Criterion's Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit is a tough act to follow. Not only did it have blisteringly fast tyres-on-tarmac action but it also innovated with Autolog, a stat tracking service that keeps an eye on your career and compares it with friends.
Developed by EA Black Box, Need for Speed: The Run brings story back to the franchise, giving you control of a driver on 'The Run', racing from San Francisco to New York and competing in all manner of illicit underground high stakes races.
But is it worth your time and your dime? As always we've rounded up all the reviews and stuck them below for your consideration.
GamesRadar: 8/10 - 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. Whereas MotorStorm: Apocalypse might have overdone it with the setpieces, The Run balances blockbuster style with meat-and-potatoes racing for a well-rounded mix.
Destructoid: 8.5/10 - A lot of my driving fantasies were realized in this game. I found myself grinning the whole time, gripping the hell out of the controller, leaning into turns with my body, gritting my teeth as I mashed on the nitro button to boost past rivals. If you've ever found yourself daydreaming about whipping past slow cars on the highway, passing on the sidewalk, or bashing police cars off the road, you're going to love this game. Need for Speed: The Run still has its roots firmly founded in series traditions, but its new look and focus on story make it one of the best of the franchise. Get in and have fun.
GamingNexus: A- - The Run breaks new ground in a number of interesting ways. The adoption and adaptation of the Frostbite 2 engine allows for far more spectacular scenery and action, while the supporting campaign storyline provides an interesting way to serve up the standard race types in a new and compelling way. The multiplayer is strong and user friendly, providing just enough subtle assists to keep even rookie players involved. At the end of the day, it is an impressive achievement to bring such a fun and fresh look to such a mature product.
Joystiq: 3/5 - Need for Speed: The Run's biggest problem is how much it has in common with a real drive from one end of the US to the other. There are a few bright spots here and there, but it's mostly full of unexpected stops, lots of flat tires, and too many assholes on the road. This isn't the worst Need for Speed, but it can't place against other, better racers from the last year
GameTrailers: 8.4/10 - 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.
Cheat Code Central: 4/5 - Need for Speed: The Run does so many things right. It's an action game for people who like cars, or perhaps a racing game for people who like action. In fact, it's both of these things at the same time. Too often racing games get repetitive and lose their luster about halfway through. The Run takes a simple formula and amps it up to appeal to junkies of both genres. Do yourself a favor; pick up The Run and unlock the demon inside you. What demon? The one that has a Need for Speed!
IGN: 6.5/10 - Need for Speed: The Run has a good racer inside it. It can be exciting and visceral, and there were numerous times in the game where I stopped and said, "Sh--, that was cool." But 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.
GamePro: 3/5 - I'm hoping the developers can take a second crack at this format, with less focus on the wannabe Michael Bay silliness, and more emphasis on good storytelling and quality handling to match the looks and tech. Perhaps even doing something novel like setting it in the 70's or 80's. That would certainly help dial up the fun, excitement and originality -- something that unfortunately didn't quite happen here.
Eurogamer: 5/10 - The Run may be the third Need for Speed in barely 12 months, but there was still the potential here to present a legitimate alternative to the games on the other side of the garage. Somewhere in all these ideas is a fast and furious cross-country sprint with a neat back-story, clever structure and great technology. For whatever reason, though, EA Black Box couldn't find it, and instead The Run is a fractured, painful slog and its short, sharp races do little justice to the concept.
Who's planning to pick this up then?