What is this Rocket League everyone is talking about?
I tell you what. If I could do E3 all over again, I’d make a huge effort to talk to and interview Psyonix about their indie game Rocket League. Little did I know that this game would be one of the funnest multiplayer games I have played in a while. As silly as cars playing arena football sounds, it actually works. I’ve been playing it for the better part of my gaming sessions the past week and I’m one trophy away from the platinum, with well over 150 games completed. It’s a total blast to play and here’s why.
Rocket League is simple. Pick your car, get on a team, and try and score more goals than the other to win the game. Each game is 5 minutes long and if there is a tie, the game goes into overtime until someone scores. That’s it! The simplicity of this game is what makes it attractive. There is no over saturation of other game modes we don’t need, or unlockable content that makes one player have an edge over the other. In fact, when it comes to car customization, it’s all purely cosmetic. No set of tires or paint job is going to make your car better in skill. Ultimately this brings balance to the game; keeping everyone on the same playing field and eliminating the chance of exploits and cheap tactics. I love that.
Rocket League is easy to pick up, and somewhat difficult to master. There are combinations of moves that can be learned by using the jump, drift, and boost buttons. If the ball is bouncing towards the goal at a slow speed, it might be wise to hit the breaks, wait for the ball to drop, and then power boost into it before your opponent. If the ball is behind you? Perform a bicycle hit by jumping backwards, knocking the ball the other way. These types of moves can lead to incredible shots and saves. It’s all about timing and who does it better. Those are usually the teams who win. Of course, you have the occasional lucky score where the ball bounces off the top of the arena and off the hood of a player who is away from the TV making a sandwich but hey, it happens!
As for the looks department, Rocket League has some unique arcade style graphics. I felt the bright lights and quirky and cool items for my cars put me in a fun mood. The cosmetic items I unlocked such as the mariachi hat that sits on top of my car, or the money that shoots out the back every time I hit the boost had me thinking Okay, this is great. The arenas in Rocket League are nice looking too, with uniqueness to each one – some even at night! Who doesn’t love a night game? Each arena also has designated colors and lights and even distinct horns and buzzers each time someone scores. There are also crowds to watch and cheer, “ooo-ing” and “awe-ing” each time things get exciting.
I’m sure I’m stating the obvious when I say Rocket League is a blast to play with friends, and you have plenty of options to do so. You can go online where you can compete in 1v1, 2v2, 3v3, or 4v4. You can also play 4 player split screen with your friends at home. If you feel like going solo, that can be just as fun too! When Rocket League first launched on the PS4 last week, the servers were down most of the day. So, I decided to go solo and play a season with my custom team. It turns out playing the season is a perfect way to introduce someone to the game. It gave me a chance to learn all the moves which felt awkward at first but the more I played, the more it became natural.
Since I made mention of the servers being down day 1, let me also mention that they have had problems staying up since. It’s great when it works, but having it work consistently has been a problem. The bright side is Psyonix has been on top of the issues every step of the way and when the servers have been down, it wasn’t for too long. Psyonix has also been communicating with fans via social media, keeping us updated. That is much appreciated and hopefully there are little to no problems with the servers in the future.
Regardless of the server issues from time to time, Rocket League is still worth playing especially on the PS4 where it is free with PS Plus. It’s the perfect game for the summer where you just want to relax and play with some friends. I definitely recommend it to everyone regardless of your age or skill. It is a very fun game to play and has been one of the pleasant surprises of the year. I give it a solid 85/100. Rocket League is available on the PS4 and PC.
What do you think about our review of Rocket League? Are you enjoying the game? Let us know!