A turbo charged variable to play!Whatever you think of video games as an entertainment medium, you’ve got to admit that replacing footballers with rocket-powered cars is an attractive idea. And Rocket League hits like a rocket-powered train. From the first seconds, as the engine growls under your all-powerful trigger finger, this feels not just fresh but perfectly-formed.
Then each team tries to score more goals than the other. The dynamics of hitting a ball with a small rocket-propelled vehicle obviously differ from those of the foot, but the same principles apply – anyone who’s ever played five-a-side will instantly be at home with the key role of ricochets, knocking the ball into walls for clever bounces or smashing it at angles for surprise shots. Even if hitting the thing head-on can be a little tricky at first.
One of the things that makes Rocket League really special is the depth of the controls, and the learning curve you go through while getting better with them. Simple things are enormous fun. Your early games will be full of flailing vehicles and mosh pits but it still feels great, and pulling off more complex moves feels even better. You soon learn the delicious kinks in acceleration, how long you can hang a jump in the air, and when to go all-in or back off. Soon you’re “flipping” the car to overtake parallel rivals, riding up walls to nose a ball ahead of the jumping mass, even hitting the juice mid-jump and taking to the skies.
The titular rocket engine is a double-edged sword, capable of blasting a car across the pitch to a loose ball (sometimes right through an unfortunate opponent) but just as easily leaving you hopelessly stranded after a misjudgement. The combination of such blistering precision with the ball’s more lazy, grounded momentum is irresistible.
Psyonix, Inc. is an American video game development studio based in San Diego, California. The company focuses on its own development, as well as contributing to larger companies and publishers utilizing the Unreal Engine.
- date of release:07.july 2015.