With the market full of real sports simulations such as FIFA 17 and Madden NFL, we kind of miss the good old days when sports games were simply not all that serious. Psyonix is one game developer who seems to understand this very well, and their Rocket League is a perfect representation of this.
Rocket League is actually a sequel to the Supersonic Acrobatic Rocket-Powered Battle-Cars, and is a simulation of pocket powered cars playing soccer on a huge soccer field. The entire game is clearly meant to entertain and bring laughs instead of hold any kind of resemblance to any actual real world sports.
Rocket League is mainly an online multiplayer game, with up to eight players being able to play in a single match, split into two teams. To date, it was released for Playstation 4, Xbox One, Windows, OS X and Linux, which means most gamers out there already have access to it.
Rocket League Gameplay
Rocket League can be played by up to 8 players at the same time online, or up to 4 players in a split screen mode. In addition, computer controlled cars can be added to the game, if there aren’t enough people to play at any one time.
The objective of the game is to get the gigantic ball into the opposing teams goal, which is done by riding supersonic rocket-powered cars around the field, performing neat little tricks, bumping into opponents’ cars and directing the ball by bumping it from various sides.
As expected from a game like this, it does not offer absolute ball control like a game of FIFA 17 but after playing just a little bit we were starting to recognize that there was in fact quite a bit of skill to the game and that good play was awarded.
Unlike the earlier version, Rocket League actually offers quite a few plays as players can now move cars in different directions, make barrel rolls and other plays that will help score goals and defend the goal and enter supersonic mode to make the car go faster.
Overall speaking, the gameplay of Rocket League is an absolute blast and you can expect to have a ton of fun playing with friends in a split screen or entering the online matches if looking for some stiffer competition. If you just want to unwind all alone in the evening, the AI can actually be pretty challenging to beat as well, especially at higher difficulties, and it is a great way to practice before taking on serious live competition.
Rocket League Video And Audio
As we already mentioned, the game has great gameplay flow which is integrated in rather visually spectacular graphics. While Rocket League is certainly not a high detailed first person shooter where every detail matters and has to look realistic, it offers the kind of silly graphics we so loved back in the day.
The stadiums in which the games are played are a mix of a racing track and a football stadium, with two gigantic goals on the two sides. The sides of the stadium can be climbed, making it sometimes have a feel of a stunt cars arena, and all of it is brought together great in a very eye pleasing way.
The cars themselves are also quite cute, resembling toy cars with supersonic abilities, and the characters having the potential to wear Viking helmets and all manner of other cosmetic upgrades which are unlocked as we play the game.
The entire game is also backed by a powerful soundtrack with the likes of Kevin Riepl and Abandoned Carnival all contributing along with Mike Ault, the lead sound designer of Psyonix. Hoping the new Rocket League would look and sound good, we are in luck, because it definitely does.
Rocket League As An eSport
This is where it gets even more crazy. A game like Rocket League can definitely be very fun to play, but one would not expect it to ever become an eSport. Yet, Rocket League is now an officially sponsored eSport and a part of ESL, which means there is serious tournaments to play and even serious cash to be won for the very best Rocket League players.
The first Rocket League Championship Series took place in August 2016, with a $55.000 prize pool, all owed to the massive popularity the game has received on Twitch and general popularity among gamers. MLG and ESL have also been having a part in organizing Rocket League tournaments and it seems that the game is here to stay as an eSport.
The one thing we can know when a game starts spreading as an eSport is that there is quite a bit of skill involved in playing it, and while you may not notice it at first glance and many players may just be playing for fun, there is levels to playing this game and watching the professional gaming teams play it really shows how even the most absurd gameplay premise can be turned into an absolute art.
Psyonix did one hell of a job with Rocket League, integrating the sports simulations with silly arcade concepts of the past and making a game loved by both the younger and older generations and one that will cause players to jump out of the seat, laugh, scream and shout at the TV, but keep a very positive attitude throughout.
All of this is enveloped in a visually spectacular setting and it is unlikely too many people will be displeased after they are done playing a few matches of Rocket League. While commands could be perfected even further and there is certainly place for improvement, Rocket League easily win us over with overall performance and we can’t wait to see what’s next from Psyonix.
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