Need for Speed has perhaps been the most consistently great racing game franchise over the past decade, from NfS Underground 1 and 2, to Most Wanted and more recently, Hot Pursuit, with maybe the exception of Pro Street. On November 18th, EA will be adding another title to that long list of success, in the form of Need for Speed: The Run.

Starting in San Francisco, the campaign mode takes you on a road trip all the way across America, through the hills of California and the baron deserts of Nevada, dropping you off in New York. Speaking to E3, executive producer of the game's developers, Black Box, Jason Delong said of the campaign mode, "The Run is our career mode - it's an epic coast-to-coast race, that's the core concept of the game, but the narrative that it's wrapped around is that the main character Jack finds himself in a sticky situation at the very beginning, and basically the only way to get out of it and become free again is to enter this race and win the prize money. If he doesn't win, he's going to be killed, that's what it comes down to - it's really a race for his life."

And, for the first time in a Need for Speed game, the locations featured are all real, as opposed to the fictional 'Sunset Hills' that made an appearance in Undercover. This has been in no small part down to the introduction of the new Frostbite 2 game engine, created by DICE, which is also used in EA's upcoming release Battlefield 3.

Using Frostbite 2 has enabled the game to "set the bar with unparalleled visual quality and enhanced physics", according to the EA press release, which can only be a good thing. Another first for a Need for Speed game is the out-of-car game play. Although a lot of emphasis is put on it in the E3 demo, it is said to only contribute to less than 10% of the overall game, but it will still make a nice change from driving mile after mile.

Plus, for all those interested in what you get to drive, eagle eyed viewers of the trailers have noticed that the game appears to include such cars as the Audi R8 V10, the Aston Martin V12 Vantage and the Porsche 911. Buckle up people, you're in for a treat.

Tom Holgate