Release Date – October 31, 2017
Platforms – Xbox One, Windows 10
Developers – ASOBO
Publisher – Microsoft Studios
Genre – Family
Rush: A Disney Pixar Adventure isn’t necessarily a new game. Back in 2012, this title was released on the Xbox 360 as a Kinect title where it met with less than ideal review scores. Surprisingly, Microsoft decided it was worthy enough to be given a second chance and breath some new life into it for Xbox One and Windows 10. With 4K, HDR and additional Xbox One X enhancements, they took care in making sure it was brought up to date. In addition, they added the ability to play without Kinect and instead use your standard controller for the games entirety. Of course, the Kinect support is still there if you prefer it, but it is not a requirement like the 360 version. On top of all these quality of life fixes, they also added a new area to the game based on Pixar’s Finding Dory.
The game features a theme park hub world called Pixar Park in which all of the areas and levels for different worlds are accessed. There are a total of 6 different Pixar properties featured in this game with Cars, Toy Story, The Incredibles, Ratatouille, Up, and the newly added Finding Dory. The diverse selection of popular Pixar properties is appreciated and definitely gives the game some charm. These areas consist a total of three levels each with unlockable characters for earning points. These unlockables are in place in an attempt to give some replayability to the levels and characters that are unlocked can have different abilities to help you reach even higher scores. The game also features co-op, so you and a friend can tackle the levels together.
In terms of how the game plays, it’s rather bland. The levels are essentially endless runners, with the main differences being the movie that they are based on. Most levels just simply have you running in straight lines or holding down your Right Trigger as you drive or swim through them. There are coins scattered about each level, which are used as the path to unlocking levels and characters. Certain characters are required to reach areas and could give you incentive to replay a certain level with them. A timer is also present in each level, with better times helping you to unlock Bronze, Silver or Gold medals. Most levels took me about 5 minutes to complete. There really isn’t much to give credit to for the overall gameplay elements. I never really felt like I was having fun and was just trying to reach the end of the levels as fast as I could to see the next one.
In terms of overall presentation, the game succeeds. The Pixar charm is definitely present in each of the 6 worlds and was honestly the most interesting part of the game. Seeing locales from the movies in vibrant color on screen was a delight and will please any Pixar fan. I tested the game on an Xbox One X, although I used a 1080p monitor so I have yet to see the game in 4K HDR to see the colors really pop, though I’m sure it looks fantastic as it already does downsampled. The only issues with presentation were a couple of minor frame drops and screen tearing which could be attributed to optimization. I also had the game crash on me once. Nothing too major but still worth mentioning. Another minor caveat I have is with the games hub world not really serving much of a purpose. It’s used to access the different levels but there really isn’t much to do in it and a level select would’ve served the same purpose. And finally comes the voice acting, for a budget game it is passable but for fans who grew up with these movies some of the voices are just really off, especially Woody from Toy Story. It really detracts from the experience.
Overall, Rush is an average title with above average visuals. Being a port of a game from 2012, made for a peripheral which has lost it’s way, I’m not exactly sure who this is targeted to. A kid will most likely find some fun in the levels and the characters they know and love, but there isn’t much for them to keep coming back for. With repetitive levels, poor voice acting, and occasional glitches, I find it hard to recommend. If you love Disney and Pixar you may find something in here that you like, but for those who want a deep experience, it just isn’t this.