Remember back at E3, when EA revealed the debut trailer for Need for Speed: The Run, and we saw some dude in a hoodie jumping over rooftops to a background of QTE prompts? Yeah. One month down the road and I can still hear the collective groan of the games industry ringing in my ears. While Hot Pursuit and Shift have taken the series down interesting new avenues, this appeared to drag the series back to the boy-racer days of the PS2 era.
"On foot sections just looked like QTEs. Hello another disappointing NFS game." said VideoGamer.com forumite Neon-Solider32, reacting to the news. But Jason Delong, executive producer at EA Black Box, explained to me the thinking behind the move:
"It's in the interests of telling the story. The intention with those was really just to keep the player engaged with the story. They're a very small part of the game - less than 10 per cent of the game as a whole."
Comforting news, but my concerns have yet to be quashed. What I was shown at a recent preview event wasn't QTE's, however, but a small section of the cross-country race drivers of The Run will be taking part in. The idea behind the game is to race from San Francisco to New York, with a huge monetary prize waiting for the winner at the end. As Jack - the leather-jacket-with-a-hood-wearing protagonist - winning is more than just a financial gain: his very life is at stake.
Again, this was not something that was elaborated on when I saw the game, but suffice to say, Jack has a shady back story that is revealed over the course of the race, and winning that money will keep him alive. Starting at the Golden Gate Bridge, The Run takes place over a 300km stretch between San Francisco and New York, which, Delong told me, is four times the amount of road seen in any previous Need for Speed game.