Rocket League has stormed onto the gaming scene from seemingly out of nowhere. The question I’ve been asked the most is whats all the hype about and is it any good? In short yes its good. As a matter of fact its even better than good. Two of the most popular things in the world Football (aka Soccer in the US) and cars have been morphed into a demolition derby , football, adult bumper cars frenzy. I get more of an adrenaline rush playing Rocket League than playing other major titles.
Sorry X Box One, Rocket League is only available on PS4 and Steam for PC, and allows users of both systems to play against and with each other. Although you cant pre make your team with the other systems players yet (PC users can only pre make teams with Steam Friends, and PS4 users can only premake teams with other PS4 users); developers say that a system to do just that is in the works.
Rocket League : Hype or not?
At first glance, it seems like a silly game but it has some real power under the hood and has something for a lot of different gamers. The UI is clean,precise and navigation is a breeze. . The training feature is sweet, simple and to the point. It gives you the opportunity to get used to the controls (especially if your using a controller on the PC) before unleashing you on the other game modes. If you wish to not go through the training you can do so and get on with the other game modes.
The rush is real as games can go either way from beginning to end. As a rookie you will be involved in a lot of one sided blowouts. Once you get to semi – pro there will be more overtime games and close games than anything else. I expect the pro games to be similar if not even more hard fought.
There are a lot of ways to customize your cars from the car type, paint scheme, decals , antennas, car tops (think hats), rims and turbo boost trails. You’ll have a lot of fun unlocking them all and then trying to decide what to use.
There are Exhibition, Season and Online game modes.
Exhibition is just for practicing against the AI (or not) in a one game match with settings of your choosing.
The season mode allows you to play an entire season that you get to customize. Its the equivalent to a campaign in other games. You can select the length of the season, the number of playoff games and you get to pick your team colors, logo and teammates. I suggest going through the rookie season as it gives you points for each game that allows you to rank up. The ranks I have seen thus far are rookie, semi-pro and pro and they are used in the online matchmaking portion to put you in games with players of similar skill and experience level.
The Rookie Season is easy to get through as you can see in the video below. Just use your boost on kickoff to score when you can and when you cant, just play defense until you can take it to the opponents goal. One thing I found is that your AI partners will score on your own goal if they get the ball facing the wrong direction, so cut them off!
Online play allows you to play in matches you set up or regular pvp matches against other players and if you have friends online you can team up at the main menu before heading in to face others online. The online play seemed very stable and even though pings can vary widely, there didn’t seem to be an advantage either way if you had a great or a poor ping.
In the online mode there are two features, regular and ranked play. You can choose to play unranked matches that have 1 v 1 up to 4 v 4 or you can play the ranked matches that assign skill rankings for the leaderboards. Casual gamers need not apply to that one but theres plenty others to have fun with.
All in all this is a truly an oustanding gem and will be enjoying it for some time to come, and at $20 on steam it is a steal of a deal.