Racing games have been around for decades and almost everything has been done, from modes to cars, we’ve seen it all. But the developers of ONRUSH have thrown out the rule-book and what you think you know about racing has been redefined. So, does it work?
Developed by Codemasters and ex-MotorStorm devs; Evolution Studios, it is clear that these guys know what they are doing. The market for racing games is quite saturated, so they knew something unique was needed. So what do all racing games need? Races, right? Wrong. There are no races with pole positions or chequered flags. The single player or “Superstar” mode explains how ONRUSH came about and evolved. A group of friends decided that they all just wanted to drive around fast and have fun using their own vehicles. It then evolved to include 2 teams and different vehicle classes and the sport rose in popularity.
Your main objective is to gain boost and spend it within an event. The first mode is “Overdrive” where you do the aforementioned, however, you will need to drain boost faster than the opposing team. The first to 10000 wins the round and there are 3 rounds. Boost is accrued by taking jumps, performing tricks and driving recklessly. But there are also “fodder” vehicles on the stage that are very weak and executing a “Takedown” on them also increase your meter. A percentage meter will also increase as you race which allows you to activate the “Rush” ability which usually makes you impervious to being taken down and depending on what vehicle you are driving unleashes a special power to send your opponents to their doom.
There are 4 main game modes, and they are quite unique, Overdrive mentioned above, Switch; similar to the guns modes in COD games whereby once you wreck you change into a different vehicle class, you have 3 respawns. Countdown, a spin on the “race through checkpoints” mode but this time you don’t need to hit every single one. They add time to the counting down clock. Finally, there is lock down, a king of the hill style mode where a lit moving location on the track needs to be occupied by your team. The more of your team inside the circle the faster it is yours. You won’t find modes like these anywhere else, and they are quite fun.
All stages are designed so you never need to use the brakes and you will rarely feel the need to even memorise the track layout, the stages are wide and very forgiving. You will need to know the best routes to gain the most boost, where the ramps are and the paths that suit your vehicle. There are 8 vehicle classes, from dune buggies to motorbikes and a few heavy vehicles. They all fit under the same names; The Blade, Outlaw, Vortex, Charger, Interceptor, Dynamo, Titan and Enforcer. However, you will continue to accumulate XP which will gift you “Gear Crates” to unlock new skins for the vehicles and riders to allow for customisation.
There are 6 chapters in single player and it lasts about 4-6 hours. With only 4 game modes throughout, it can be repetitive but challenges within each event to keep it interesting, which works to a degree.
One of my major annoyances is the Wreckcam a replay of when you are taken out, it can’t be skipped. It feels out of place, especially when the developers have designed it to be fast frantic gameplay but then forces you to watch an annoying replay. Maybe this makes wrecking more impactful, pardon the pun, but I wish it could be skipped.
ONRUSH is a good game with unique features and rather entertaining. Sadly, it is repetitive and really easy. The only reason we come back to racing games are for the challenge, and it isn’t present in ONRUSH. It looks good and plays well, but just needs a little bit more to become something special.
- Replay Value