Racing games revolve around one core theme – win the race. That is until OnRush where the objective of each race has nothing to do with your finishing position. As someone who’s had this programmed into them for nearly 3 decades it takes a bit to get your head around it.
OnRush is probably best described as a modern-day Carmageddon, but around off-road courses. The objective here is to crash into opponents and score takedowns, working with on your own or part of a team. Each race earns you XP which like PUBG unlocks new content that changes things visually, but doesn’t impact performance characteristics in the game. An example of this is new character outfits, or different vehicles, both in no way benefit you during a race, but hey, they look cool.
I have a problem being sold on the longevity of gameplay here. The action-packed, fast-paced racing game is fun, it’s actually a blast for jumping into a race and crashing into some stuff, but is that the profile of a game that’ll have you spending 20 to 30 hours on, or coming back to play, regularly for the next 6 months, I strongly doubt it. Rewards need to meaningful.
The graphics are as you’d expect, are really well done with environments and vehicles looking amazing on the Xbox One X in 4K with HDR. The game really is an assault on your senses with so much action on the screen at any one time, but at no point did I experience slow downs, which speaks to the power of a modern console. The vehicle physics are constantly on display as you traverse the crazy terrains, but its the lighting, shadows, particle effects from dust and dirt, along with the splashes of water and ambient lighting that impresses the most, the feeling of speed and impacts you get when racing is probably the games biggest success and it all looks great.
The menu system is well done, with video introductory sequences for each new race type, guiding you through the new experience, preparing you for the impending onslaught in the next few minutes. If this game was a movie, it’d be an action packed thriller where the action sequences just don’t end, they link together and deliver a feeling of mental exhaustion by the end.
With so much destruction going on, the audio in this game is really well done, clearly a focus area for the developers. The sound effects of the engines, tyres, vehicle collisions are all surpassed by the layering of ambient accents as you deploy your power ups. In the middle of take downs, the combination of audio and video is just a phenomenal experience. I spend most of my time where games spend time making vehicles sound technically accurate, while this game uses fictitious vehicles, which gives creative freedoms to how they each sound. The biggest and most obvious audible (and control) difference, is when you switch from cars to motorbikes which provides a nice break during long sessions.
If you’ve got a great sound setup, then its time to crank it up and annoy the neighbours. If you’ve got a sleeping baby, time to invest in a great set of headphones. The audio really does help you become immersed in the racing and for me was a real highlight.
Price and Availability
The game is available now on both Xbox One and PlayStation 4. You can pick it up digitally, or from JB Hi-Fi or EB Games. You can find it for as cheap as A$79.00 and for that price, it is rightly less than flagship racing titles like Forza 7 and Grand Turismo Sport which both feature a massive vehicle roster, long list of circuits and gameplay styles.
This game may have issues with longevity, but if you’re after a quick bit of fun while you wait for your favourite title later in the year, then you should definitely pick up (or download) OnRush from Codemasters.