Developer(s) – Psyonix
Publisher(s) – Psyonix
Director – Thomas Silloway
Producer – Sarah Hebbler
PEGI – 3
Released as the sequel to the game Supersonic Acrobatic Rocket-Powered Battle-Cars earlier this year, Rocket League was released for PC and PlayStation 4 and was immediately met with extremely positive critical acclaim, and going on to garnish over 5 million downloads with over 175,000 concurrent players across both platforms, well exceeding the developer’s commercial expectations. I did find a few problems with this game for myself, but regardless, I found it to be fairly enjoyable. It’s certainly one of the more unique indie games I’ve played since they garnished their newfound prominence in the industry.
Graphics – 7/10
Whilst not being the most cutting edge game from a graphical point of view, the conceptual design is surprisingly varied, with many different customization options for players to unlock and take advantage of and with a lot of stylish looking arenas to compliment it; with a few more being added to the game as time has progressed. In the PlayStation version, it’s interesting that the player can also unlock Sweet Tooth from the Twisted Metal series.
Gameplay – 7/10
The object of Rocket League is simple enough but mastering it is an entirely different story. It can be simply summed as football with monster trucks, but there is also a lot of tricks and functions that demand quite a lot of the player for them to become efficient at the game. Like football, it also demands co-operation and the need for teamwork, as well as trying to figure out a coherent strategy, regarding which roles each player should fulfill; be that a defensive or attacking role. It’s a pretty well-thought-out game in this respect, and mastering it can be quite satisfying, to say the least.
Controls – 7/10
Unfortunately, the game’s control scheme can also be seen as being just as convoluted as the game itself’ if not, more so. The biggest problem I found personally was deciding which camera settings to stick with in order to play the game as efficiently as possible. Oftentimes, I found myself alternating between the third-person view and having the camera fixed on the ball, which ended up taking quite a bit of fluency out of the experience.
Originality – 10/10
I can honestly say that there is no other game like Rocket League that I have ever come across, which is most probably the reason why it has managed to catch on to the extent that it has in the span of a few short months. It’s happened many times within the indie community with the likes of Five Nights at Freddy’s, OlliOlli, and of course, Minecraft. It’s always nice to see new and fresh ideas coming from developers. Even if the first game turns out to be a question of trial and error, it leaves room for improvement upon the arrival of a second game, and if there does end up being a follow-up to this title, I’m sure the control scheme wouldn’t be beyond redemption.
In summation, whilst I found some problems with the control scheme, Rocket League is still a pretty fun title, and I would recommend it. Featuring the kind of physics and the basic premise that stands out to as great an extent it is possible for a game to stand out, it is most definitely one of the better sports titles to have been released in recent years.