Rocket League Review – Need Boost!
Football, Soccer, call it whatever you want, but this sport is the most popular in the world. Everywhere, from Alaska to Australia, masses are hypnotized by 22 players chasing one ball (ok, technically 20 players do all the running, there are 2 goalies after all and it is not recommended for them to chase the ball, except if the ball is in their box) with a sole purpose of putting it behind other team goal line. It’s as simple as it gets, but there’s something in soccer that just screams “Magic!” and that magic is ever-present in soccer, even in the U.S soccer is slowly becoming more and more popular, MLS is starting to look like a proper soccer league (sorry guys, but being from Europe and having grown up watching magic happen in Premier League, Spanish Primera, German Bundesliga and Italian Calcio really set my standards high).
A bunch of guys from one studio, named Psyonix, decided to catch that magic, add a bit insanity to it (putting rocket-propelled cars able to jump and fly all over the place is a bit insane) and release it in the form of Rocket League, a competitive multiplayer game that’s all about chasing the damn ball and putting it behind opponent’s net. And if we are being honest, the game is remarkable, it really is.
The concept is simple; you have two teams of two, three, or four players competing who will score more goals. The matches are limited to five minutes, but those five minutes can sometimes feel like seconds, because of the incredible amount of excitement that every single match is full of. Your car can do many things, but in the start hitting the ball will be very hard, especially when playing against human opponents. The ball is big enough to be hit with relative ease, but doing that while driving around at the speed of hundred miles per hour and while the ball is moving is completely different story. After you play a couple of games against AI opponents, score a couple of goals and get known with game’s mechanics it is time to play some proper multiplayer. Only then you’ll realize that Rocket League is one of those games that are easy to pick up and play but hard to master.
But, if you stay motivated and persistent, soon you’ll see yourself flying around in your car, performing impossible shots and driving your opponents crazy. Rocket League gameplay is full of little things that can make the difference between scoring a half court goal and completely missing the ball. You have to watch your speed, going too fast will just push your car just next to the ball; driving too slow will make you hit it, but without enough power to the kick the ball will just jump a bit, not getting far.
You can do a jump, a double jump, a flip, and by jumping and using boost you can even fly. And flying is the part of Rocket League gameplay trickiest to master, but when finally learn how to control your car while in midair the real magic will start to happen. The feeling when you jump, use the boost and start flying, beat the opponent and kick the ball first tens of meters above the ground, and score a magnificent goal can’t be explained in words, you have to feel it for yourself. Another important part of gameplay is blocking (hitting) other players, denying them the chance to get to the ball first; being aggressive while on defense is crucial. Simply following behind opponent won’t get you far. You also always need to have at least a bit of boost; if without it, you won’t be able to hit aerial shots, accelerating will be a chore and basically, you’ll be pretty much useless. All in all, gameplay is fast, full of tricky moves, and incredibly rewarding when you finally learn all the sundries.
Graphics are enjoyable; cars are neatly modeled, full of details; arenas look impressive, along with beautifully modeled grass, huge stands in the distance and warm and saturated lighting. Rocket League has nice graphics that aren’t too demanding; every solid PC shouldn’t have any problems running Rocket League.
You can play single player mods, which include single match or season. It is recommended to play one season in order to learn gameplay well enough to be a real threat in multiplayer. Multiplayer is the start of the show in Rocket League. Scoring goals, blocking shots, hitting other players, flying around, chasing the ball, and making astonishing last-second saves will make the adrenaline pumping, brain overflowing with making split-second decisions and mouth turning into a big smile, especially when scoring a last second goal getting you the win.
You can play a game of regular soccer, go with the snow day and hit the puck in the Rocket League version of Hockey or play a game of hoops, if basketball is your thing. Basketball mode is made just for 2vs2 play, the arena is smaller and aerial gameplay plays a much bigger part than in soccer. There are lots of cars to choose from, it’s up to you. New cars will just give you a different look, none will grant you better speed, acceleration or something similar, they are just cosmetic part of the game; it’s all about the skill. You can customize your car with different colors, vinyl, toppers and antennas; you’ll unlock new ones as you gain new levels.
There is a competitive mode where you have to be good and win games in order to progress to higher tiers; the only downside is that only soccer is available if going competitive. The good thing is that you can play 2v2, 3v3, and 4v4 matches in competitive mode. One other nice thing about Rocket League is a cross-play option between PC and PS4; this is a great feature since there will be always more than enough players online, no matter when you want to jump in a score some goals. Rocket League is best when played with friends; better communication, teamwork, and the game is a lot more fun when chasing the ball with a friend or two, especially when playing competitive matches.
Rocket League has a couple of negative sides. Sometimes luck can play a big role, some goals look just too incredible, and the ball can develop strange trajectory from time to time. Also, if there aren’t enough players, the game will put AIs instead, and bots are pretty dumb, especially if playing against experienced opponents. They will make unnecessary moves, will miss the ball just too often and generally will make you mad most of the time. Since the game automatically looks for a perfect game for you, sometimes it will put you against much more skilled opponents (making the game just too hard), and sometimes against complete newbies (where scoring is too easy), but most of the times you’ll be connected to players having a similar level to yours.
Rocket League become one of the sleeper hits of 2015, and one year after the game is still incredibly fun, there are a bunch of players online and Psyonix still makes the game better and better with every new patch. If loving soccer, and if loving crazy multiplayer, Rocket League is for you. An incredibly fun game that will devour a big chunk of your time, you can be sure about it. For all of you wanting to become better at the game, don’t forget to check our Rocket League guide.