We all have a demon. It’s that voice in your head that makes you spam “WHAT A SAVE!” after you just scored a cracker of a goal. It’s your inner douche; the one that watches all the replays and soaks up glory like a sponge in a swimming pool. Rocket League is competition at its purest form. It’s simple, fun and can get really intense.
You may be like everyone else, you heard “Car football” and gave up hope on the game instantly. However, when you give it a go, you may pick up the pad and your first phase of rocket-based addiction begins. Rocket League finds depth in simplicity. Rocket League is a testament to good game design. It also shows as the game has taken 2015 by storm. It has positioned itself securely on Twitch, YouTube and even ESL for E-Sports.
At its core Rocket League is car football (soccer for you pesky Americans). The game thrives on gameplay that is fast paced and keeps you on your toes, but it also gives you room to relax and not necessarily focus heavily on playing. The intensity of the game is all down to how much you commit yourself to an individual match. The short-fire five minute matches coupled with the fast movement of players adds masses of replayability. I can’t reflect on a moment playing Rocket League where things were slow or I felt the need to stop playing because of the lack of intensity.
The game thrives when playing with friends; jumping into matches proclaiming who is the greatest and worst player at the game is enormous fun. Games are memorable due to spectacular fails and goals. It somewhat reminds me of FIFA in the respect that everyone is always trying to outshine their counterparts. What really appeals to me about the game is how tangible it is. You can play a five minute game or end up playing for five hours. Chances are you still will be having intensive fun.
The game exists with a strong serving of customization. All of it is purely cosmetic and doesn’t upset the balance of the game. I quite enjoyed tricking out my car with a selection of colours and decals. It even expands to body types, wheels, flags and jet trails. All of the cars can be set up with five types of paint. You unlock all your cosmetics purely by playing the game too unless you want to purchase DLC. There is no currency system and no weird payment system for getting the best looks. It’s simple and pure. It also offers more incentive to play the already addictive gameplay.
Rocket League is one of the first cross-platform titles on PlayStation 4. You can play against PC players due to open cross-play servers. You cannot directly invite PC opponents but it certainly fills the servers. As a matter of fact, there are roughly between 180,000-250,000+ players at any one time. All game modes from 1v1, 2v2, 3v3 and 4v4 are fully populated. There are so many players that should a team mate quit mid-game, he will be instantly replaced by another online player. A nice touch.
The ranked playlists are a way of really testing your metal. They rank you with players as individuals and teams (depending on who your with) on rank skill. It makes for some very intense matches and some insane goals and saves. Some of my biggest gasps and sweatiest moments happened while playing on ranked. It is the best place to lay down smack talk too. My personal favourites include “At least you tried,” “10/10 for effort,” and “don’t quit your day job”. Lose or win, competitive play is fun and really hard to put down.
One of my favourite features has to be the very simple “split-screen” addition. This disappears so often in this generation of games. Being able to play locally with some extra pads is pretty awesome. You can play as a team online or more likely play 2v2’s against each other. It seems really small as a feature, but it really means a lot to me. It’s the little things that matter.
Rocket League is simple, fun and damn addictive. It was free on PlayStation Plus last month but even if you missed out, it is worth getting. I will be playing this title probably into next year. I’ve found no reason to stop playing, and I have had fun every time I play it. It’s incredible that such a small title can make a big mark by being just “fun” to play without the AAA budget or having a grand story.
A PS4 code was provided by Psyonix for the purpose of this review.