Onrush review – an eccentric and excellent spin on the arcade racer

Jun
05

Onrush review – an eccentric and excellent spin on the arcade racer

Bacon cornflakes. That’s what Gareth Wilson said of Blur as he pondered the reasons where it all went wrong for one of the last great arcade racers; how Bizarre Creations mashed together Mario Kart with authentic cars and a downbeat aesthetic for a concoction that plain confused most people. Onrush, the new game from the studio formed from the remains of Evolution Studios, seems to have thought to itself that bacon cornflakes isn’t quite unique enough a concoction. How about tossing some eggs in, too? And then how about smothering it all in a sweet layer of strawberry jam?

This is a seriously strange game, though it can be told in one clean and simple elevator pitch; what if the racing genre met with the first-person shooter, if Burnout paired up with Overwatch to create an all-new hybrid? The answer that Onrush developer Codemasters Evo can sometimes be a little patchy, and in some places doesn’t quite convince, but despite that this emerges a remarkable achievement. Onrush, against all odds, works.

The studio’s pedigree helps. Onrush looks exquisite, as you’d expect from the team behind the outrageously gorgeous DriveClub, and its more outlandish premise allows the art team off the leash. Bleached white beaches stretch out beneath blue skies, events cascade through golf courses and through mountain ranges, particles and debris sparking across the screen, all while keeping to a sweet and steady 60fps, all told to a sweetly upbeat soundtrack. It’s as sublime a technical achievement as any of Evolution Studios’ output, and an even more remarkable one when you consider this is a multi-platform release, pulled together on an all-new engine in just over two years.

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