Parts of new Need for Speed ‘akin to Heavy Rain,’ producer says

The next game in the NFS series, Need for Speed: The Run, is taking a story-focused approach and adding something never before seen in an NFS title: sequences that do not involve driving a car. According to executive producer Jason DeLong, that has allowed developer Black Box to implement new elements into the story-focused entry, elements he likens to those seen in games like Heavy Rain.

“[The player] gets out of the car from time to time and there are quick-time events when there’s high action moments,” DeLong explained at E3, “but as you see near the end of the demo we also have a really nice kind of a gestural control scheme which is more about puzzle solving and something more akin to like a Heavy Rain type game.”

At the end of the demo in question, the player’s character had to get out of a vehicle that had crashed straight onto the path of an approaching train by using control combinations. For example, left stick up + tapping X, etc.

Such moments won’t be happening too often though as DeLong says the on-foot sections won’t take up a huge part of the game. “It’s less than 10% of the game.”

What’s their purpose then?

“For us it was really about keeping the player engaged in the story all the way. So it’s not about sitting down and watching a movie about how the story’s progressing. It’s about living this cinematic experience all the way through. For us it’s also about the gameplay and the adrenaline that you feel when you’re racing; we don’t want that to end.

“So when we have to get Jack out of the car for story reasons — it’s a great metaphor for changing cars or trying a different type of gameplay — we wanted to make that sure we kept that up the whole time.”

The Run will be out on PC, Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 in mid-November.