In my ONRUSH preview, I wrote that “I am very excited about what I’ve seen thus far. ONRUSH is a pure, arcade racer.” After spending the past few weeks racing and wrecking, my ONRUSH review is going to say very much the same.
ONRUSH is a pure adrenaline rush. It’s fast, fun, ridiculous and it scratches an arcade racing itch that I didn’t even know I had. Codemasters acquiring Evolution Studios was a masterstroke. These two great developers working together is only going to end with excellent results.
ONRUSH is a different beast from the standard racing game. Arcade racers rarely focus on reality, but ONRUSH is even further removed from reality by virtue of its design. There’s no finish line in ONRUSH and instead, races are all about style, flair and wrecking your opponents.
Instead of trying to win a race, in ONRUSH, you work with your team to destroy your opponents, earn more points and stay alive longest. Races are based around objectives instead of placings which means teamwork is key; a double-edged sword if I’m honest.
Seemingly taking inspiration from the hero shooters like Overwatch, ONRUSH features a variety of vehicles. All of the vehicles have different strengths and weaknesses in addition to different skills and abilities.
The key is in finding the right combination of vehicles to work together with your team to take the win. ONRUSH isn’t as heavily weighted as a hero shooter towards needing the right combination, so you can often win with a mish-mash of vehicles and player skill.
There’s no I in Team
However, occasionally you’ll find that the vehicles selections by your team are absolute rubbish, as are they on the track. This means that you’re highly likely to lose the game. Without at least some teamwork and game knowledge you’re doomed to come in second place.
The modes in ONRUSH are all objective based without any normal racing in sight. It’s an incredibly refreshing and brave way to deliver a racing game. One I’m sure some racing fans might have a hard time coming to terms with.
For me though, ONRUSH is a perfect combination of an arcade racer, objective gameplay and over the top action. I detailed two of ONRUSH’s modes in my preview; Countdown and Overdrive.
Modes for Days
“In Countdown, you’re racing to drive through neon gates which add a few seconds to your team’s timer. The timer is constantly depleting and the team who runs out of time first loses.
“There is some value in racing fastest in Countdown as the first racer through the gates earns the most time. Bring removed from the race for a few seconds means you can’t hit those gates and your entire team suffers.
“Overdrive is an entirely different mode from Countdown. In Overdrive you earn points by boosting and rushing. The longer you keep boosting the more points you’ll earn.
“The aim of Overdrive mode is to drive aggressively, keep your boost meter up and earn the maximum amount of points possible. Again, if you’re taken out of the action, you won’t be earning points for your team and you’ll fall behind.”
The two other modes included in the retail release are Switch and Lockdown. Switch sees players gifted three lives. After each time they wreck or are wrecked, they’re given a more powerful vehicle. The last man standing, wins.
Lockdown is probably one of the most electric and exciting modes in ONRUSH. It’s essentially a game of King of the Hill, but instead of keeping control of a static area, the zone moves along the track. So, to win, you need to race, stay alive and stay within the zone to earn the most points.
Lockdown is certainly the mode where teamwork counts most, but each and every mode relies on it some way or another.
When it comes to the actual “racing,” ONRUSH is a treat. Each of the included vehicles feels and controls very differently from one another. Learning about their strengths and weaknesses and how best to use their powers is also lots of fun.
Being an arcade racer, the driving isn’t exactly realistic, nor should it be. The tracks you race on are outlandish and impossible, as is the racing. Massive jumps, dips, impossible corners and huge crashes are all part and parcel of ONRUSH and its many charms and I found it hard to put the controller down.
If I have to criticise ONRUSH, it’s overall style and presentation is an easy target. Feeling very much like “Poochy” from The Simpsons, ONRUSH simply tries way too hard to be cool.
We get it guys, the people who take part in this imaginary event are hardcore and edgy. Cue eye roll. Thankfully, you don’t really need to spend much time dealing with the human racers and instead can just focus on actually racing.
When you do, you’ll be rewarded with hectic, fact-paced action, ridiculous tracks and a suitably eye-popping set of visuals.
ONRUSH is definitely a racer worth your time.
ONRUSH was reviewed on PS4 using a physical copy provided by the Publisher.
Game Title: ONRUSH