Onrush is a racing game that’s less about racing and more about vehicular combat. Find out what we thought about it in our Onrush Review!
|Release Date||June 5, 2018|
|ESRB Rating||Everyone 10+|
*A copy of this game was provided to FYIG by Codemasters for review purposes*
If you own a PlayStation 4, you probably played Driveclub when it debuted on the platform or one of the 3 Motorstorm games on the PS3. Unfortunately, the developer of those titles, Evolution Studios, ended up being shut down by PlayStation back in 2016. It was a sad time as I particularly enjoyed those titles for what they were. A little over a month after that, Codemasters announced that it had acquired the former PlayStation studio and they were back in business. I had always been more of a fan of Motorstorm than I was of Driveclub as I like arcade racers more than simulation racers. That’s why I was so excited to hear that this team was developing a brand-new IP called Onrush.
Onrush has been called a racing game by many different outlets since the game was first introduced to the public, but calling it that really takes away from what this game is. Yes, you are going around a track in two and four-wheeled vehicles, but there are no finish lines or checkered flags in sight. It’s a hybrid of styles in a way that we haven’t seen before in a driving game. The developers took influence from popular franchises such as Burnout, their own MotorStorm, and even Overwatch’s class system. Despite taking these obvious influences, Codemasters have created something completely unique and tremendously fun.
Onrush, at its heart, is a vehicular combat game where you’re traveling around a track in a team of six working to take down opponents and accomplish different goals depending on what game mode you’re playing at the time. Overdrive is the staple of the game. This is a mode where 2 teams of six go head-to-head in eight different vehicles classes. You can gain the victory by getting your team to 10000 points. You get points by chaining together boost multipliers. This is accomplished by taking out weak fodder vehicles, wrecking opponents, hitting jumps, performing tricks (if you’re on a bike), and other vehicle-specific actions. After you’ve depleted enough boost, your Rush Meter hits 100% and you can unleash your Rush ability that shoots your forward and gives you a bonus ability tied to your vehicle class.
The rest of the game modes included in the game are pretty straight-forward but equally as enjoyable. The first one is Countdown where you have to race through gates to add time to your team’s constantly counting down meter. The first team to deplete their countdown loses. It’s frantic action as you’re not only trying to race through the gates, but you’re trying to keep your opponent away from them as well. Lockdown is next and this is a simple King of the Hill mode where your team has to hold an area for 5 seconds. This is harder than it seems as the area is constantly moving and the other team is trying to knock you out. The last game mode to talk about is Switch. This one is a survival game mode where you can only switch vehicles so many times. The goal is to take out the other team before they take your team out. I love the variety of game modes and I feel that there’s something here for everyone.
One of the things I love most about Onrush is the way in which it keeps everybody in the pack together at all times. It’s impossible to fall behind the pack as Onrush will shoot you back into it if you get too far away. This keeps a level playing field between novice and veteran racers alike. I don’t usually like this type of feature, but it works in a game with no real finish line. Controlling your car is equally as simple, there are only a few buttons that you need to control your car, use the boost, and use Rush. Each vehicle feels slightly different with many different shapes, sizes, and types. The smaller cars are easier to take out while the bigger ones are much tougher foes. The cool thing to me was that you’re given a good amount of control in the air allowing you to exert some downward force and crush an opponent driving under you.
The size of the car isn’t the only thing that sets each vehicle apart. In fact, that’s probably the slightest difference. Each car has different roles and abilities that make them fun to play as. Dynamo is used in a support role. It can drop boost packs and use its Rush to give extra boost to teammates in close proximity to extend their multipliers. A vehicle like Blade, a motorcycle, is good for Countdown because it leaves a fire trail behind it during its Rush ability and it’s agile enough to hit the gates quickly and easily. Other vehicles shield your teammates, improve your in-air magnetism, or even drain your opponent’s boost. There’s a lot of strategy involved in your vehicle choice and choosing the wrong one can mean a loss for your team.
The main mode that I played was the single-player campaign which awards you stars for doing challenges and winning game modes. It teaches you a lot about the game and how each vehicle class is useful in different situations. Everything is explained in great detail with videos for each vehicle and each game mode. I had a lot of fun with this single-player mode and it’ll take you quite a while to complete, but the bread and butter of this game is when you take it online to play with friends.
One of the great things about Onrush is that you can be tactical with this game without ever having to say a word. There are tons of visual cues that allow you to create a gameplan on the fly with anybody on your team. Using your class abilities with other people online can make your team dominant in a hurry if you have everybody on the same page. Conversely, you can have a difficult time if your team doesn’t use their abilities to their full extent. The good thing is that the game is so easy to pick up and play and understand that that isn’t much of a problem.
There are loot boxes in this game. Now, I know this is a deal breaker for a lot of people, but it shouldn’t be here. There are no microtransactions, you simply obtain a new loot box every time you level up. Each box you open gives you 3 different items. These items can be anything from paint jobs, to gear, to tombstone emojis you leave after you die, to avatars. It’s a nice way to give you some new cosmetic items while making you earn them.
The presentation in Onrush is top-notch. I was impressed with the visuals which pop no matter which of the 12 tracks I’m driving on. There are so many colourful landscapes with amazing atmospheres and beautiful lighting. There were many random settings with things like forests, a dam, the Northern Lights, and much more. On top of the visuals, I thought the audio in this game was some of the best I’ve ever heard. The music was very up-tempo and got me excited to play the game. It sounded fantastic in 7.1 surround sound and really made use of every speaker. You could hear every crunch and crash and it felt like I was in the thick of it.
|Great team gameplay||None|
|Large variety of vehicles and abilities|