Rocket League: Jump, run and ram.
Updated: Jan 7, 2019
Loading into my tenth game of Rocket League for the evening, bobbing my head along with the music I look forward the madness ahead of the upcoming match. What awesome goals I could scare or what near misses and amazing saves could occur over the match? What silly hats and sun glasses I could wear on my car, what strange and wonderful pieces of headwear the rest of the cars will be decorated with. The countdown to the start of the match begins ticking; I brace myself in the real world and rev my engines of my fabulous vehicle, I mutter the following words to the three second countdown.
Rocket League is an online competitive soccer (?) brawler which you and 1,2,3,4 other players on different teams must put a large ball into the other team’s goal. That might seem a normal premise but for one important difference. You are all cars! That is right; you are all different types of cars all with different types of strengths and weaknesses (the truck is a heavy hitter but is less nimble then the buggy counterpart etc.) and you must kick the ball into the goal while preventing the other team from doing the same. There are four main modes, standard 3v 3, 2v 2 and the 4 v4 all very well balanced and fun matches. There are then another five modes that offer different gameplay then just the standard matches. Snow day is a three v three where the floor is ice and you have to knock a man sized hockey disk into a goal, this map is great to play and helps you learn to fly. The ramble is possibly the least balanced of all the modes due to you getting a random power every 10 seconds and...it can score some unfair advantages if you happen to get the right power at the right time. It is based less on skill but more luck, please don’t get me wrong; it is still enjoyable but it can be frustrating. Hoops is a 2 v 2 that puts a focus on flips to dunk the basketball into the hoop, it is still very enjoyable. Rocket Laps allows players to try out experimental maps, the trouble with this is that new maps are not always ready and the maps are experimental and are not always well designed. The final one is Dropshot where the floor at certain intervals parts of the floor open up for each of the two teams; it is thrilling and just a joy to play.
The controls are fluid for this type of thing (played with keyboard and mouse), an important part of any game that needs fast reactions and fast positioning. You have the ability to fly, jump, wall and ceiling run and side flip to hurl the ball into the goal and it never stops being fun. Fun is the key word for Rocket League; every time I score or prevent an opponent scoring I let loose a small cry of happiness. The magnificent soundtrack in the main menu gets me hyped for a game and gives me a reason to continue playing just to see what the next arena is going to be or what next great remix is on the way. The game just gives me this massive smile every time I play and it is wonderful. The game’s frequent drops (consistently for each game over the course of 50+ hours) it feels rewarding and encourages the player to play just one more game, a great point for any game with matches as short as Rocket League’s.
The graphics are not the best, but they are good enough to where they are not distracting, you will be too busy playing the game to really notice. You have to look really close to see some of the low quality textures. The game however is really colourful; the game at times is a flamboyant explosion of colour and particles. The game’s extremely bright and cheerful colour scheme makes it impossible (at least for me) to get angry at it.
The frame rate is good and no issues with performance throughout the 50+ hours of playtime. Servers are reliable for the most part with the rare downtime. It is normally up again within an hour. Matches are short and quick, 5 minutes per a match to score as many goals as possible, any ties will enter an overtime stage which gives the win to whichever team scores first. This gives the game more tension and as a result makes it more fun.
There sadly are loot boxes in the game now, while cosmetic they still are an annoyance with the pestering and the fact your inventory gets filled up with boxes with no way to sell them. I can’t help getting frustrated whenever I get a box after a game as I know that it will never be opened and it is just going to sit there, forever taking up my inventory. I do not like it one bit.
Rocket league, despite the endless pestering from the loot boxes is a great game that is good to play with friends and on your own. Just one great fun as hell soccer car brawler, the best sports game I have played.
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