EA Games Label president, Frank Gibeau stated that Need for Speed: The Run would offer "an edgier experience" than previous entries in the racing series.[25]

The Run's lead development platform was the PlayStation 3.[26] At E3 2011, it was announced that the PlayStation 3 version of the game includes seven exclusive cars, including the Bugatti Veyron Super Sport, Hennessey Venom GT, Lexus LFA, Gumpert Apollo Sports, Lamborghini Countach 5000QV, Koenigsegg Agera R and Porsche Carrera GT.[3][27]

EA Black Box stated that the Frostbite 2 engine allowed The Run to look stunning, stating that Frostbite 2 was not only the best engine it had used in a game to date, but "the most versatile" too.[28] According to designer Alex Grimbley, it apparently took a year to re-purpose the tech for driving rather than shooting.[9] The EA Black Box team, especially the artists, coders and designers, for the first time, worked collaboratively in small groups on The Run.[9] Executive producer Jason DeLong stated that the Frostbite engine provided a more detailed cinematic environment and experience to the game.[29] The Run was the first non-DICE game to use Frostbite 2, but Black Box did collaborate with DICE to make certain that the engine was used properly, with DeLong commenting that the collaboration allowed for a "very deep racing mechanic of handling physics into the game".[citation needed] Executive producer Jason DeLong claimed that the studio used DICE’s Frostbite 2 engine for The Run as it was intent on making a "Hollywood" experience and to give the game a more cinematic feel than past story-based Need for Speed titles.[30]

The Run's producer Alex Grimbley confirmed that The Run would not feature any form of vehicle customization, stating: "We decided against customization because that is not what The Run is about. It is an understandable stance given that is a whole new direction for the franchise. We want to focus on the story and the race itself."[31] However, this statement was retracted after some trailers and screenshots of the game featured visually modified vehicles. A GameSpot trailer released on November 2, 2011 officially confirmed that body kits and selectable body paints can be placed on vehicles.

When asked why The Run is from San Fran – New York rather than LA – New York, game’s producer Brian Lindley replied: "That’s a good question. I think we were maybe looking for more of a direct route. It’s more of a straight line route rather than being sort of corner to corner. But also, San Fran has some iconic landmarks and things like the bridge and the downtown. Also, what we can do with the environment with things like fog, it makes it of a bit cooler place to drive than LA. And my experiences driving in LA are largely being stuck in traffic! So that’s the primary reason, it’s just a cooler looking start for the game."[32] Black Box PR Manager Dana Sissons stated that The Run was going to be more exciting, more varied, and bigger than ever. The race from San Francisco to New York was full of new race modes, tons of different terrain, and a few "Michael Bay movie moment" avalanches to keep you on your toes.[33]

The Run is powered by DICE's Frostbite 2 engine, making the game the first non-shooter and one of the first console titles to use the engine.

Marketing and release[edit]

2011-03-04 Autosalon Genf 1230.JPG
Porsche 911 Carrera S (7522427256).jpg
2012 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1.jpg
The Limited Edition of the game features three exclusive cars, the Lamborghini Aventador (top), the Porsche 911 Carrera S (middle), and the Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 (bottom).

Prior to its release, Need for Speed: The Run was marketed and promoted heavily through the use of numerous Internet and TV trailers. Famed Hollywood action director Michael Bay directed a TV advertisement for the game. The advertisement features explosions, car crashes, supercars and police vehicles.[34] In addition to the standard edition, a Limited Edition of the game was announced, which was available through pre-order. The Limited Edition features numerous bonuses over the standard edition, including exclusive packaging, three exclusive cars (the Lamborghini Aventador, Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 and Porsche 911 Carrera S) and five exclusive challenges with bonus rewards and achievements.[35]

There were three pre-order offers through several retail outlets. Each pre-order consisted of two bonus cars and three events inspired by the "exclusive" Challenge Series, which depended on the outlets the player pre-ordered the game. The three "exclusive" Challenge Series on offer were inspired by EA Black Box previous Need for Speed games Underground, Most Wanted and Carbon. The Underground Edition Nissan 370Z (Z34) and Underground Edition Nissan Skyline GT-R (R32) are included in the Need for Speed The Run Underground Challenge Series as bonus cars, while the Most Wanted Edition BMW M3 GTS and Razor's Mustang Boss 302 are included in the Need for Speed The Run Most Wanted Challenge Series as bonus cars, and the Carbon Edition Corvette Z06 (C6) and Darius' Audi R8 V10 are included in the Need for Speed The Run Carbon Challenge Series as bonus cars.[35][36][37][38] Buying the game through Origin came with two special offers. Those who pre-ordered the game received a PC Digital download for one of five past Need for Speed titles (Hot Pursuit, Shift 2: Unleashed, Shift, Undercover and Prostreet). The Need for Speed The Run Carbon Challenge Series was also included as a pre-order bonus. This offer was only available until November 14, 2011. Those who bought the game after November 14 through Origin received a discount on seven EA racing titles, which included The Run, Shift 2: Unleashed, Shift, Hot Pursuit, Undercover, Prostreet and Burnout Paradise. This offer was available until December 31.[39][40]

To promote the game in Europe, EA and Need for Speed conducted the 2011 Need for Speed European Spokesmodel Search. This continent wide search was set to discover two women with boundless energy, an outgoing personality and an edgy style fused with a passion for cars and gaming. The winners acted as Need for Speed ambassadors at events throughout 2012, including representing Need for Speed products at high-profile gaming events across Europe and the Team Need for Speed racing team in the prestigious FIA GT3 European Championship and Euro Drift program. Models searches were being conducted in five territories: France, Germany, Norway, Russia and the United Kingdom. Finalists was selected from each territory with the final two winners being announced in November 2011 in conjunction with the release of Need for Speed: The Run.[41] To promote the game in US, Canada and UK, EA announced a competition, giving away one 2012 Porsche Carrera S. All the competitions had to do was enter by logging in with the EA account, or register for free.[42]

Electronic Arts and Sports Illustrated announced a marketing partnership for the Need for Speed franchise, "bringing together the worlds of fashion, video games, cars and beauty in a first-of-its-kind partnership." EA announced that the likenesses of 2011 Sports Illustrated swimsuit issue cover model Irina Shayk and model Chrissy Teigen appears in the game as part of a promotional deal struck between the game publisher and popular sports magazine. The cross promotion isn’t limited to the models appearance in the game. Sports Illustrated is a featured advertiser on billboards that appear in the gamescape. Sports Illustrated offered a bundle that saw buyers receive a six-month "All Access" subscription to Sports Illustrated, a copy of Need for Speed: The Run for PlayStation 3 or Xbox 360, and a Making of Need for Speed: The Run documentary DVD starring the two swimsuit models.[43][44] EA also collaborated with Adidas to produce 100 pair of shoes tied into Need for Speed: The Run. The first 50 pair of shoes was available at the Adidas Originals Chicago store on October 10, with another 50 available at the San Francisco store on October 22. The first to purchase the shoes was invited to "exclusive kick-off" events at the stores a few days later.[45]

The Lamborghini Gallardo LP 550-2 Valentino Balboni appeared as one of the available cars in the demo.

A demo of the game was released on Xbox Live first on October 18 (expired on November 1) and PlayStation Network on October 19 (also expired on November 1), a month ahead of the game's launch. The demo featured two levels: Desert Hills, California and Independence Pass, Colorado in a Lamborghini Gallardo LP 550-2 Valentino Balboni, and supported a "refer a friend to download the demo" feature giving players access to a 2012 Porsche 911 Carrera S. Autolog also implemented in the demo, allowing the player to compare best times with friends across the two tracks.[46][47] Need for Speed teamed up with HP and Vagrant Records to let fans decide which of the favorite bands they would like to see in The Run. The fans got a choice to vote for their favorite song and artist, which includes the song "Mama Taught Me Better" by Black Rebel Motorcycle Club, "Solar" by MonstrO and "Tropical Depression" by The Night Marchers, on The Run's official website.[48]

Downloadable content[edit]

The first post-launch downloadable content (DLC) package, titled "Signature Edition Booster Pack", features nine new cars, all modified to insane levels ranging from a "Venom" Nissan 370Z to a "Falken" Porsche 911 GT3 RS 4.0.[49] The second post-launch DLC package, titled "Italian Pack", features seven new cars (Alfa Romeo 8C Competizione, Lancia Delta HF Integrale Evoluzione, Lamborghini Diablo SV, Lamborghini Gallardo LP 570-4 Superleggera, Pagani Zonda R, Maserati GranTurismo MC Stradale, Maserati MC12) and ten new challenge events added into Challenge Series.[50] The third DLC is the Heroes and Villains pack which features all the pre-order vehicles available for download.


Aggregate score
Metacritic(PC) 69/100[51]
(X360) 68/100[52]
(3DS) 65/100[53]
(Wii) 64/100[54]
(PS3) 64/100[55]
Review scores
Game Informer7.75/10[59]

Need for Speed: The Run was met with mixed reviews. Aggregating review website Metacritic gave the Wii version 64/100,[54] the Xbox 360 version 68/100,[52] the Nintendo 3DS version 65/100,[53] the PlayStation 3 version 64/100[55] and the PC version 69/100.[51]

The first review was published by Game Informer, which gave the game 7.75 out of 10, saying that "Need for Speed: The Run is by no stretch a bad game; it just fails to capitalize on its chances. San Francisco to New York is a long haul, and it's even longer when not enough happens in between."[59]

A couple more positive reviews include GameTrailers, which gave it an 8.4 out of 10, writing "Need for Speed: The Run falters with its high-profile but underdeveloped plot as well as some awkward design choices. However, it overcomes these potholes with courses that are a blast to drive and simple multiplayer that keeps you hooked in." Gaming Nexus which gave it an A-, and stated "The Run takes the venerable franchise in a startling new direction while preserving all of the aspects that have made the series so successful. This one is definitely worth taking a look at."[62]

IGN gave it a 6.5 "Okay" rating, stating "All this awesome racing action gets somewhat lost amid the nonexistent story, the dumb/scripted AI, the lack of options, and the overall shortness of the game. The Run is not a marathon racing game, it's a quick and dirty drag race." 1UP gave it a C+, stating "The Run takes an awkwardly serious approach to its story, eschewing the over-the-top fun and wackiness of its clear inspirations -- movies like the Cannonball Run series and classic arcade games like Cruis'n USA --to deliver a cross-country campaign that's sometimes exhilarating, but often frustrating and surprisingly banal."[63]

Eurogamer gave it 5 out of 10, saying "The worst of the game's technical sins is performance, with appallingly low frame rates in our patched PS3 retail version when you brake suddenly or drift through many a corner."[58]

GamesRadar was more positive to the game, which gave it 8 out of 10, and stated "It's possible Need for Speed The Run won't provide as many hours of entertainment as previous NFS games, but then it packs in unique events and some incredibly exciting chase sequences, meaning it packs a lot of entertainment-per-hour. It's not very forgiving of mistakes, but then it provides greater rewards as a result."[61]

VideoGamer gave it 6 out of 10, saying "The Run certainly isn't terrible, and a big improvement on Black Box's previous effort, Undercover, but it needed more moments like the avalanche and less monotonous freeways. With the campaign over in an afternoon and the rest of the package failing to offer anything to keep you playing, The Run is some decent throwaway fun that will be forgotten as soon as you move on to something else."[65]

GamePro gave it 6 out of 10, writing "The journey across America is beautifully rendered, capturing the varied landscapes spectacularly as you travel over the Sierra, across the Great Plains, and head towards the East Coast. The quality of the movies is very good too, and the characters' faces are nicely rendered to convey emotion. But the story and the gameplay just don't hold up their side of the bargain, and the game ends up falling short of its considerable potential."[60]

Edge gave it one of its lowest scores, a 3 out of 10, saying "The notion that playing games is a waste of your time is nonsense, of course, but... stuffed with a procession of long-winded loading sequences, protracted menu flipping and unskippable cutscenes, it often feels like there’s as much watching as there is playing. Time wasted, in other words." They criticized the many technical and graphical glitches, saying "sometimes the lighting effects mix textures into strange oily swirls, while at other times it feels like you’re driving one big polygon." However, in the post script, they did concede that, while flawed, the game does have a clever concept and occasionally delivers those rare feelings of escapism that many arcade-style racers strive for: "The Run may not have much else going for it, but in its unusual approach to the genre it at least tries to do something new."[57]


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External links[edit]