Published on July 29th, 2015 | by hutchison152
Review – Rocket League
What happens when you combine one of our oldest sports with adrenaline infused, jet powered cars? You get Rocket League – a relatively simplistic, but very addictive, soccer-type game filled with customizable cars that can fly, jump, and flip. The game is jam packed with personalization, multiplayer options, and an ever-changing game experience that makes you want to keep on playing.
I’ll be honest, I was a little hesitant to buy Rocket League. I thought the game was going to be nothing more than another flavor-of-the-week title, with the hype slowly dying out once the next trend came along. After spending roughly 40 hours playing the game, I couldn’t be more wrong. It didn’t take me long to figure out that it’s a game you have to play to truly understand what makes it worth every penny. Rocket League has become an addiction of mine; it’s truly a game that I can’t put down.
The game is more than just hitting an over-sized ball into a goal, it’s all about how you do it. The rocket propulsion opens up a whole new plane of strategy as it enables your car to do thrusted flips and aerial shots. Getting these right take a lot of practice but the gratification of landing crazy shots like these are well worth it. Aerial shots aren’t the only thing you can do, however. Go fast enough and you can literally blow up an enemy, forcing them to respawn on their end of the field. Jump in the air, give yourself a boost, and fly across the field to try and land a sick shot into the goal.
Flying accurately isn’t an easy task and the devs knew this. Along with online matchmaking, you’re given an extensive training mode where you can test yourself with flying, defending the goal, and other offensive plays. Each category has three different levels of difficulty, all of which feel appropriately challenging and well worth the time. The aerial shot practices are arguably the hardest training courses out of the bunch, as canons set up around the map shoot the ball up into the air for you to intercept and hit straight into the goal.
Once you’re all trained up and ready to go, you should be set for matchmaking. Matchmaking gives you two options: unranked and ranked. The unranked system tries to queue you with other players similar to your in-game skill level, which increases by simply playing the game. The ranked system is a point based system; the more points you have, the better. You gain these points by winning matches and lose them by losing matches. Unfortunately, the ranked system has no repercussions against abandoning ranked matches. People can leave mid-game if they believe they’re losing, not lose any points, and jump back into the queue until they win another match.
People have been taking this game seriously enough that ESL and GameBattles created their own competitive ladders and have been hosting tournaments. In a recent IGN interview, the Psyonix team revealed that there is an upcoming free update that’s finally introducing the very anticipated spectator mode, making it one step closer to becoming a great eSport contender.
In addition to free content, the developers also stated in their IGN interview that they are introducing paid DLC in the next week or so, but made it clear that it contained nothing that would unbalance the game. “It will cost a couple of bucks, but we’re making sure that everyone knows that it won’t give anyone some sort of advantage,” the team announced. “We’re against that sort of thing.”
In these content updates, we’re going to see new car customization options and game patches, which I’m very excited for. Personalization can be overlooked, but it’s honestly one of the most enticing parts of the game. Besides the standard video options like perspective control and camera distance, you are able to tailor your car to your liking. Filled with funny hats, different paint jobs and boost streams, the car combinations are seemingly limitless and enable the drivers to create a unique car special to them.
With patches and DLC coming out, I expect it to be nearly perfect upon release. Other than a few crashes at the beginning of its launch, everything else in the game has had my friends and I pleasantly surprised at how well optimized everything has been. The given quality presets that change the resolution, anti-aliasing and other filtering options makes me believe that this could run on huge range of machines. With the settings turned down, things begin to look a little rough, but maxing out the graphic settings hardly pushed my hardware. When I asked the team about what it took to release such a well polished game, they replied that it “Took a lot of work. A team of about 8-12 people, working their butts off for a few years and going over everything with a fine-toothed comb… and then doing it again. As a whole, the company is made up of perfectionists, so we do what we can to make it as refined as possible.”
Trick shots, ruthless competitiveness, and the potential to be the next big eSport title; Rocket League has earned its place as one of my favorite titles of 2015. Psyonix made every right play in the book, and created something that I don’t want to stop playing.
Summary: A refreshing game perfect for those adrenaline junkies that have an itch for some new competitive play in their libraries.