ONRUSH Reviews

  • Slam Shot SamSlam Shot Sam851,794
    07 Jun 2018
    6 3 2
    ONRUSH | Xbox One | Review

    ONRUSH isn’t your typical arcade racer, in fact, it’s not really a racing game at all. You don’t win by being the first to cross a finish line, and you generally don’t want to be ahead of the pack, but rather in the thick of its metallic stampede of destruction. Inspired by class-based multiplayer shooters like Overwatch, you and five teammates - be they human or CPU - will cooperate to achieve victory across four unique, objective-based game modes.

    Developed by Codemasters Evo, a new team largely comprised of former Evolution Studios staff, ONRUSH shares plenty of DNA with the ill-fated studio’s most famous product - MotorStorm. After selecting from eight varied classes - comprised of two nippy-but-vulnerable motorbikes and six four-wheelers ranging from lightweight buggies to hefty hummers - you’re unleashed on one of twelve off-road tracks that boast multiple paths and ample opportunities to catch big air.

    Razzing around in them is simple, thanks to the basic arcade handling, but the sheer amount of carnage unfolding at any given moment requires you to remain perceptive of your surroundings. That goes for the entire 360 degrees, as you’ll not only face tussling and t-bones from opposition on the ground, but also ground-pounding aerial assaults from those that are airborne. Takedowns are never the aim of the game, but momentarily removing a driver from the equation is a good way to place your team at a temporary advantage; with this in mind, while it’s tempting to pursuit spectacular write offs, settling for lesser hits that place vehicles into vulnerable states is a safe bet that doesn’t risk your bumper - and then the rest of your crumpled shell - coming into inglorious contact with a wall.

    Neutral vehicles, known as Fodder, further pack the field and ensure you’re witness to smashing spectacle even when undertaking this more careful approach. They aren’t active participants and can be demolished with just a nudge, gifting their destroyer a sliver of boost in the process. Turbocharging your movement speed, boost is absolutely essential to keeping up with the crowd and staying competitive, though you will be deposited back into the action if you fall too far behind. It shouldn’t often come to that, as boost can also be earned by performing team maneuvers, jumps (which can be styled out with tricks on a bike and barrel rolls in a car), near misses, or even hitting custom tombstones left behind when a racer is destroyed.

    You don’t win by being the first to cross a finish line, and you generally don’t want to be ahead of the pack, but rather in the thick of its metallic stampede of destruction.
    This means ONRUSH moves with a breakneck pace and a tense sense of danger, though you haven’t seen the best of it yet. Utilising boost and playing to the strengths of your chosen class of vehicle, be that by supporting teammates or bulldozing competitors, will gradually charge the Rush meter and eventually allow you to unleash an ultimate ability unique to your equipped off-roader. You’ll always rocket forwards at blistering speed, bonnet combusting and screaming vocals kicking in as you go, though you might also leave a damaging trail in your wake, debuff enemies, buff teammates, or eliminate foes as if they were Fodder.

    Rush can generally be utilised a few times throughout the course of a match, often proving a tide-turning highlight, especially if coordinated with teammates. This and its audiovisuals make it true to its name, though ONRUSH is no presentational slouch in general; the high energy soundtrack and punky neon visuals, beautifully enhanced with 4K and HDR support on Xbox One X, quickly serve to get your adrenaline pumping.

    That’s true across any of the four game types we alluded to earlier, which offer novel interpretations of some familiar favourites. Overdrive is the premier mode and tasks you with stringing boost chains to score the most points; Countdown sees you pass through gates to top up a depleting timer and outlast the opposition; Lockdown spawns a moving capture point for your team to occupy; while Switch gives each driver three lives and forces them to swap vehicle as they’re expended, with the first team to fully deplete their supply losing. Each event is split into rounds and each victory earns the relevant side a tally in a best of series, contributing a sporting feel and accommodating rousing comebacks.

    Events can unfold very differently depending on your approach - for example playing the evasive survival game on a bike in Switch, rather than going on the offensive and doing work as a heavy - and you’re afforded the opportunity to spawn in a new class of vehicle after wrecking in most competitions, presenting the opportunity to tweak strategy and balance team composition on the fly.

    Superstar, the game’s career equivalent, sees you climb the ranks of the fledgling ONRUSH scene in pursuit of the tantalising Founders’ Trophy. It’s a journey punctuated by zany cutscenes that can be taken in solo or co-op, with each event - or multi-event series - carrying its own set of challenges to complete in order to earn points and work your way up to the more difficult stages, which incorporate complex tracks alongside different lighting and seasonal effects.

    ONRUSH moves with a breakneck pace and a tense sense of danger.
    It shouldn’t be too long before you get your mitts on that trophy, which leaves you with single events to consume solo/cooperative/competitive until Ranked play is added at a later date. While we can’t speak for Ranked, naturally, casual online events pad player counts with bots and rotate game types between matches to nix lobbies and keep things moving along nicely. If you’ve been playing solo, it’s also great to finally get some use out of the quick chat system and implement advanced strategies with human players.

    Coordinate well and you’ll rack up the wins, earning bonus XP as your reward. Each level gained in ONRUSH grants a Gear Crate, which is essentially a loot box, but don’t panic too much, as they’re free from the shackles of the microtransaction machine. They cough up three random cosmetic items when opened, tiered by rarity, with the better quality stuff not really being held back. You can receive duplicates, which are converted into an in-game currency that can then be put towards something of your choosing.

    Credits can also be gathered by completing profile objectives and Daily Quests, which you’ll probably want to keep on top of, as there’s a serious volume of sweet stuff for your bikes, cars and avatars.

    While daily tasks might draw you back in for a session here and there, ONRUSH doesn’t have a huge breadth of content, unless we’re purely talking cosmetics. If you aren’t looking to fully stock your wardrobe, the white-knuckle action that’s here is modern, unique, characterful and social all at once, making every effort to remove barriers to entry and offer relentless entertainment - which it does, for a time.

    Pros

    + Blends genres to create something new & compelling
    + Intoxicating sense of speed, danger & destruction
    + All four objective-based game types hit the mark
    + Eight vehicle classes feel distinct
    + Exciting, madcap presentation

    Cons

    - Relatively brief career mode & not a huge amount else to do
    - Missing Ranked play at launch doesn’t help the issue

    8/10

    Achievements

    ONRUSH has a pretty easy list, mostly packed with miscellaneous grinds that won't take very long to get through. The only achievement that should give you any sort of trouble is ENTER YOUR INITIALS, which requires you to complete all of the (generally quite simple) optional challenges in Superstar mode to max out your rank.

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    Originally written for Pass the Controller, a physical copy of the game was provided for the purpose of this review.

    Feel free to check out my other Xbox One (X) reviews, as well as my PlayStation 4 (Pro) and PlayStation VR reviews on TrueTrophies, and PC reviews on TrueSteamAchievements.

    Thanks for reading!
    4.0
    Showing both comments.
    elSmitmysterSounds good. Looking forward to booting this up tonight!dance
    Posted by elSmitmyster on 09 Jun 18 at 17:34
    reforc3It's more like a what if... Burnout for next generaton console would look like.
    Posted by reforc3 on 12 Aug 18 at 00:13