Need for Speed The Run Details

Just yesterday Electronic Arts shocked racing fans the world over with the out of nowhere teaser trailer for Need for Speed: The Run. Though the trailer — a live action affair that is bound to draw comparisons to the story sequences from such Need for Speed classics as Most Wanted and Carbon — does a good job of setting up a number of questions about the new game, it offers little in the way of answers.

Convienient it is, then, that Electronic Arts today has revealed some of the first information about Need for Speed: The Run, including it’s plot, developer, technology, and intended platforms.

Need for Speed: The Run is under development at Black Box. The Vancouver based developer is no stranger to the Need for Speed series, having developed Need for Speed: Undercover and Need for Speed: Pro Street in addition to the previously mentioned Most Wanted and Carbon, among others.

Black Box’s take on the Need for Speed games came to be known nearly as much for their hyperbolic live action cutscenes as for their gameplay. In fact, the relatively straightforward presentation of Need for Speed: Most Wanted and the Shift games is in part a reaction to the overblown tendencies the series had developed.

With Black Box once again at the helm, will The Run — as its trailer suggests — bring the melodrama back to Need for Speed? The press release for The Run promises to “take immersive storytelling to a new level with cutting edge performances that will draw the player into a world with no speed limits, rules or allies.” So, yes, I think that’s confirmed.

Potentially even more exciting than the return of live action storytelling to the Need for Speed universe is news of the technology that will be powering the game. Battlefield 3 fans shouldn’t be the only ones excited to hear that DICE’s super-powerful Frostbite 2 engine will be driving the experience of Need for Speed: The Run. DICE, of course, worked on the environments in last year’s Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit, and we know how well that turned out (if you somehow missed it, check out Game Rant’s Hot Pursuit review).

The Frostbite 2 engine will be put to work creating a wide variety of environments for The Run thanks to the game’s expansive setting. The Run centers on a race that spans America, from San Francisco to New York. Electronic Arts is promising “an underground world of illicit, high-stakes racing. The heat is on – and it isn’t just the fuzz who are after you.” Also, the popular Autolog feature from Hot Pursuit and Shift 2: Unleashed will be on-board for The Run.

Jason DeLong, Executive Producer at EA, sums up the company’s vision for the game.

“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.”

Need for Speed: The Run certainly sounds like it will be right in line with Black Box’s other takes on the franchise. However, particularly after the huge success of Criterion’s Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit last Fall, is returning to a formula that many gamers felt had become awfully stale the right move for the series? What do you think?

At the same time, with The Run due on store shelves this November, when can we expect Citerion’s next racing game, the rumored Burnout: Crash City? Could it come out next Spring, much the way Shift 2 followed Hot Pursuit by just a few months? Which of the two games are you more interested in?

Need for Speed: The Run is scheduled to release November 15, 2011, for the PS3, Xbox 360, Wii, PC, and 3DS.

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