Okay so this week I was intending to do a first impressions-type review of Spider-Man but as I’ve only spent an hour or so playing it, I didn’t think that it was worth talking about until I’m a few more hours into it, or having completed it. I was left with a bit of a gap with what to talk about, I have a copy of Doom (the new one) and decided that maybe I would power through that in order to review it. Sadly when I tried to start, the game needed to download so many updates that it would have taken 5 hours to complete. I couldn’t be bothered to wait that long as I was going to be hanging out with a friend of my skin-sack so wanted a decent two player game that we could play whilst drinking...which lead me to Rocket League
Rocket League is a game that was released in 2015 and is basically what happens when you smash football (or soccer if you’re American) and micro-machines together. Essentially you control a small radio controlled car and are in a sealed arena in which teams attempt to score as many goals as possible. Teams can be made up of up to 5 (?) cars and the game can be played online and in local multiplayer.
I have played the game before and it was ridiculously fun to play, it falls perfectly into the category of “easy to learn, difficult to master”. My skin-sack’s friend described himself as being both shit at driving games and shit at football games; however, within an hour or so of playing he had gotten the hang of the controls. In between matches helpful hints and tips pop up giving advice on techniques or how to move faster, how to power slide and things along that nature.
The local split screen is great because these days most games shun the idea of having local offline multiplayer, as I was looking through my game collection of games for something that could be played together, I realised how few games I actually have that can be played together offline. Even Doom you’d think would have a split-screen option but it doesn’t. A few years ago myself and my friend played Resistance Fall of Man and whilst the game was centred on Nathan Hale. However, for no reason it also had a two player mode which had a second playable character following Hale around for no other reason than to give another player the opportunity to play the game too. Such a thing is rare or damn right unheard of in modern games in 2019.
Naturally as you play you can get unlocks but what makes Rocket League stand out in my mind is the fact that all of the unlocks are cosmetic. None of them will make the car faster, more manoeuvrable, use up less boost or make boost last longer, as a result the most skilful players will be ones that have learned how to use their jumps, boosts and so on to beat their opponents. Therefore unlike games which are essentially play-to-win in which loot boxes have the possibility of giving a lucky player the best item in the game, with Rocket League new players won’t be at a disadvantage against those who are veteran players (tech wise) because all of the cars function in the same way.
Players can naturally play on a team together or they can go one Vs one, or Two Vs two, etcetera. The AI of the bots can be set depending on how challenging the players want the game to be, and we spent the game playing it on Rookie difficulty but from what I have seen the difficulty curve increases naturally with the AI getting better as you chose to go up against better computer controlled bots.
This is admittedly rather a short review, there is no plot in the game, and whilst there are other modes like Ice-Hockey and I believe Basket Ball, soccer was the version that we played into the small hours of the morning. Modifying cars is fun and changing their colours does enable you to make a car feel more like your own. DLC cars can be purchased for about a £1 each and include iconic vehicles like the DeLorian from Back to the Future or various versions of the Batmobile from different Batman films. Again all of these are purely cosmetic and are just there so people can chose to use them as their vehicle if they so desire.
Honestly there is not much more I can say about the game. It is great fun to play if you and a friend need something to play whilst hanging out and drinking. A season consists of 24 games which I have to admit did start to get a bit tedious but that was only after playing for 4 hours straight. Like I said it is easy to learn but difficult to master, so new players can still be racing around having fun within minutes of starting to play. The game gets a Thumbs Up because the game is pretty cheap to buy at the moment and is an excellent way to just chill out to play something fun.
8/10 – Rocket League is a great fun game, however, it really only has one game mode and has players competing to score with either a soccer ball, basket ball or oversized hockey puck. It is undeniably good and the split screen is a great feature, but if you start to get bored there is really nothing else that you can do to liven things up a bit.