Onrush – Review

OnRush is the newest racing title from the people who previously brought you the Motorstorm series. It is unlike most racing titles though because there really isn’t a finish line. There are objectives to complete as you are racing through the worlds and the first team to complete those objectives are declared the winner. As I alluded to above, there is obviously some Motorstorm influence here but there is definitely some Burnout influence here as well. OnRush is a really fast racing title where you will need to knock out your opponents in spectacular fashion while trying to take your team to victory.

There are four different ways to play OnRush with only three of them being available right now. There is “Superstar,” “Quick Play,” “Ranked,” and “Custom Game”. The Superstar mode is basically the “career” mode for the game. You have to work your way through different chapters and the way you open new chapters is by earning stars. The way you do this is by participating in events and completing objectives. Some objectives are as easy as winning the race. Others are a tad more difficult like driving off a ledge and landing on a car beneath you. It should be stated that you don’t necessarily have to complete all of the objectives to move on. If you need 3,400 points to unlock the final event in a chapter but there is a possibility of 5,000 points throughout the chapter…obviously you only really need to get the 3,400. For me personally, I would always try to get all of the objectives done anyway.

The “Quick Play” mode should be fairly self-explanatory. By selecting this option the game will quickly throw me into some online multiplayer action. Last night when I was playing I was thrown into the middle of a race and didn’t have time to do much before it ended. Other times you will obviously be there from the beginning. It just depends on what is going on. I will say that during my time racing online I didn’t have any lag at all and it was a really smooth experience. The “Ranked” option is “coming soon” and not available right now in the game. It is a very strange omission and I personally would have kept that option out of the game itself until it was ready to go and then add it in via a patch because as it is right now it kind of looks like only 75% of the game is done. Then there is the custom game option where you get to select the parameters of the races. You can select what track you want, what the season is, the level of difficulty, what team you are on, the event length and much more. This would also be a great way to unlock some achievements if you have raced in nine Countdown races and the achievement requires you to play through ten of them.

OnRush features four different modes of play to select from. If you work your way through the career mode you will quickly become accustomed to all of them. These modes include “countdown,” “lockdown,” “overdrive,” and “switch”. There is even an achievement related to the Switch mode that mentions Karen, the young woman that brought her Nintendo Switch everywhere in the original commercial. In “countdown” you have to race against the clock. The clock begins to tick down as soon as the race begins and the only way to get more time is by successfully driving through gates on the course. The winning team is the team that can stay alive the longest. Whenever you drive through a gate you get two to three seconds added on to your time. So not only do you have to worry about driving through the gates but you want to try and make sure the enemy doesn’t so their clock keeps ticking down all the way to zero.

If you choose to play the “lockdown” event you will need to control moving zones to earn points for your team. You can do this by staying in moving zone until the timer runs out and it belongs to you. If any of the opposition is in the zone though they can block your progress and you need to work on getting them out of the area quickly by ramming them into a wall or doing whatever else it takes. In Overdrive it is all about scoring your points for your team and doing it quicker than the other team. In this mode, you will have to chain boost and “rush” to earn points for your team. You need to do what you can and play to the strengths of your vehicle so that your score can skyrocket quickly, while simultaneously trying to sabotage the enemy and wreck them in a spectacular fashion. The “switch” mode is the last mode available and introduces another mechanic to the game. Here you will have to take down your opponents to force them to switch vehicles. Once they switch them all out and have no more reserves than you have to worry about eliminating the rest of the team. If you successfully do that then you will win the round.

As I was playing these different modes and making my way through the Superstar mode, I initially had a tremendous amount of fun with this title. It is fast paced and has a good amount of action. I enjoy the vehicles in this game and it is just different enough from other racers to stand out for me. Unfortunately, as I kept playing the game there were a few flaws that became apparent that really put a damper on my experience. The first one was those spectacular crashes that I referenced up above. It was so satisfying to hit an enemy vehicle perfectly and watch them be taken out and potentially secure the victory for my team. The problem here is that when I pull off a great move like that the camera would spin around so that I could appreciate what I had just accomplished. When it did that it wouldn’t allow me to see where I was going when I was racing so there were many times where after I took out an enemy I would also crash head first into something because the camera left the action that was going on. I don’t understand who thought that was a good design decision. I understand what they were trying to do but there are much better ways to go about it.

There will be some instances where you might crash frequently and it isn’t necessarily your fault. Perhaps an enemy car leaped off a ledge and crashed right on top of you or an enemy car used a rush ability to help take you out. The amount you might potentially crash playing this game wouldn’t be so bad if it didn’t take so long to get you back in the race. It probably takes a good 7-8 seconds to get back in the race after a wreck and that is way too long, especially if you are engaged in a title battle against your opposition. That 7-8 seconds you are waiting could be the difference between victory and defeat, especially if your team has multiple cars go down at once. When you return to the track you get a couple seconds of invincibility to quickly get you back in the swing of things but the whole process is cumbersome. It doesn’t help the fact that your cars, at times, seem like they can be wrecked by simply tapping a wall. I’m not talking about driving into a wall at full speed or crashing into a wall…but there were some instances when I might briefly slide into a wall as I was trying to take a turn and my vehicle would get totaled. There were other times where I would try to go up a ramp and I would be on the edge of that ramp and my car would get inexplicably wrecked. It became very frustrating and when you add that on to the amount of time it takes you to get back into a race..that is a bad situation all around. I’m hoping this gets addressed in a future patch.

As you play the game and progress you will earn experience points that will allow you to buy in-game items like celebrations or outfits or whatever. Once you level up you will get to open up a gear crate that could contain a more rare form of a vehicle that you are using, or new outfits or something to use on the field. You can personalize your vehicle, character and more. There are some tips and videos that you can check out if you so desire as well as some crash tags that you can use as part of the banner for your character. There are some decent customizable options here that you can either unlock in races or by using the in-game currency that you will earn.

OnRush is a fun racer with a few questionable design decisions. For me, it separates itself enough from the pack to stand out but I’m not sure how long it will stick around in terms of having an active community, especially with a really big racing title arriving on Xbox One a little later this year. The four modes that I outlined above are fun to play but they might become a bit repetitive after some time. The achievements seem to be easy enough to get and if you are someone who likes to get the full 1,000 gamerscore in your games, you should be able to get that here with a little bit of grinding. If you are on the fence about this game I highly recommend that you rent it to check it out. If it turns out you like what you see then, by all means, pick it up. I can see myself playing it periodically throughout the summer, at least until that big racing game arrives on Xbox One in September.

Score: 6.5
Originally posted on Gaming Target

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