PlayStation 4, Xbox One
Chaotic but completely in control, Onrush drives the racing genre forward with intense gameplay. Crashing cars has never felt better.
It’s been literally twenty seconds since I’ve started a match in Onrush, and I’ve already jumped through a broken boat, did three barrel rolls in the air, landed on an opponent car, smashing it to pieces, and plowed straight through two more cars.
Onrush feels like driving in a ninja car; it’s chaotic, and I can’t get enough of it. It is already one of my favorite arcade racers of all time.
Onrush comes from the same people who worked on the brilliant Motorstorm. They teamed up with Codemasters on a passion project to shake up the racing genre.
And oh man, it really works.
Onrush is a fresh take on the arcade racer. It combines the best from awesome arcade driving games such as Burnout and Motorstorm, with elements from prominent titles in other genres such as Overwatch and Street Fighter.
I’m pretty sure I got some Star Wars Episode I: Racer vibes from it too.
Technically, you don’t actually race in Onrush. There’s no finish line, no positions, and you don’t need to be any good at driving games to pull off tricks or even win.
Instead of all the usual things you do in arcade racing games, Onrush tasks you to complete team-based objectives, while also giving you all the control you need to maul everything in your path in an exciting but cinematic way.
The first two tools that Onrush provides you with are boost and Rush. Boost can help you get ahead of the opposition, perform sharp turns, and swiftly take down enemies. It also gives you extensive mid-air control, which allows you to come crashing down on unsuspecting opponents.
Rush is a bit like an over-the-top-version of boost. Your car flares up in a blue aura, unleashing its unique ability and speeding forward at immense speeds. Using Rush, you can take out opponents with ease, and if you time it right, this ability can change the results of the match.
The game is designed to keep you experimenting and taking risks, and it usually pays off. This is also one of the many reasons this game is perfect for streamers and content creators. In the process of reviewing Onrush, I’ve already amassed over fifteen gigabytes of game footage with incredible moments.
There are eight different vehicle classes divided into four weight categories. Every one of them offers intense gameplay, and unlike many class-based multiplayer games, I found myself playing with all the different vehicles. Not because they were all too alike, but because each one of them offered a distinct style of gameplay.
There’s something very satisfying about successfully using any of the different unique abilities that each class has, and pulling off a mean takedown.
The PVE campaign, called Superstar Campaign, takes you through every track, in every game mode, with every vehicle. It doesn’t only task you with winning the different matches, but also achieve specific goals in each race. It does what the single-player portation of every multiplayer-focused game should do – train you to gradually get better in every mode.
The different modes are diverse enough to feel entertaining and refreshing, and balanced enough to keep you in control of what you’re doing. It’s never down to luck, and your ever-improving skill will help you pull off neat tricks, like barrel rolls and precise takedowns.
Superstar Campaign also supports online co-op so that you can take down opponents with your friends, for twice the fun.
Although nothing beats the sensation of clearing a level and high-five-ing your co-op partner, Onrush sadly does not support couch co-op at the time of launch. You’re just going to have to make do with virtual high-fives.
But even if you’re playing alone, Onrush can still keep you busy with its fantastic photo mode in the Superstar campaign. The photo mode has plenty of useful camera controls that let you take some very artistic shots you’ll be proud to share across social media. The game looks simply amazing.
Snapping photos of my driving feats really got me into the whole virtual photography scene. I’ll be craving for a photo mode in every new game I play from now on. Just like in the beta preview, the screenshots you see in our Onrush review are all taken by yours truly. I think I did a pretty good job.
Of course, just like in the beta, the game shines in online multiplayer. With twelve unique tracks and four game modes, there’s a lot of variety between matches, so you can keep playing for hours on end. This is also where you’ll make bitter enemies for life because even though the AI is challenging in the Superstar campaign, humans are still superior, and often unexpected rivals.
The game is also due to feature ranked seasons with additions of new, free content. I’m pleased with the developers’ commitment to the “Game as a Service” trend, and it looks like Onrush has plenty of surprises waiting for us.
As far as aesthetics go, the game is marvelous. From the technical perspective, the game has 4K textures and runs smoothly. But apart from that, it just looks GOOD. The different tracks and environments are detailed, from various plants and rocks to graffiti painted walls that make otherwise dull surfaces into eye candy.
The dynamic weather and day-and-night cycles do affect the way you play, but also add a lot to the visuals department. On snowy tracks, vehicles leave tire tracks and fling snow everywhere as they go, and during rainstorms, the cars appear slick with rain and mud.
It all looks so real, primarily since the vehicles themselves are so defined, with everything from the detailed paint job to the small logos on the branded brakes.
Some tiny but impressive details make the game such a fun visual experience, like the way the HUD shakes whenever your car lands a jump or hits something. It makes each impact feel much more real.
In single-player, the game will go into slow motion every time you take down an opponent, so you get that extra moment to appreciate just how nice everything looks.
The game not only looks fantastic, but it also sounds fantastic. If you’re not playing at full volume or with headphones, then you’re probably doing something wrong.
The music ranges from soothing techno to blasting dubstep and punk rock, and I genuinely have the urge to listen to the tracks even when not playing. I guess you can always count on the Brits when it comes to good music.
The vehicles themselves sound great too, from the roaring engines and the grinding of wheels against the different surfaces to the whooshing noises that cars make as they fly past you. I especially enjoyed the turbine-like sound that the Charger buggy makes as it activates its Air Strike ability, which is pretty much a car’s version of a superhero landing.
Playing Onrush has my inner child screaming in joy. The game brings environments and mechanics from my childhood’s dream video game to life, and it has almost every single thing I wanted in a driving game since I was a little kid playing with his Hot Wheels.
You have all the tools to play the way you want and control the chaos that is Onrush. You are always pushed to take more risks while looking stylish doing so.
The game desperately needs split-screen support, but the different game modes will keep you very entertained when playing online. It’s all about having fun, no matter how you play, just like a good action game should be. Even if you’re not the racing type, you should definitely join the rush.Some of our posts include links to online retail stores. We get a small cut if you buy something through one of our links. Don't worry, it doesn't cost you anything extra.