Rocket League – Videogame review

Rocket League, a fast paced game about playing football with cars, has proved so popular that, upon release, servers were simply not ready to take the sheer amount of players.

A football game attempts to replicate the appearance of the sport and Rocket League replicates the feel. Where a button press in FIFA passes and shoots, here you have to consider the angle and speed you hit the ball with. It is like the car you control is actually the foot of a footballer, with the movements of the vehicle being naturally mapped to the controller. The versatility of the cars and the potential of the physics based mechanics lead to a great deal of unpredictability and crazy goals that really feel earned.

ss_60ac6fe7925aed9169469fbee41a395a4e9448a7.1920x1080The game naturally strips away most of the rules of traditional football and the only goal is to get the ball into the net at all costs. Despite this, there is a great deal of potential for strategies and teamwork. These approaches change depending on the mode you play, from 1v1 ranked to 4v4 chaos. In 3v3 a common approach is to have a player hanging back near goal, while one person hits the ball to the corner in order to curl it around toward the opposing goal, while the third player is ready to punt it in. In 1v1, centering the ball in such a way usually results in your opposite number smacking the ball back to your goal, while you are in no position to stop it. So, despite not technically having tons of content (car models, stages) the potential for the game is expansive.

The heavy emphasis on cosmetic expression, through hats and antennas, means that Rocket League would have been a prime candidate for a Team Fortress/ CS GO system of micro-transactions, which would not affect game-play. In those games, displaying rarer items is more of a display of wealth than anything else, like tacky jewellery. They are an indicator that you either had to spend a lot of money to get the item, or that you are well off enough that you don’t need to sell it. Even without micro-transactions, an item earned through difficult means could still be adopted out of pride for its significance, rather than aesthetic reasons alone. Rocket League is totally random and egalitarian in the way that it dishes out items. This means that designing your own car is a completely level playing field, and is totally about expressing your own tastes.

The “Supersonic Fury” paid DLC Pack is due to be released in August 2015, adding 2 new cars, and other aesthetic options. At the same time, a new stage will be released for free. Such a model for income seems fairly archaic, but everything about this games mentality is fairly old-school. The game not only has local multiplayer, but it isn’t even limited to 2 players, as most modern games that still include local do. Get this game.

9/10

Connor Cochrane

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