Considering we don't have too many arcade-style racing games to lean on these days, Codemasters' OnRush feels like the breath of fresh air we need this summer. The game, which comes to us from the team formerly known as Evolution Studios -- the same team behind the MotorStorm games -- promises lots of high-speed action, along with thrills and spills aplenty as you knock aside the competition to secure a first-place victory.
Players will be able to experience OnRush this weekend in a free open beta, trying out various vehicles and tracks and getting a feel for the full game when it releases on June 5 for Xbox One, PlayStation 4 and PC. It never hurts to jump in and get a few laps going -- especially if you're bringing a few friends.
We sat down with OnRush game director Paul Rushtchynsky to get an idea of what to expect from the game, how it came together and, most importantly, what could be coming next!
Shifting Gears From Evolution
First off, your team is definitely inspired by what you've managed to accomplish in the MotorStorm games. You can just sense it when you watch the Onrush trailer. Is this the feeling that you wanted to get with the game right from the start?
We absolutely love the classic arcade racers like MotorStorm and Burnout and SSX. We love the speed, chaos and adrenaline that all of the best arcade racers embodied, so bringing that feeling into Onrush was really important to us. We're also bringing something new, a fighting spirit and a level of teamplay not seen in any other racer before to make it even more exciting and action-packed. We want it to feel like a breath of fresh air from everything you've played before, so we've infused the best elements from other genres to create an entirely new breed of racer.
How excited were you guys to be brought on board alongside Codemasters? Your racing titles will now join up with the likes of DiRT, GRID and other favorites.
It feels like a perfect match. Codemasters has such an illustrious heritage and everybody across the studios shares our passion for racing games and the possibilities within the genre. It's a been a joy to be part of the team for the past two years, and we're excited to approach the future as part of the Codemasters family.prevnext
Setting the Pace For Destruction
The game definitely goes for the off-road approach that the MotorStorm games captured so well. But are there gameplay differences that players will want to look for with the open beta?
Without a doubt, Onrush is a completely new breed of racer. We don't play by traditional rules. This is team versus team, head-to-head action where you're constantly fighting to take down the opposition and score points for your team. Powering all of this is 'The Stampede' mechanic which respawns you into the heart of the action after every wreck or mistake, so there are endless opportunities for spectacular moments from the start and up to the very last second of every match.
We've noticed that you can actually wreck competition a little easier this time around. How does that work?
We absolutely love takedowns, so we've put them right at the core of Onrush. There's no greater thrill than wrecking the competition, perfectly timing an attack to t-bone your rival, or slam them into a tree, or land on them after a triple barrel roll and crush them into the ground. We've designed the entire gameplay and the rules of our races around this concept we call 'The Stampede.' It works in a similar way to how you respawn in a first-person shooter, constantly catapulting you back into the action when you are taken down, so that you can enjoy the action over and over again. And of course it means you've got a great shot at getting revenge instantly. It's a lot of fun and we've designed the entire gameplay around this, with all of our game modes being based around scoring points for your team and making the most of the different vehicle classes.prevnext
Choosing the Right Vehicle For the Job
How many different vehicles would you say are in the game? And they each offer something to the race in general as far as abilities go, right?
There are eight completely unique vehicle classes to play that'll see you speeding around on nimble motorbikes, barrel-rolling off cliffs in buggies, drifting round corners in cars and smashing opponents out of the way in trucks. These aren't just ordinary vehicles though; they're powerful and heroic classes which have a loadout of extra abilities that take the action to another level and provide a lot of depth for you to discover in each of the different modes we offer in the game.
Where's the best place for a newcomer to start when it comes to getting behind the wheel with Onrush for the first time?
Making the game instantly enjoyable has been a key goal for us, as we really want Onrush to put a huge smile on your face every time you play. Designed to be accessible from the start, Onrush allows anyone to jump in and start having fun speeding round the tracks and smashing into the opposition, but the best place to start and learn all the intricacies of the tracks, vehicles and modes is the campaign known as 'Superstar.' Here we steadily introduce you to all the game elements and challenge you to build up your skills and explore the depth and tactical possibilities with your team, before you jump into multiplayer where you'll have the most fun matched up team vs team online, because it's always sweeter to get a wild takedown and start a rivalry when you're playing online.prevnext
Bringing Friends and New Content
How many players will be able to jump into a race online? Will there be a variety of modes and/or events available for them to partake in?
Every match is a 6 on 6 battle, with an extra 12 vehicles in the mix so that there are always 24 on the track across all the games' four modes; Overdrive, Countdown, Switch & Lockdown. You'll be racing with your team across the games 12 over-the-top tracks in the day and at night, either in the rain, blazing sun or snow, as the conditions dynamically change around you.
Do you have any plans to add new content to the game down the road (no pun intended)? Maybe some new tracks and/or challenges? Special guest vehicles? Or can you say yet?
We've always planned from the very beginning to support our players with exciting new features and fun new content, as building the game with the community is very important to us. We can't say just yet what that'll be, but you won't have to wait long to find out.prevnext
The Nintendo Switch...and What's Next For OnRush?
Do you think one day we'll see Onrush drive onto the Nintendo Switch, or is it too soon to tell?
We absolutely love the Nintendo Switch, it's a truly fantastic gaming device, but it's not something we've been able to really look into. Right now our focus is Xbox One, PlayStation 4 and the upcoming PC version.
Finally, what's next for you guys? Maybe an Onrush sequel in a new location? Or is it one step at a time?
Our focus is on supporting ONRUSH! We've got loads of great ideas already and we're also keen to hear from the community, to work with them to make the experience even better. And let's not forget that we're also starting work now on bringing ONRUSH to PC, optimizing the game to get the most out of the powerful hardware and extra settings available.
OnRush releases on June 5.prev