Special | Need for Speed

Need for Speed: The Run
EA Black Box is normally not the studio I want a game from. It's the Need for Speed Studio I want to evade. Criterion cool and everything. But Black Box, please no... Need for Speed Carbon and Pro Street didn't do what they should have done for the franchise. Undercover was a complete disaster. Underground however was a good installment. It was something new as well. No other arcade racer did it before till then. After that Midnight Club went onto the same path, etc. In that way, we can also see The Run. Because believe it or not Black Box did a good job with The Run. 3 hours of pure gameplay. Restarts, resets and such not included. That sounds short, and it actually is short. But as said: it's a good Need for Speed installment. I am not the one that says it's worth a 6.5 (the verdict from IGN), it's worth more. Understand me well, it is not a flawless game. But overall it's better then a 6.5. If I need to give it a number I would say a 7.8. The race is from point to point, in this way you won't see a whole track twice. Some parts of the previous track will come back. Most of the time in a Catch Up race. The race modes are: The Run, Catch up Time, Rival race, Escape the mob and/or police during The Run. So actually there are 3 race modes with different options/actions. All these races are well balanced. On easy settings it's somewhat easy-easy from time to time. But during a Rival race or Escape mob Run is it still a challenge. And when you are racing during the Run it goes really bloody fast. In that perspective it is really a Need for Speed. Competing in race that goes really bloody fast with nearly escapes from oncoming traffic. And when the mountains are collapsing, or barrels are exploding it's really exciting. The flaws however: you can switch cars during the race, this is down at a gas station. This is however quiete often paused, so you don't loose the race by going to a station to switch. But during a Rival race this is not the case. Somehow I am thankfully that the gas stations aren't that much in the game. One more downside with the gas stations are the thing that the cars are not in a category which they actually are in the Challenge mode in The Run. This would make it easier to choose the right car for you / the track. An other thing is that the game is short and that you don't have a real purpose during a Catch up Time event. The biggest negative thing / downside is the quick time events during the game. It's in the game well-placed but none the less not usefull. It doesn't add something.
The verdict: It's a good game from a studio who doesn't do a good NFS normally. It has some small flaws, but they are well managedable. The fact that the action parts from the Run are not as many as we may have liked is a really missed chance. They could have done that more. And the Run could have been bigger. But it goes fast, the police is there and really does something to you and the ohter racers. The challenge series go further on this, fast paced action race. that is the run...

Need for Speed: Most Wanted
Just like Hot Pursuit got a re-birth in 2010. It was Most Wanted turn in 2012 to do a re-birth appearence. First things first. The original Most Wanted was fun for the upgrades and the police chases including slow-motion-time. Besides that it wasn't that good. It didn't had the replay factor (for me) like the previous Need for Speed's. For example the first Underground was an installment of the franchise that I really played alot, until the disc was burned to dust. Now then the re-birth, better than the original ? Well in some ways... It has more diverse cars, the really slow cars have been eliminated, so no more 'budget cars'. No, now we have the Lexus LFA, Audi R8 spyder and so on. Even the Porsche 918 concept from Hot Pursuit is there. And for the 'older' Need for Speed fans they have the Lamborghini Countach. And the SRT Viper from 2012 is also in it. The cop chases are worse tough. No more cool zone spots, you have to do it yourself. The ramming from the police is more or less always focused on you. And not on the computer opponent. The spikestrips are really harsh unless you have the recovering tyres on your vehicle. The races on there own are hideous. You have 1 or 2 easy races. Then 2 medium ones (who are most of the time still easy, unless it's a cop chase). And you have hard (also 2 of them), which are hideously tough ! Then the Most Wanted list, weird enough they are made easier this time around. Although until you are at car number 6 or 5. Because the cops are only hitting on you. And the spikes won't hurt the opponent. But overall they are easy, and the way to win there car is by taking them down, which is also easy. If you wanted to do that in the original you would have a hard time.
The verdict: It's somehow fun that you have straight away all the cars when you find them. The upgrades are now awarded when you finish the races in perfect-style. And you have the complete map, which isn't that diverse from the start on at your disposal to cruise trough. But the side-effect weighs more... The cops are only focusing on you. Spikes, road blocks, etc., have only affect on you. Which make it more difficult during circuits, sprints. And especially cruel when you are in a most wanted race. There is less story around the tile this time. The Most Wanted races can be left alone until you have that one 'good' car, to take them on. But there are more cars then necessary. What do we need a Ford pick-up truck for ? The opponents hardly ever crash. Thankfully tough the crashing still smashes your vehicle like we know it since Hot Pursuit (2010)So please, let this game lay around in the game-store, and don't pick it up... Don't believe IGN that it is worth a 9.0

Need for Speed: The Run 11 2011: PC.PS3.X360.Wii.3DS | EA, EA Black Box
Need for Speed: Most Wanted 11 2012: ANDROID.iPHONE.PC.PS3.X360.VITA.WIIu | EA, Criterion Games