Those relatively new to the gaming space may not recognise the name Codemasters, but the gamers who have been around the block for more than a decade will know just how experienced the developer is. In the past twenty plus years that they have been around their name has usually been attached to games of the racing variety, be it sim or arcade style. Micro Machines, Colin McRae Rally and TOCA Race Driver just to name a few of their series are what many players of today grew up with. Now with the release of Onrush, Codemasters look to continue their trend of delivering an exciting, responsive gameplay experience. Will it get you feeling the rush or just a sugar crash?
First and foremost, what you have here is an arcade-style combat racer, a ton of cars, large tracks, higher than high speed and plenty of carnage. I find these types of games have a hard time in resonating with an audience and drawing players in. I did not find those same traits in this, I was hooked from race one and for many reasons.
Superstar serves as the single-player campaign that spans six chapters and features more than 40 events, with even some of those consisting of multiple races. I love that there is enough content to feel worthwhile but even more so the variety in the game modes that prevent it from getting stale. A narrative is delivered for each chapter that sets the tone and gives you an idea of the journey that you’re going on, it’s appreciated albeit still shallow.
Four game modes does not sound like a great deal but at no point did I feel that I had played any mode too much. They are so different from each other that you just simply don’t notice how many times you play them, which is a lot. Overdrive is the score based mode in which you rack up points by spending your boost and using your rush. Lockdown is effectively an ever moving king of the hill, such an amazing idea, take the standard KOTH zone and have it constantly moving along with the racers, capture the zone and then onto the next one, brilliant.
Countdown is your typical checkpoint style race, time is constantly ticking down and you need to maneuver in between the points to add some time back on to your clock, run out the other team’s timer to win. Finally, Switch is like a reverse gun game mode, start off on a bike with three switches available, blow up and switch to another vehicle, this occurs until all of your team or the other teams switches have been spent. Four incredibly fun styles of racing that build from the core gameplay which is all about going fast and hitting hard.
There are some gripes I have when it comes how it plays, the vehicles feel a little floaty and temperamental at times. Trying to chase down and destroy the swarm of fodder vehicles on the track only for my vehicle to not do what I think I am trying to get it to do is frustrating. Minor hits of the stick seem to have a stronger effect than I desire which makes it difficult to be accurate. The inconsistencies have resulted in my vehicle becoming a wreck far too many times than I care to admit. I wish I could say it’s down to my poor performance, but I honestly don’t feel that is the case. Aside from that, it plays great, I am enamoured with the thrill, smashing into cars feels satisfying, racing along at great speed is addicting and to be honest, crashing is sometimes very funny.
With 12 tracks to wreak havoc on I found this to be more than enough, each coming with different layouts and appearances. I often would take the time to look around and soak in my surroundings whilst also trying not to end up in a heap of my own parts. I couldn’t help it though because I found the levels both beautiful and interesting enough to take my focus.
Gear and Crashtags form the reason for progression, earn crates with every level that will contain appearance options for vehicles and characters, crashtags are a different name for playercards and sets you apart from the competition online. Whilst they are a nice inclusion, I feel there isn’t enough to warrant me coming back time and time again other than for a quick race now and again.
Onrush delivers a rewarding gameplay experience that seems to accomplish everything it sets out to do, provide a fast-paced, high-risk thrill ride. It’s got enjoyable game modes, great maps and plenty of events to test your speed. There are minor inconsistencies in how it controls but these are minimal in relation to how good it plays. I’m certainly feeling the rush.
OVERALL: 8.5/10 – GREAT
Reviewed by Rhys Baldwin.
(Disclaimer: CONQUEST received a review copy of Onrush, however this does not in any way affect the scoring of a game or our thoughts on the game itself. We believe in total honesty and being transparent with you.)