Review: Onrush – Codemasters has been a household name for years when it comes to racing games. The majority of their titles are serious racers who play realism as the overtone. Every now and then they also make a trip to the arcade genre and the latest creation in that respect is Onrush. An arcade racer made by a part of the old Driveclub team, who now has the freedom to come up with something original under the wings of Codemasters. We succeeded, because Onrush is anything but a traditional racing game that can be very entertaining.
Forget about the finish line
Onrush is very different from all the other racing games at one point. Where it is normally the intention to be the first to cross the finish line, there is no question of a finish line in this game. Onrush is a racing game that is focused on objectives that you and your team have to meet. By accomplishing these goals you will be able to win a race and that is quite different than usual. No longer is it about scoring your opponents in terms of speed and making smart moves to lead the way, in this game the emphasis is on spectacle, chaos and above all a lot of fun.
The game looks so at first glance not very extensive. It has a single player and a multiplayer and that’s it. Make no mistake, however, because in both segments you can find a lot of fun. The multiplayer consists of individual races, custom races and ranked races – which will be added later – the single player consists of a series of races that do not get bored easily. With this extremely traditional arrangement of a game, a distorted image can arise, but a very extensive game is hidden under that surface. Onrush is good for dozens of hours of fun and that is due to two aspects.
Become a superstar
The single player is divided into a number of championships and in these championships you can finish individual races as well as races in a series. The primary objective in almost every race is simply winning, but here and there you will also find races in which participation is enough to score points. You will receive points for each completed race and as that number increases, you will unlock more races. That way you will also unlock new championships and in the singleplayer you will get more and more races at your disposal.
At first you will be through the first championship fairly quickly, but soon afterwards it will become clear that the following championships will be more extensive. to be. In order to do everything in the single player, let alone win, you are quickly working towards the 10 o’clock and that is the tip of the iceberg. Winning or participating in races is one way to earn points with which you unlock new races, but there is still a secondary element that ensures replayability and we know that from Driveclub. In every race there are certain goals that you can optionally meet for extra points.
Think of making a number of backflips, an x-number of enemies broken beech, get a certain boost score, by an x – number of ports driving in Countdown and so on. These secondary assignments will continue to increase as you progress in the single player, which creates more challenges. At first you do everything in one go, but halfway through the single player you will notice that you need several races to meet all the objectives to get those wanted points. It is exactly the same device as we know from Driveclub, but that is what makes the game so fun on the one hand and on the other hand different from other racing games. It fits in with Onrush all the more because it is by definition an objective-based racer.
The four basic races
In the single and multiplayer you will find four different types of races. These are the basic races with each separate objective supplemented with the secondary (optional) goals just described. The first is Overdrive and during a race it is important to boost as much as possible, because that yields points. You always drive together with a group of other AI-driven mederacers who are also boosting. The more you are boosting, the faster the collective meter rises and once it is full, you score a point. This is the best out of five and with three wins you will win the overall victory.
The second type is Countdown and it is important to drive through gates to add extra time to the collective timer . The more often you and your teammates miss these ports, the faster the time will expire and the team that first reaches the zero on the timer will lose the game. Do you win two of the three times? Then your team is the winner. You also have Lockdown and Switch. In Lockdown a zone appears that is moving in front of you and it is the intention to drive as many team members as possible. Then the time runs out and as soon as the timer reaches zero, you score a Lockdown point. The nuance, however, is that if both teams have the same number of vehicles in the zone, they remain neutral, so it is important to knock out the opponents.
Finally, there is Switch and that is aimed at especially on eliminating opponents. Each player can change three times and that has been merged in a team. The team therefore has a lot of ‘switches’, but every time you change to another vehicle (because you crash or are turned off) the meter will decrease. The goal is simple, eliminate as many opponents as possible to get that Switch meter from the team to zero as quickly as possible in order to win the race. And with that we have explained the four basic races from which Onrush exists. You can find this in the singleplayer in the multiplayer and in the multiplayer you can set it up completely via custom matches.
Because the game is set purely on those goals while racing, this racer feels completely different than other arcade racers. It also changes your driving behavior, because if you drive in the back, that does not make a difference in this case. The result is that a lot of participants are mainly on a lump and that ensures that the races are almost constantly full of tension and action. In addition, each of the eight vehicles has its own skills, which means there is still some variation in that. Are you disabled? Then in many races you have the opportunity to change vehicles while waiting until you change again, you are almost always completely free and that is also useful in view of the secondary objectives. For these objectives, one vehicle is better suited than the other or, in fact, the targets are specifically geared to a specific vehicle.
The races are exciting because they are continuously chaotic time and even up to the last seconds. to go up. That, of course, online, but also offline in the single player, because the AI has expert steering skills. Because of this it is always unpredictable. At least, in the beginning you win everything, but later in the game you will notice that it is becoming more and more challenging, because the AI knows well what it is doing. The factor of luck also counts somewhat here, because the action is so unpredictable that the coincidental combination of circumstances in a race can be both advantageous and disadvantageous.
That brings us to a few points of criticism, because although the core of the game is very nice and will not get bored easily, in the long run you notice some things that are disadvantageous. The racing itself goes like a tierelier, but sometimes you have a lot of trouble to keep up with the rest. Especially in a race like Lockdown it can happen that sometimes you need several rounds to get out of the rest, let alone catch up. The situation may arise that you have some difficulty filling your boost meter, because there are not huge jumps or because additional vehicles (purely to ram for boost) are suddenly very scarce. Because of this the Rush meter does not fill up fast enough and therefore you stay behind for a long time.
This Rush meter is only after several rounds (and lots of boost full) and once it is full, you end up in a ‘Rush’ and you can go even faster with spectacular video effects. But the situation described can sometimes give you some frustration, because you hardly have any influence on the end result of a match. What is also difficult is that it is relatively difficult to really eliminate opponents. The bumpy environments bounce everybody in all directions and that makes estimating the right job to ram an opponent very difficult. As a result, a pot of Switch can take 10 minutes and that is sometimes a bit too much.
It is these little things that can be annoying, but we can not call it a big problem. However, there are also two points that are really disadvantageous. You can clearly see from Onrush that the Driveclub developers are behind this. This is because the rain and snow effect is shown in an identical way, namely with a dot blot right in front of your vehicle, while that is not really visible around you. Nice detail, but it is not that when you’re driving in the snow at night, you’re only really busy not letting your car crash. With that the game shoots its goal a little bit, because that should not claim all attention. Furthermore, switching off the crash / wreckcam is quite irritating, because with a spawn time of five seconds it only takes longer, while the race continues. That this can not be eliminated is a somewhat strange choice.