Rocket League is a formula that was destined to work from the beginning. American Soccer, RC Cars, and Rocket boosters. Released July of 2015, Rocket League has won the hearts of competitive and casual gamers alike. Every match I have played is fast-paced and fun, and with plenty of unlocks to customize your ride, Rocket League kept me coming back for more.
As always, we address the big question first: What exactly is Rocket League? Rocket League is a fast paced game of American Soccer, with players controlling RC cars. Developed by Psyonix for the PS4 and PC, Rocket League just recently made its way over to the Xbox One.
In all honesty, there isn't much else to tell you from a gameplay perspective. You control an RC Car that has rocket boosters on it to drive, jump, and fly your way around and knock the oversized soccer ball into the opponents goal. These matches can be played in 1v1's, called a Duel, 2v2, called Doubles, 3v3, (which is the standard), and 4v4, called Chaos.
The customization is fun and rewarding. None of it effects the stats of your cars, so everyone is on a completely even playing field. Almost every single match I have finished, I have unlocked something, and I'm still a long way off from having everything. Flags, decals, car models, wheels, boost color and hats can all be customized. If you, like myself, watch Youtubers or Twitch streamers who also play the game, you may find their flags so you can join their "army." (Personally I allign myself with AngryJoe and his Angry Army.)
I haven't had a single issue with matchmaking, apart from the day it was released on Xbox One, when the servers seemingly weren't up for the first few hours. Every match I enter, whether it is in the Competitive Matchmaking or Casual, loads in extremely quickly. You will often load into a game that is not full, and and may freely drive around in the arena until another player connects. Teams are then decided and players are reset to their starting location, and within 10 seconds the match begins.
The first few seconds of every match are always the most hectic. Most players rush towards the ball, which sits in the middle. I have scored many goals and have been scored upon many times from this position. Players can jump and use their boost mid-air to speed to the ball, or use their second jump to cartwheel or front flip quickly into the ball or other players to send them flying. This can also be used to dodge other players trying to crash into you, causing them to whip past you.
Players can also drive up and jump off walls to get nice long-range hits on the ball. This further demonstrates what I love about Rocket League: It's extremely easy to pick up, play, and do something awesome - but mastering these cool tricks for specific scenarios is hard. Knowing when to use your boost is important; Should you save it to potentially save the ball, or use it to prevent your opponent from shooting in the first place? Should you save it up until it's full, and destroy an opponent for a few seconds, giving your team an advantage? It's up to you and your team mates.
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The cartoon, neon light style of Rocket League is beautiful and I can't imagine the game looking any different. Lots of neon blues and reds fill the arena, but these randomly change every match to different shades of purple, orange, and blues. The lights cause your eyes to quickly focus on important objects, so you never lose focus of what your immediate goal is. In all honesty, when I first saw Rocket League, I thought it was a new Hot Wheels game.
All in all, Rocket League provides tremendous fun for every player, even if you're not the best in the world. Scoring goals is satisfying, customizing your car is fun, and mastering crazy tricks is hard, yet rewarding. If you haven't bought into the hype of Rocket League yet, I highly recommend picking it up and playing around with it. I'm positive you will have fun, whether through its absurdity or its creativeness.