Previews

Playing soccer in a car has never been this fun — Rocket League Hands-On Impressions

Currently, one of the hottest trends in video games is the growth of multiplayer. Within the past three years, we have seen an exponential growth in the amount of multiplayer games such as Towerfall and Nidhogg.  That trend has continued to grow, and one of the newest multiplayer games to enter the fray is Rocket League, developed by Psyonix.  Rocket League puts you behind the wheel with the hopes of knocking an oversized soccer ball in your opponent’s goal. The game is a combination of football /soccer (referred to as soccer from here on out) and driving, which is very similar to the studio’s popular previous release “Supersonic Acrobatic Rocket-Powered Battle-Cars.”

One of the biggest drawbacks to be found in newer multiplayer games is the reliance on being able to get five or six friends together in one room. While the concept of doing that is great, it becomes tough to do, as aligning various people’s schedules is frustrating. This seems to be one of the best things about Rocket League, playing minus a group of friends is still a good time.  Teamwork is not a strict requirement when it comes to being successful in Rocket League, unless you are playing someone extremely experienced.

Rocket League

Of course, there is an online mode at your disposal when you do not want to play by yourself. You can hop into a four vs. four multiplayer session and play some auto-fueled sports if you like. Rocket League is one of the first games out there to support full cross-console online multiplayer. Meaning that if you own a PS4 and want to play with a friend on the PC side, you can. If you think those PC folks have an unfair advantage against you, you can also turn the feature off. When entering these games, you are not limited to just four vs. four, as you can also choose to create a three vs. two, four vs. two, or whatever your heart desires. The only limitation is the hard cap of eight players.

When you do create these games, you will have six maps to choose from, some of which look like a rather basic soccer field, while others seem like they should be the first Google image result for “terror dome.” Each map features a dome-esque shape around it, which allows the player to drive on the walls and even on the roof for a bit of time. You can also make your car leap into the air. This becomes integral as you try finding out the proper way to hop your car into the air and make a solid connection with the ball. While six may seem like a rather low number, more will be added after the game is released. These extra maps will be free to folks that own the game. Apart from the free maps, there will be other paid additions heading to Rocket League after the game’s release.

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In one of the funnier aspects of Rocket League, you can twist your vehicle in the air meaning you can perform bicycle kicks on the soccer ball, as well as a front flip hit. These special actions will put more power into each shot, dependent on your momentum at the time. While it is a funny sight, these sort of in-air movements are going to be the things that sets apart from the skilled players from the ones that just want to drive up the wall and giggle.

If you are worried about getting tired of doing exhibition after exhibition, fear not as Rocket League will have a season mode. This mode will take multiple teams of cars and have you running through a schedule of opponents with hopes of eventually taking the league championship. Before setting forth, you can rename your team to whatever you like, adding a bit of personality to your experience with the season mode.

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The personality does not stop there, as there are quite a few ways to customize your cars.  Psyonix made it clear they wanted every player to be on an even playing ground, so there are no stats for cars, simply customization. You can mess with things such as the body type, color, and what hangs off your antenna. You can even change what kind of exhaust comes out of your car, from sparkles to pure cash. There is also some cross-promotion to be had as the demo had you playing as Sweet Tooth from Twisted Metal. Apart from that, you can get the Twitch logo on your car as well as Blacklight: Retribution-related items.

Combat sports games have always been something that garners its own audience, but a game that features customizable cars and soccer is a whole different story. Psyonix created a good personality with Supersonic Acrobatic Rocket-Powered Battle-Cars, but they are only building on that further with Rocket League. The addition of a season mode will add a decent amount of hours, not to mention the fact that the core gameplay is an absolute blast. It leaves a ton of room for mastery of the controls, but simply picking up and playing is just as fun. While many multiplayer games are on the horizon, Rocket League is the one you need to keep an eye on when it is released July 7th for the PC and PS4.

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