Team-based racing meets smashing and crashing with Deep Silver and Codemasters’ new racing title ONRUSH. The rules might be different, but does the classic thrill of destruction ring true?
For once, this racing title isn’t about being first past the finish line. Rather, every track is a loop, and it’s your goal to stay with the pack. A six on six mechanic is used, with players choosing from one of eight cars and motorcycles. Some have different perks, but no one ride will leave you at a distinct disadvantage. It can be hard to stay with the pack sometimes, especially when the terrain changes so drastically, but those falling behind can automatically be brought back in with the herd – a nice touch.
Rather, the key to victory is to build boost from crashing into rivals, hitting jumps, and nearly missing obstacles. It’s not unlike Criterion’s Burnout series in that regard – speed is the name of the game here, and players will likely be holding down the boost button for the entirety of each round. Players can then take it a step further by using the boost mechanic to fill a Rush meter. This will allow players to go even faster, and offer some rides additional perks like walls that can cause your opponents to crash. It offers some riders more of a benefit than others, but it is by no means gamebreaking. Hard to control, maybe, but not gamebreaking.
The way you play is determined by one of four different modes. Overdrive focuses primarily on the boost mechanic, with players earning points for boosting and using the Rush meter. Opponents are a bit tricky to take down, but the fodder racers go down easy and allow you to fill meter. It’s fast and a thrill, but it sometimes feels like you’re not doing enough to help your team, especially when you’ve been laying on the boost button for minutes at a time.
Countdown works as a checkpoint-style system, with players hitting gates to extend their team’s time. The first team to run out of time loses. This works great in theory, but most rounds go on for way too long. Gates are either too easy or too difficult to hit, with no happy medium.
Switch works as an elimination-style setup. All players start on bikes, and then get three switches after crashing. As mentioned before, it can be hard to take down your rivals, but this mode stresses the importance of both offense and defense. During our playthrough, we had the most fun with this mode.
The final mode, Lockdown, has players securing an ever-moving zone. This mode is somewhat awkward, as the terrain around said area is constantly changing. In addition, it can be hard to lose sight of the area, with the only way to catch up is to use your Rush mechanic. More balance would have helped.
Players can experience these four modes in its “Quick Play” mode, or can go for the “Onrush Founders Trophy” in its Superstar career mode. In it, players will take on a number of races, netting stars to unlock additional races. It’s somewhat a grind, but it’s a good way to see what the game has to offer. Players can also unlock “Gear Crates” in this mode, which can unlock a number of cosmetics. It’s all done without real money, but the ability to buy what you want outright would have been ideal.
It should be worth noting that the “in your face” attitude tries a little too hard. The moment you see your team awkwardly dance is the moment you realize its aesthetics aren’t as hardcore as intended.
ONRUSH tries a number of new things with its team-based driving mechanics, and some aspects of this gamble pay off better than others. Its speed and mechanics are sound, but those looking for something a bit more traditional best approach with caution.
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