Games: Team-based racer OnRush rips up the petrolhead playbook
By: Deep Silver
A RACING game that isn't about coming first, OnRush is a shiny stampede of vehicular carnage that pretty much rips up the petrolhead playbook. Developed by members of the shuttered Evolution studio, who graced the PS3 with their brilliant MotorStorm series, it borrows its loose jalopy physics and all-out fun, but removes all the bother of making it to a finish line.
That doesn't mean it's boring – indeed, OnRush is positively obsessed with speed. Raising the car for racers, it's built for competitive multiplayer, where teamwork and causing all-out destruction are the name of the game.
A lengthy single-player introduces lashings of vehicles, courses and objectives, but this merely lets you hone your chops for the online main event.
More akin to multiplayer phenomenon Overwatch, OnRush is a team-based racer where players choose from eight vehicles, each buffed with unique abilities, and work together to achieve objectives. Individual goals range from performing mid-air barrel rolls or lasting the longest without crashing into a motorcycle (the drones of the OnRush world) while getting big air and taking out rivals add to your boost meter – and boosting fills Rush, which unlocks your money shot moves. Got that?
Like Sesame Street, every multiplayer mode asks players to cooperate. Victory comes from working together and careful balancing of your team's roster of road-demons, 'cause we got a little ol' convoy rockin' through the night.
Encouraging you to brave every ramp and devastate all rivals in your wake, each ride has a unique class and certain special moves designed for either all-out attack or defence, and as the game gains traction, new and deep tactics will naturally develop and a new breed of online pros and annoying streamers will no doubt emerge.
It may all be a bridge too car for traditional race fans, and if you don't approach OnRush in the right spirit, it can all feel rather random and mindless. A certain amount of brain rewire is required to appreciate the difference – not least that being at the head of the pack means you'll have nothing to do.
Respawn points can be unfair, such as reappearing only for an airborne vehicle to drop on top of you, while its stock futuristic gloss and techno soundtrack can wear thin.
While not a significant game-changer, the game's cosmetic-enhancing loot boxes may be bought with real money – a reflection of the sad state of the industry.
So it's not perfect, then, and certainly ain't a traditional racer, but OnRush's constant, uncut action is pure thrill-junky fodder that brings a genuinely new element to four-wheeled frolics.