On Thursday 15th January I had the immense pleasure of attending the Onrush press launch in London, England. Since Stoffel is based in Leeds it was a hell of a long day as can be seen in the Vlog above but one that was totally worth it.
Before the press event I had only seen the trailer and was intrigued but more so was the fact that the new studio Codemasters Racing had snagged developers from Motorstorm, Burnout and Driveclub to create what they described as a new twist on the combat racing genre…and they are not wrong.
The presentation (which is included in the vlog above) goes into great detail about the game and its modes but it isn’t till you get hands-on with it that you really appreciate how special Onrush is.
The menus are slick and easy to navigate, the origin story is well written and fleshed out (yes a racing game as an origin story) and as soon as you get into a race you instantly feel like you are playing a PS4 remastered version of Motorstorm.
Onrush is incredibly easy to pick up and play but also shows early on that there is a lot more under the hood here. As a spectator, the game may look like a crazy stampede and full-on action, and it is, but it isn’t till you’re in control you realise the tactical intricacies of a race.
The different game modes all require a different approach to win and the best way to describe the gameplay is Motorstorm meets Burnout with a touch of Mario Kart on steroids. Ultimatley each race mode relies on when you use your boost and picking the perfect time to use your RUSH abilities. Using them at just the right time could be the difference between winning and losing.
– Four race modes: Overdrive, Switch, Lockdown & Countdown.
Overdrive: Earn boost however you can and then release it to help your team hit the target score first.
Switch: You only have three lives and your vehicle class will switch after each death. The last team standing wins.
Lockdown: Work as a team to capture mobile zones. The team with the most vehicles in the zone will take the points.
Countdown: Race against the clock to make it to the next checkpoint before your time runs out.
There is no first or last place in the races only a team winner and that makes Onrush perfect to be the new eSport. A goal the developers openly expressed to me and the reason why the updates to the game will be free and community led.
The campaign mode can be played solo or competitive and looks to contain a fair bit of content but and there is a casual online multiplayer but the main thrust of the game seems to be on competitive, ranked online multiplayer tournaments and leagues.
The drop in/drop-out online multiplayer means the need for lobbies have been abolished too. Someone at the door? Drop out and AI takes over, drop back in and take control again.
‘Stampede’ ensures that you are always in the fight. If you find yourself too far from the pack, Stampede will throw you back into the heart of the action. Eight vehicle classes, each with unique abilities and with hundreds of unique customisations. Along with 12 unique characters, there is plenty of customisation options.
Onrush does feature microtransactions in the form of crates that you earn but I was assured by one of the devs that the crates can be opened with in-game currency which can be bought or earned and the contents of the crates are purely cosmetic. There is absolutely no pay to win I have been told.
Now bear in mind the version of Onrush we played was a limited beta but we were told that all that is required for the 5th June launch is “merely a bit of polish” which is expected to be completed in time for the exclusive PS4 public beta in May when you can get your hands on the game for yourself.
The simple aim of the exclusive PS4 beta is simply to adjust the online play to make sure it is perfect for launch. Quite simply Onrush is a beautiful, simple to play but hints at hard to master, fun addition to the combat racing genre that has the potential to be massive.
We will be sure to follow Onrush even more as it comes close to it’s May beta and its June release so make sure to check back with Stoffel Presents daily.
What are your thoughts on Onrush? Are you looking forward to its release? Will you be trying the beta? or have you already pre-ordered? As always let us know your thoughts in the comments below