Hands-on: Need For Speed The Run Is Still a Racing Game at Its Core

Quick time events only make up a small portion of the game.
One of the big highlights from EA at E3 this year besides Battlefield 3 was Need For Speed The Run. The reason why it stuck out so much was because of the sequences in which the main character gets out of the car continues the race on foot. These moments were controlled via quick time events until the character would then find another car to get into. This caused concern over the thought that this would make up a decent portion of the game, but after getting the chance to play one of the other levels, these flashy out-of-car sequences will only make up a smaller portion of the game.
At a recent preview event, EA was showing off one of the Sprint levels to be featured in Need For Speed The Run. The object of this race is to make it to the end of the race in a certain position. Since your position in the game is in relation to all of the racers in The Run, you won't necessarily be racing for 1st place. Instead, you may have to jump up 10 spots to 140th by the time you reach the end of the level.
This particular demo featured a race out on the west coast, having you advance 10 spots in the total race. You're given a stretch of a few miles to meet your goal for when you cross the finish line. If you fall even one spot short, you'll have to do the entire race all over again. Luckily, you do have a few tools at your disposal to make things a little easier.
All cars, or at least most cars, will feature nitrous to give you that extra speed boost you'll need to reach top speed at a much faster rate. That could help you shorten the gap between you and the leader of the race. Need For Speed The Run will also utilize a rewind tool during races. These will come at a limited supply during each race and take you back to the last checkpoint. Each race will have a pre-determined number or rewinds to be used and these can't be earned during a race, so if you burn them all really fast, you'll just have to up your skills!
Even though not finishing the race at the right position can result in a loss, that's not the only thing stopping you on your way across America. Cars will take damage with crashes and if you find yourself in too many of these, you'll total your car and have to start the race over. Crashing into racers and various parts of the environment come into play, as well as traffic that needs to be avoided. When you use up a rewind, the car damage, as well as the traffic, will reset, so take note as to where it occurs as you could waste a rewind by hitting the same car twice.