Review

Rocket League is the sequel to Supersonic Acrobatic Rocket-Powered Battle-Cars from developer Psyonix. If you miss the days of arcade and crazy sports games, this is an opportunity for you to jump in on. The addictive arcade soccer experience may not be the deepest, but it is endlessly fun.

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Gameplay:

As the player, you control an RC-like car with rockets on the back in a soccer-like arena. Default matches consist of three on three battles seeing who can score the most goals before the five minute time limit expires. While this sounds simple, there is a decent amount of strategy to it in terms of when someone should stay in goal or setting up a pass across the face of goal for a teammate to jump on. There are glowing pads all over the field which fill up your boost meter and these can be used to speed ahead, blow someone up or fly. Each car has a double jump and the angle can be adjusted midair. If you boost while your car is facing up, you’ll fly until you either let go of the button or run out. You also get points (that don’t contribute to the outcome of the match) by performing certain actions. Scoring goals, making saves, bicycle kicks and demolitions are a few of the ways to score points with an MVP being crowned at the end of each match.

To add personality to your car, there are a slew of customization items and different cars that you will unlock by simply playing the game. These range from paint jobs, to hats and different antennae. However, these are all cosmetic (including the cars) and nothing affects actual gameplay. While I understand that balancing cars with different statistics is a daunting and difficult thing to do, it would have helped to deepen the gameplay experience.

Story and Modes:

You can play 1v1, 2v2, 3v3 or 4v4 online with the first three also being available in a ranked playlist. Also worth noting is that you can have two people on the same console jump online together, however, Rocket League is a game where you want as much screen real estate as possible, so use this as a last resort. Private matches can also be set up on the variety of arenas available in the game. Unfortunately, beside the arena, player count and bot difficulty, there are no other customization options. Want a sudden death first goal wins situation? Hopefully the five minute game ends in a tie because you can’t change the time limit. Other options would have been welcome.

Also included is an offline seasons mode where you play the AI which is fun if you need to blow off some steam. Rounding off the list are a freeplay mode and a tutorial mode both of which are great to acclimate yourself to how the game plays.

Visuals and Sound:

The visuals are simple but sharp with some fun touches such as boost trails consisting of money or flowers flying streaming behind you to each car having a stylized and clean look to them. The arenas also look great with most having night variants, however, all of the same exact field layout including boost pick up placements.

The sound is somewhat understated. Music that is there sounds good and it fits in the game, but nothing stands out as memorable with the sound of jumping, boosting and scoring goals being what stays with you.

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Originality:

While I never played Psyonix’s predecessor, this feels very original and fun. Having your car boost through the air to knock the ball before it hits the ground is satisfying to pull off and gives a very different feel to other games out there. Arcade sports games haven’t been as prevalent recently as they used to be, but Rocket League is a great way for those especially not interested in simulation sports games to give a try.

The Big Question:

With how simple the game is, will it last? I think the answer is yes. The game was released on July 7th and when I played with a couple of buddies earlier this week, there were 150,000 people online . . . for a PSN game. Granted it being a free PS Plus game for the month of July definitely helped, but it is impressive that the player base is still this high. The game definitely has that “one more match” aspect to it as we quickly figured out . . . 28 games later.

Value:

Honestly, there isn’t much packed into the game. There is the one game mode that can be played with a differing number of players and/or bots in two different formats (online and season). There are enough customization options to keep you hooked, but if you are looking for different experiences outside the core game, you may be disappointed. But that core game is so good that it is difficult to argue against how addictive it truly is. This is a game that has had me hooked since release and I am looking forward to playing it again soon.

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About the Author

Ross
A recent college grad who just loves playing games. Hopefully I can help you save some money (and possibly spend more than you would like).