Its when you’re going through difficult times in life that a game like Rocket League is perfect. OK, in reality this game is perfect for anyone during any walk of life; it is an absolute joy to play. Throughout the past week I have dipped in and out of this celebration of imagination and thoroughly got my money’s worth!
What is Rocket League?
Rocket League is the game that every child has dreamed up at least once. It is the game that Top Gear tried to create with real cars. It is the version of Fifa that I can ACTUALLY be half decent at.
2 teams of rocket powered micro-machine-esque cars are pitted against each other in an epic 5 minute match of football where the ball is gigantic, the pitch is colourfully decked and the cars all have otherworldly hydraulics. What ensues is one of the most addictive multiplayer experiences out there, and for just £16.99 you can’t really go wrong!
What really draws me in however is the same console splitscreen multiplayer capability. It takes a lot of searching to actually find a decent couch co-op replacement for Worms, but maybe this is it.
How to Rocket League.
The controls couldn’t be simpler. You can accelerate, break, powerslide, boost and jump. Now in a regular racing game this (minus the jump) would be very straightforward, however with the addition of a football things become a little more unpredictable. Especially in 4 v 4 matches it is often impossible to predict where the ball will end up as all 8 cars boost frantically toward it, therefore the first and most important piece of advice is to have a goalie! At kickoff that ball is anyone’s game, so you’ll need one player to stay back and make sure to stop any cheeky long shots. There lies the difficulty however, because if you are not in communication with your team you can end up all trying to be goalie and giving the opposition what is essentially a free kick.
The next difficulty is actually making a connection with the ball. It is one thing driving into it, but when the ball is in the air you have to judge your jump perfectly. I spent my first couple of hours jumping under the ball playing against an A.I team which scored goal after goal against my Dad and I, much to our hilarity. And this is when Rocket League is at it’s most fun. When it is new and you are absolutely sh** at it.
After you nail the jumps offline its high time you take on the chumps who didn’t get in the shooting practice beforehand. I say chumps, but due to the PEGI 3+ rating I’d hazard a guess that a large proportion of players are kids with their Dads. A small amount of shame on my part, because I (at age 22) am also playing with my Dad.
Advanced Rocket League
I haven’t myself reached this stage, but recognise that Rocket League has layers of complexity, much like any good competitive online game. You can combine your jumps with boosts to outperform the opposition, or drive up walls to reach the ball before it hits the ground. Game modes cater to competitive players as well as casuals, and the amount of customisation on offer really lets you go to town with your creative side.
Downloadable packs and updates are frequently added which provide content from everyone’s favorite games, and just goes to show how the game itself has shot to the top of every gamer’s must have list.
Lastly it’s worth noting that an additional ‘hoops’ mode is on offer where the footie pitch is replaced by a basketball court. Whilst I haven’t dabbled in it much (not being American) its clear to see a whole different tac is needed to prevail in this new version of Rocket League.
Just a bit of fun? And just like that you’re addicted to one of the neatest little games (not much) money can buy.