Onrush is an arcade-style vehicular combat game that released in 2018. It was developed by Codemasters and published by Deep Silver for PlayStation 4, Xbox One and Windows.
In Onrush players can choose to drive from a variety of off-road vehicles. These range from motorcycles to buggies. The races take place across large levels over hilly terrain. The game features a boost mechanic that players can be used to increase their vehicle’s speed. Players earn boost by performing stunts and slamming rival racers to take them out. The game itself is a team game; twelve players are split into two teams of six.
Onrush is a departure from more traditional racing games in that none of the game modes involve reaching the finish line first.
There are four major game modes to choose from. In “Overdrive”, teams score points by boosting; the first team to boost enough to reach the target score wins. “Countdown” involves a series of checkpoints and a timer that drains over time; teams can keep the timer from running out by successfully passing the checkpoints. “Lockdown” is a King of the Hill-style mode in which teams fight to stay inside a zone that moves along the track with them for points. “Switch” gives each member of each team three lives and tasks the teams with taking each other down to win, but upon crashing, players will respawn in a more powerful vehicle if they have lives left.
There is a campaign mode that takes you through several events and follows a linear storyline. Also, each mode can be played online in competitive multiplayer matches.
I came across Onrush through the Game Pass program and I’m glad that I gave it a chance. I’ve grown tired of the main incentive in racing games being to “win the race”. Instead, Onrush places the focus somewhere else entirely. The emphasis is placed on speed and taking down your opponent in any way you can. This gameplay made me reminisce fondly for games like Burnout 3. Every race delivers high-octane chaos that never feels boring. Considering the vehicular carnage that takes place on screen, everything runs surprisingly smoothly. However, I did suffer a couple of game crashes throughout my time with it.
Visually, Onrush is very pleasing to the eye. The imagery is sharp and colours pop with vibrancy. This is a game that is striving to be loud and in your face and it achieves both. The soundtrack that accompanies you is very suitable but one that wears thin quickly and soon becomes far too repetitive.
In terms of controls, Onrush delivers as perfectly as you would want any arcade racer to. There are a good selection of vehicles, each feeling useful and different enough in their own right. Additionally, there are decent customization options in the game. The campaign gives you many opportunities to try all of the vehicles. There are only a handful of game modes but each do well to cater to the best aspects of Onrush.
Hit detection can be hit and miss in Onrush. Sometimes you can simply tap an obstacle and go flying. Other times you can smash into a wall and be completely fine.
In addition, there is a decent variety to the maps. However, if you play the career to completion they are recycled too often. The game does introduce a day/night cycle and weather effects which does help in adding a different feel when things start to become stale. Another thing, each race in the campaign has a number of challenges which help make races feel worthwhile.
Overall, Onrush is something a bit different for those that tire of the much more serious racing games like Forza or Gran Turismo. It’s gameplay often devolves into breakneck anarchy but it never fails at generating excitement. It has issues but it’s well worth a play.
The Final Score - 7.5/10
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