Review: Onrush (PS4)

Review: Onrush (PS4)

Platforms:

  • PlayStation 4
  • Xbox One
  • PC

Platform/Hardware Used:

  • PSN Download
  • PS4 Pro
  • HDTV

Extras:

  • DualShock 4 Required (1)
  • Move None
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Title: Onrush
Format: Blu-ray Disc / PSN (16.42 GB)
Release Date: June 5, 2018
Publisher: Deep Silver
Developer: Codemasters Evo
Original MSRP: $59.99 (US), £54.99 (UK)
ESRB Rating: E10+
PEGI: 12
A copy of Digital Deluxe Edition of this game was provided by the publisher for review purposes.
PS Nation Review Policy

Audio Review:
The audio review for this game is available on Episode 582 of the podcast at 48:30.
Episode 582 - Cocaine and Coffee

Gameplay:
Onrush is a racing game with no finish line which sounds like an oxymoron. It’s a novel concept that works both for and against the game as a whole.

Onrush is from the minds of the former Evolution Studios, makers of MotorStorm and DRIVECLUB, and while it looks an awful lot like MotorStorm at first glance, there are a few key differences.

The first, and most obvious – the lack of a finish line, has already been mentioned but the other important change is The Stampede. This is the heart of the game and it’s where all the action takes place.

The Stampede is where up to twenty-four vehicles are loosely clustered during the action, all trying to take each other down. While the game is set to be 8v8, an extra eight vehicles are there as cannon fodder. They’re easy to take down and doing so fills up your boost meter.

Review: Onrush (PS4) Review: Onrush (PS4)

The boost meter is the next critical part of the game because you need to fill it to unlock your special ability. You’ll also need it to keep up with the pack and give yourself that extra edge when attempting to take down a human-controlled opponent.

If you crash, get taken out by a competitor, or just fall behind The Stampede, the game will warp you right back into the middle of the pack. This is not a game about being out in front. You always want to be in the thick of things in order to maximize your score.

Four basic modes are currently available and you’ll typically rotate through all of them in a playlist each time you jump into a game.

In Lockdown, a large colored circle is racing along the track just ahead of everyone and you need to get your cars into the spot for five seconds to control it. If multiple cars are in the spot, the team with the most will slowly take control.

Overdrive is straight up mayhem. Points are awarded for using boost and the first team to 10,000 wins. Since taking down opponents equals more boost, this one quickly devolves into a team based deathmatch.

Review: Onrush (PS4) Review: Onrush (PS4)

With Switch, every player has three lives. Everyone starts on motorcycles and when you get eliminated you get pushed to the next vehicle class and dropped in again. You’ll quickly start to see a mix of the eight different classes around the track as more and more racers get taken down. If you lose all three of your lives you’re technically out of the running, but you’ll be respawned into the next vehicle class in order to smash through the remaining racers while attempting to give your team the chance to have the last player standing.

The last mode is called Countdown. This one has massive skinny gates to ride through which are like checkpoints in old arcade racers. They start off skinny, but as more racers pass through them they get wider making it easier for the people in the back to get through. Passing through a gate adds a little time to a ticking clock and the team that runs out of time first loses.

While the cannon fodder is simple to take down, human controlled opponents are a whole different story. My biggest frustrations came in landing that perfect hit to take someone out, then being taken down in the process when I’d miss.

The respawning into The Stampede can also lead to disaster as on more than one occasion I’d spawn and immediately get hit from the side or crushed from above and have to respawn again. It’s the equivalent of being taken out by a spawn camper, which really shouldn’t happen in such a rolling chaotic environment. There seems to be plenty of room in and around the pack to keep this from happening as often as it does.

Review: Onrush (PS4) Review: Onrush (PS4)

There are minor issues with the trickery done in the background to ensure the group stays together and that taking an opponent down, especially from the air, appears to go off with a little hidden help at times. And nothing is more frustrating than having the game admonish you to “catch up” when you’re leaning on the boost and literally going as fast as you can.

Every race you compete in gains you currency which then unlocks Gear Crates. These feel like they could have/would have been easily monetized if not for the recent outcry over Loot Boxes. Whatever the case, the gear unlocked tends to be more superficial than anything else. Skins for your car and driver are the most common so I haven’t bothered with any of it.

Visuals:
Colorful MotorStorm may be the best way to describe this game. It’s absolutely beautiful and the screens don’t do justice to the chaos and mayhem involved. The different vehicle classes, at least the mid-range ones, can look quite similar in the thick of a race. They really stand out when their special abilities are unleashed.

The turbulent wake of air, the electrified looking barriers thrown down, the trail of fire, the arcing electric charging of teammates, and other abilities really take center stage and demand your attention in the out of control environment.

With twelve relatively shot looping courses, things can quickly get a little too familiar and a few new tracks would be a nice addition.

Review: Onrush (PS4) Review: Onrush (PS4)

Audio:
Evolution Studios always did a great job with the audio and even though they’re Codemasters Evo now, things haven’t changed. The voice work, the music, the sounds of the cars, the pickups, the special abilities, and the crashes are all fantastic.

Online/Multiplayer:
While there is a single player campaign, starting with a tutorial to get you familiar with the vehicle classes and game modes, the bulk of the experience is meant to be played online. Having sixteen human controlled vehicles in the Stampede makes a big difference.

Online works well enough, I never really had any issues connecting or finding a match to drop into. The relatively quick nature of the rounds and the competition does lend itself to that “one more round” mentality but it can wear you down after a while with the same couple of modes and tracks.

The key to the longevity of this title will be in how quickly and how often the developers update the game and whether the community will stick around, which is tough to know for sure.

Review: Onrush (PS4) Review: Onrush (PS4)

Conclusion:
Onrush is a novel concept and it can be a lot of fun, for a while anyway. Taking down opponents and firing off a cool special ability can be immensely satisfying.

The biggest potential issue facing this game is burnout (no pun intended). A thriving online community is critical to the long-term survival of Onrush and without regular updates and content refreshes, the community may move out ahead of The Stampede and leave it behind.

Score:

* All screenshots used in this review were taken directly from the game using the Share functionality on the PlayStation 4.

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Written by Josh Langford

Josh Langford

Josh has been gaming since 1977 starting with the Atari 2600.
He currently owns 26 different consoles and 6 different handhelds (all hooked up and in working condition) including all consoles from the current generation.

Josh is currently the US PR & Marketing Manager for Fountain Digital Labs and has recused himself from any involvement on PS Nation arising from posting or editing any news or reviews stemming from FDL.

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