ONRUSH [PS4, XB1, PC]

Bullwinkle
Bullwinkle
After reading the great reviews, I picked up ONRUSH last week, and I have to say that I'm enjoying the hell out of it.

It's very arcadey, along the lines of Split/Second or Blur, but it's also completely different than any arcade racer that's come before. First of all, you're never trying to win a race. In fact, being at the head of the pack is a distinct disadvantage in most events.

This game is all about ramming your opponents. It actually requires some active reskilling because in most racers, even the Burnout series, you're trying to avoid other vehicles (with the occasional sideswipe), but in this one, you have to actively seek them out. There are generic cars and bikes on the track, and your brain will tell you to slide by them, but you actually have to take them out to increase your boost. Boosting is key in the game. Without it, you won't get anywhere near the opponent vehicles you need to go after. Also, each car has a unique Super Boost ability that you can trigger after you fill up a meter.

The cars and bikes are unique in other ways, too. Each has its own special way of earning extra boost. Each is better at something than the others, too. And they all look different. If there's one complaint I have about the game, it's that there isn't really enough time to read what each car does when you're trying to get back in the race, so you kind of have to know them all. Or not, as I find a lot of times I can just wing it with any vehicle and do okay.

This game is quite accessible. Even a totally unskilled player can feel like they're contributing to the team in meaningful ways. But, yeah, the folks who know what each vehicle does backwards and forwards are going to have an advantage.

A quick mention of one of my favorite moves. When you go off a ramp, you can either wait and hit boost right as you land for some extra boost, or you can hit it mid-air, and if an opponent is below you, you'll target them and crush them when you land, knocking them out (one of the cars is even better at this move than the others).

There's a nice variety of events, too. Your team can knock out the most opponents to earn the most boost, your team can try to occupy a moving zone, you can try to race through the most checkpoints, or there's the event where everyone starts on bikes and switches to more powerful vehicles when they get knocked out with the goal being on the team with the last person in a lower-tiered vehicle.

There's an amped up energy to the proceedings. The best players in different categories get to dance at the end. There's a ton of vehicle and driver skins to unlock, along with stunts (for the bikes), dances, banners, grave markers, etc.

Really, I haven't had this much fun with an arcade racer in a long time (which may be apparent from this rambling write up). Give it a try!

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