I’m always quite keen to get into a Codemasters racing game. Or any game for that matter, I think Codemasters are one of the best developers and publishers coming out of Britain, ever. They mostly always deliver quality games and, as they’re now more well known for racing games than anything else, getting to play OnRush was particularly exciting for me.
OnRush is slightly different from other racing games though. You’re not actually racing anyone around a course. Instead, you’ve got set objectives – use more boost than the other team, destroy more cars than the other team, and so on. I wasn’t expecting this at all, but it actually made the game so much more appealing to me. My gaming driving ability is pretty rubbish at best these days, so not having to race against other people, and being rewarded for smashing into other cars is perfect for me. There are two different teams on the race course, and a set of ‘fodder’ cars that break up as soon as you touch them, which can be quite amusing to watch. Destroying these cars, and if you’re able to destroy a car of the opposite team, is amazing. You can smash a car all the way across the course into a brick wall, and blow them to smithereens. For the destructive side of me, it’s perfect.
The variety in ourses is also pretty great. There are plenty of rally-like courses, that don’t really have a road per se, just lots of flatland for you to drive on. Each of them have so many different paths for you to take, and dozens of ramps to jump off, which can make for some fantastic photographs. It’s even better when you’re using your boost, because you go at ridiculous speed off these jumps. If you’re lucky as well, you may even land on an opposing team member, crushing them as you land. It’s wonderful and fun, and that’s all you really need in a game like this.
It’s not all positives for OnRush, and I did find a couple of things that did make me wonder a bit. The most frustrating issue was that it seemed like my car was made out of papier maché. Whenever I went to knock a car off balance and into a wall, my car would just blow up. Didn’t matter if I was behind them and driving into their rear wheel arch, or T-boning them, my car would always be the one to break. What would then happen, as I was playing it single player, was I’d have to watch my destruction in a slow-motion replay, and then wait five or ten seconds for it to respawn me. In all, I’d be penalised for offensive driving, which the game actively encourages, by taking me out of the game for over a minute. I can understand the slight delay in an online mode, but when playing single player, I just don’t see why I’d have to wait that long to play the game I paid for.
There were also a few minor bugs, nothing overly serious so I won’t dwell on them too much. It did seem to struggle, at times, to deliver the voice over to describe what your car does and how to get boost with it. It would cut in and out quite frequently on some of them, which I thought was a thing of the past.
The Final Word
I wouldn’t say Codemasters have created a new genre with OnRush, but they’ve definitely added a new dimension on to the racing genre. It’s refreshing being able to destroy your opponents, much like in Burnout, but not have to worry about finishing first. It’s a nice, fun game that allows you to focus on the most fun aspect of the game – destroying everyone else.