Rocket League. Have you heard of it? It's the sequel to Supersonic Acrobatic Rocket-Powered Battle-Cars. Have you heard of that? No? Well, the premise is pretty simple. You have a rocket car and you're using that rocket car to play soccer but a way better version of soccer that includes boosts, driving on walls, and insanely cool looking aerobatic flips and it's really fucking fun.
When I first heard Jeremy Dunham, VP of Psyonix, talk about their game Rocket League on a podcast I thought it sounded immensely dull, lackluster, and something I would never want to touch. Maybe I was a bit of an asshole about it - as I now own it on both PS4 & PC. I simply can't get enough.
What Makes It Great
Rocket League clicks because of how simple it is. There are a few game modes Online (ranked and unranked), Exhibition, and Season and within those modes you can select your team size. Matches go from 1v1 up to 4v4 (I tend to enjoy the sweet spot of 3v3). There are a variety of cars to choose from ranging from high performance race cars to box vans but the beauty of Rocket League is there are no changes in performance between the cars ensuring the the playing field is always level and that someone who has unlocked more cars won't have an advantage over someone who has just gotten started.
Once in a match almost anyone can catch on quickly. The goal of the game is simple - get the ball into the opponent's net - but doing it is a whole different story when all hell breaks out. All the arenas are pretty much the same aside from visual differences (which is a good thing) and are littered with glowing gold orbs. These orbs allow the player to refill their boost level that they can use to shoot across the arena at a faster pace to attack/block the ball or use in tandem with a jump to fly through the air. The controls feel tight and expertly mapped for intense rocket car battles. As mentioned before the users can boost, jump (and double jump), focus their camera on the ball, power slide (functions as an e-brake), and of course move forward, and in reverse and using all of these is extremely important.
The best part about Rocket League is that no one has an advantage based on equipment. The only way to win is with skill... or luck.
The Cherries On Top
The charm Rocket League possesses is almost hard to put into words. The arenas are visually stunning and the extra detail Psyonix has put into it just make it even more astounding. There'll be a time as you break away with the ball on a dead path for the goal and in the background you can hear the crowd singing that one awesome 'Olay' sports song and it makes you actually feel like a professional athlete performing on a grand stage and you start to actually feel the pressure mounting on you to perform at your highest level.
Car customization is also a great touch and often over hilarious. Adding top hats, devil horns, or taxi toppers to your newly customized car always puts a smile on my face and the ability to add antenna balls/flags adds a layer of customization that can make playing and unlocking items feel fresh and addicting. They have even created custom 'Community' flags for Twitch and other content creators recognizing the community for their efforts which in my opinion is a humble nod to the people who have gotten them to the success they are at now.
The Season Has Just Started
The future of Rocket League looks bright. The Rocket League team has already made several updates to the game improving upon the experience (they've added a new arena for free and have vowed that all arenas will always be free), and added affordable DLC to expand upon your car and item collection. While PS4 and PC users can play each other in matchmaking Psyonix has stated that they soon hope to add the ability to invite cross-platform party members which would be an extremely exciting feature. Tournaments have already begun popping up in the E-Sports world and with a game so simple to play and fun to watch its no wonder the gaming community is flocking to this game.
Do yourself a favor and buy Rocket League. Right fucking now.
Buy it on Amazon: http://amzn.to/1J3ozlV