Onrush from both driveclub and motorstorm evolution studios has delivered some of the brightest, and most memorable racers of the past decade. Now two years after joining forces with codemasters the team is back with on rush. A fast paced stampede of vehicles that crushes some of the genres basic concepts. To create a space that’s all its own
The biggest departure onrush takes is that it never has you cross a finish line. Instead every mode has distinct objectives you have to work together with your team, if you want to come out on top. At first that may sound less involving but in practice. Onrush is filled with adrenaline pumping moments close calls, and intense back and forth between teams. If you could take an out or fall behind you’ll be brought right back to the center of the pack. So you’re rarely far from the action.
So much of onrush is about speed and the game encourages you to boost almost constantly. In order to maintain that speed, you have to keep your boost meter full. The most common way to do this is to eliminate fodder vehicles that regularly spawn in your path. For the sole purpose of being demolished by you and the other racers. You’ll get even more boost for taking out opponents and you can also fill your reserves by taking jumps doing tricks and performing other reckless stunts.
Meanwhile boosting also fuels the secondary system called rush and once your rush gauge is completely full. You can activate it for a temporary bursts of intense speed. Surrounded by flames and accompanied by a resounding heavy-metal scream. You’ll blast forward plow through anyone in your path. And trigger special abilities unique to each vehicle rushing. At the wrong time can send you straight into a wall. But picking the right moment can quickly put you ahead. While temporarily knocking your opponents out of the running.
Takedowns and onrush are important for filling your boost, but they also feel phenomenal. There’s a brief focus on the impact of your destruction that does just enough to emphasize the hit, without awkwardly halting the flow. Mechanically there are smart nuances so that you always understand which driver should come out on top of a collision.
But even so getting knocked out can feel devastating. And have you shouting at the screen as you wait to get back in the frame. The best of all are the air takedowns landing right on top of an opponent will crush them under your tires. Furthermore you can release the boost mid jump to get more hang time. That hit the boost is you fall to slam your car down on anyone unlucky enough to be in your shadow.
Those elements are common to every event in onrush. But each of the four modes has completely different goals overdrive is the most basic converting how much boost and rush your team uses into an overall score. Whoever boosts enough to reach the required score wins the round, and whoever wins the majority of rounds takes the entire match.
Cowtown Onrush Race
Cowtown is a race against the clock, each team has a timer ticking down to zero and you have to weave through gates to add time while trying to knock the opposing team out of the way whoever. Runs out of time loses and like overdrive the overall wind goes to the team that takes the most rounds.
Next is lockdown which is essentially a high-speed king of the hill. As you race around the course a moving zone appears on the track and your team. Has to occupy the zone with the most vehicles long enough to capture it. Unlike the other two modes there’s a set amount of zones that you need to capture to win. Leaving room for remarkable comebacks.
The last of the bunch is switch and it’s all about survival. Every player starts on motorcycles with three switches that are basically lives. Moving you sequentially through all four vehicle types after each death. When you lose your bike you move up to a light buggy, then to a mid-sized car and then to a heavy truck. As long as you have switches left your highest priority is to avoid getting wrecked. But if you’re unlucky enough to run out of switches and get placed in a truck. The mission changes to seek and destroy as you try to eliminate the other team switches before they take out the rest of yours.
Onrush Game Strategy
It’s a small selection of modes but each has a completely different feel. And requires different strategies largely aided by switching between the games eight vehicles. Not only are their predictable differences in size and speed, but each has a set of unique special abilities. For instance one bike the blade sets out a trail of fire while you rush. Obliterating anyone who crosses it in contrast the other motorcycle outlaw sends out shockwaves when you slam the ground. Making surrounding vehicles more vulnerable and potentially knocking them into hazards.
Some vehicles like the charger a more suited to taking out opponents. While the dynamo functions as support giving extra boost to surrounding teammates. Or you can choose the titan if you want to bolster your allies defense while simultaneously slowing down rivals. These strengths suit different playstyles and have different advantages in each mode. So there’s a lot of room to experiment with vehicles both individually and with team composition. Plus if it seems like your first pick isn’t working out, you can change mid match all waiting to respawn.
All of this happens to cross a dozen different courses including sunny beaches ski resorts deserts rail yards dams and refineries. It’s not a huge number and the nature of doing continuous laps does make them become familiar rather quickly. However each track has multiple paths and jumps to take advantage. Of and getting to know all the routes can give you a leg up on the competition.
On rush does a lot to keep them from becoming stale, by regularly changing up the time of day and weather conditions. A track you’ve grown accustomed to in broad daylight can feel significantly different in the dead of night or covered in snow. And these conditions can change dramatically, in the course of the same race. While teamwork competition and online play are at the heart of onrush. There’s a good-sized campaign as well that’ll keep you busy for eight to ten hours.
It does a great job of introducing you to each of the different modes and vehicles before moving on to various themed groups of events. Each event also has an accompanying set of challenges, pushing you to master all the tools at your disposal.
Winner Criteria on Onrush GamePlay
Whether you’re playing alone or online you’re regularly rewarded at. The end of each match a victory celebration highlights an mvp from the winning team, as well as other outstanding players. Awarding you with medals in xp based on your performance. Every time you level up you’re giving crates full of random cosmetic items to change the look of your driver. And vehicles including a range of different chassis x’ paint designs and victory dances. You can also save up in game currency to buy specific items, you like and thankfully it all has to be earned in one way or another there, are no microtransactions.
Visually onrush holds up through all of the chaos of cars flying through the air parts tumbling particle effects and more happening at breakneck speeds. It’s quite the pretty game as well including a photo mode and single player to capture those perfect moments. Likewise the music implementation is extremely well done. Quickly shifting between the most exciting parts of the song selection. As well as phasing and warping to amplify events on screen.
There’s not much to damper all this mayhem, perhaps the most annoying issue simply comes in moments where you spawn in a position. Where it’s easy to crash or be taken out again, but that doesn’t happen all too often. Some may also argue that there’s a limited amount of content for launch but as with driveclub. The team is much more to come including ranked play which, would open up in the next few weeks.
Overall onrush does an admirable job of inventing an energetic new type of racer. Mixing the thrill of high-speed carnage, with a rewarding layer of strategy. All of its various parts complement each other extremely well. More than anything it’s just one of those games that’s easy to jump into for a few quick matches. Only to find yourself hooked in hours later, still going round after round.