Nerd Nook: Rocket League Review

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Price: $19.99

Rating: E

Genre: Sports, Driving

Modes: Exhibition (Single player), Local and Online Multiplayer, Rumble, Customizable private matches called Hoops, Snow Day or Custom

Platforms: PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Microsoft Windows, Linux, MacOS

Released by: Psyonix

Release date: July 7, 2015

Rating: 8.5/10

+ Clear graphics (1080p + 60fps)

+ Simple but customizable controls

+ Fast-paced quick matches

+ No purchasable items to get advantage above players who don’t spend money

+/– Extensive character customization, but essentially doesn’t affect gameplay

– Cross-platform communication nearly impossible

– Occasional Internet connectivity issues

The well-known sequel to the not so well known prequel called Supersonic Acrobatic Rocket Powered Battle Cars, Rocket League has exploded in popularity since its release, making over 110 million dollars for Psyonix in the process. Rocket League has won 9 gaming awards since its release.

An Airial pass sets up the teammate for a goal

Coles “Emi” Bergman-Corbet

Gameplay in Rocket League is incredibly fast paced and relies on split-second decisions by all players. Matches are made of two teams of one to four players and consist of all players mashing into each other in a rectangular dome, trying to hit an oversized ball with the same objectives as soccer. Player drive crazy fast cars with rocket boosters that allow for constant ridiculous speed and augmenting mid-air movement that would be fatal for a real car driver. When one player rams into the other at a high enough speed, the hit player with explode in a cartoonish explosion, where the smoke spells out “BOOM!”. After scoring a goal, the ball sets off a satisfying colored explosion of smoke that sends all nearby players flying.

Two players collide near the ball, leading to the slower one exploding

Coles “Emi” Bergman-Corbet

The game suggests playing with a controller, instead of a keyboard, which does significantly improve the smoothness of gameplay. Online matches are separated into Competitive, Casual, and Rumble.

Rumble is a more chaotic game mode of teams of three, where every ten seconds, every player is given a random powerup. Powerups vary from Spikes on your car, a tornado the throw nearby players away, spring-loaded fists to punch the ball, a boot for hitting away one opponent, and even more. This game mode is tons of fun, and though less professional, it really mixes up the gameplay and increases the game’s pace.

airial-goal

Coles “Emi” Bergman-Corbet

The only thing this game lacks in is variety. Admittedly, there are more than 500 times as many combinations of car appearances as there are planets in the known universe, which is incredible for creating your own car but none of these changes affect game mechanics. This is great for keeping all players on an even playing field but gives no sense of progress throughout the game, with only online rank being an increasing value tied to each player. All in all, I found this to be a great game that is incredibly fun and simple, but extremely difficult to master.