I finally have a gaming PC, and that means that I’ll be able to play graphically intense games, indie games I haven’t played despite being in my library untouched, and most importantly, free online multiplayer games though that was already going to be a hard sell for me anyway, but it’s cool that it will be there in some games, I even bought Dragon Ball Xenoverse in celebration. So yeah, nearly all of the games I’ll play on this machine will be from Steam, which I have no problems with. But I needed a game to test out, one that will be able to play games my 4GB RAM laptop could not. So I picked one, tested it out and it’s now become a favourite game of mine…AND IT’S A SPORTS TITLE, HOW IN THE…? Oh, because it takes the mundane sport of football (YEAH I SAID IT) and added something exciting…RC CARS!
Rocket League, developed and published by Psyonix, it was released in 2015 on PC to the hype of many and has since become a very popular game. So popular in fact that it’s now an E-Sports game. Rock on, Rocket League!
But you may not have known it’s near hidden history, for this game is actually a sequel. The first game is called Supersonic Acrobatic Rocket-Powered Battle-Cars, released in 2008 exclusively for the PlayStation 3, try saying that quickly three times, even I couldn’t do it. The game had a ton of features and looked similar to the sequel. In fact it had more features in the game than the sequel when it was first released. But nobody paid attention to it except a few so it has a near cult status. But if you want to try it out, you can still buy it and it’s much cheaper, but don’t expect much players I guess, even I was thinking of doing it but I had my doubts.
So I’ve played a few days worth of the game, so I’ve had much experience with it, very addictive, but let me explain how the game works.
If you’ve played a Football game (or Soccer game), you’d know how it works: two teams, one ball, get it to the opponent’s goal. But instead, you are an RC car, two teams of cars, Orange (or Red) Vs. Blue. You drive to the ball and try and bounce it to your opponent’s goal or some other strategic plans you gain from skill alone. The ball itself is huge compared to your vehicle and once you put it in the goal, the ball explodes and the explosion blows you away in sheer victory.
As a vehicle, you can drive anywhere, even on walls. I recommend you try out the training modes to get you knowledgeable and once you do that, you’ll be able to do well in the online modes, which I’ll talk about later. So your basics include jumping and even double jumping, being able to flip in four directions, even when you land upside down, you’ll quickly jump back up and drive once more. You can even boost to drive even faster for a short period of time, but if you want to refill your boost bar, there will be boost place planted all over the field.
There are also advanced moves in which you can use what you learnt to perform some cool tricks. But if you want to be down and dirty, you can use boost to ram an opponent, causing them to explode, we’re getting Twisted Metal up in here, though it isn’t as horror intense as that game so don’t worry. I don’t know if the cars’ wheels are made out of Spider-Man’s web fluid, but you can also drive on the walls, you probably want to do that if you want to bump that ball to whether you want it to go.
With all that, you have a vehicle that is so fun to control, and very user friendly, beginners will feel comfortable getting into this game very quickly. Oh, and don’t think about picking a vehicle that will suit your skills, because all the vehicles are cosmetic, the only thing you have to worry about is which car you like, what hat and antenna it will be wearing, which set of wheels are on point and how colourful and fantastical the rocket trail should be, it’s up to you and it’s all fair game in Rocket League.
So, why do I like this game and what makes it fun? Well, since I have so much control on where I can do and how cool tricks can be pulled off, I’m guessing it’s the physics. The physics in this game is perfectly silly, not too wacky but not entirely perfect, but I feel is just right for this game. I like that the physics is so balanced that it isn’t too daunting.
However, the difficulty stems from trying to get the ball into the goal and find a way to weave around the opponents so you can bounce it in, it’s also about timing once you have a chance and using tricks can also be helpful too, it’s all about the simple skills you’ve learned throughout the game and how good enough you can pull them off for a chance to win…well that and other players with their own different sets of skills, some better or worse than you.
Even if you’re still not good at the game, you’re still going to be addicted to the game due to the gameplay, since you want to see if you can pull of tricks and cool moves. Overtime, you’ll want to learn how the game works and how the controls and physics work; you’ll have personal achievements for yourself, like wanting to score a goal in an unconventional way, wanting to blow up opponents because you’re sadistic that way, there will something you want to do and you still have fun regardless of some of your failures, giving you that “one more time” aspect that I have rarely got from more modern games (that last part is probably me…I don’t know).
Though that inner competitor in you will rise from its miserable grave, not because of the game, but because of your teammates…YOU COULD HAVE JUMPED BUT IT’S IN THE OPPONENT’S F****** GOAL! WHY ISN’T ANYONE DEFENDING OUR F****** GOAL, NOW THE OPPONENT JUST SCORED! YOU W******! HOW IN THE F*** DID HE PULL THAT S*** OFF? Well, at least I keep those thoughts in my head…WHERE THEY SHOULD BE!
Oh, I forgot about the modes you can play in. There’s a single player season mode and I’ve become the thing I’ve mocked some Call of Duty players have been doing, disregarding (or didn’t realise it existed) the single player mode and diving straight to online multiplayer, I understand it all now. In terms of online modes, there’s 1v1 (Duel), 2v2 (Doubles), 3v3 (Standard) and 4v4 (Chaos), they’re based on how many players on each team there will be, so for example, three cars against another three cars.
But, over the last couple of years, we’ve got updates, including the 2015 holiday update of Snow Day, where the ball has been replaced with a big hockey puck and yes, the physics have been changed so that it plays like its own version of a hockey game. This is another fun addition to the game, in fact, it was meant to be removed after the holidays, but it became so popular, it remains a permanent game mode to this day.
We also got Hoops, a basketball game in which you have try and bounce a big basketball over a big basket and it’s not as easy as you may think, I think it’s OK, not my favourite but it’s nice that it’s there. And finally, there’s Rumble mode, where it turns into Mario Kart battle mode as you can use items to hinder other opponents or grab the ball to the goal for an easy score. There’s also Steam Workshop stuff should you want to grab some unique stuff to use or play through.
The graphics are pretty good, and the game design is cartoony fun, I like those kinds of styles and what they do with it with the multiple amount of arenas look cool, each with their different styles, like a normal football field, one set in a fantasy castle, some can be futuristic and some can be set in the waifu-ridden Japan, but whatever arena you’re playing in, there’s no gameplay differences to them. The music is those modern songs I’m not into, so don’t expect those kind of analysis from me.
Overall, Rocket League is just stupidly fun in all the right places. It won me over thanks to the simple gameplay and how it hooked me into it, the wacky but near balanced physics and the will to be the best. Even if you’re not a fan of sports games, you’ll still get a kick out of this.
You know, it’s sort of a fresh take on FIFA and other similar football games…yeah, yeah, I know they’re completely different games in terms of its physics, one is realistic and one is cartoony to an extent, but I’ve never got hooked into a football game, but I have got hooked on Rocket League, but I guess different people like different things and Rocket League is different enough for me.
You can get it on Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One.
UPDATE: A few days before the posting of this review, the developers added a new mode called Dropout, so I went and had a go at it so this review can be up to date, whilst it doesn’t matter, I take immediate precautions like that.
So Dropout is a goalless game in which you must pass the ball to the opponents’ side, when you pass it long enough, the ball will break and electrify. When it does drop on the opponent’s side, hexagonal shapes on the floor light up, the more they’re lit up, the bigger the makeshift goal becomes, allowing you a chance to score.
I thought it was good, something I’ll probably play from time to time but not all the time. I probably just like the game vanilla.