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"[GAME] Rocket League (PS4)"

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Thu 30/07/15 at 12:54
Regular
"Tip The Scales"
Posts: 869
Rocket League Review
For this review, the Playstation 4 version was played

“You know what’d be awesome? FIFA - but instead of players, there are cars. Like on that Top Gear episode, except with rockets…and EXPLOSIONS!”

There was a time, a while back, that I would think aloud about games that could potentially be interesting or enjoyable to me in a “why isn’t this game out right now! I’m a genius” kind of way. That quote isn’t from me aged 12, by the way (unfortunately I can’t claim to have thought of the concept beforehand). But it is possibly one from the team at Psyonix, developers of one of the newest crazes sweeping the gaming landscape – Rocket League.

Rocket League was released earlier this month on PC and Playstation 4, being rather generously released as part of July’s Instant Game Collection for Playstation Plus members. The game features two teams battling for supremacy in 5-minute games of rocket powered car football. As I previously alluded to, the premise of the game could easily have come from a hyper-imaginative youngster. However, whilst it may not be the most sophisticated foundation of a game, bear with me, there is definite brilliance behind the madness.

For those of you who are familiar with some of my earlier reviews on the Freeola forums, you might have seen a review for the ridiculously/awesomely titled (depending on your viewpoint) Supersonic Acrobatic Rocket-Powered Battle Cars. A fun, if flawed, title of which Rocket League is the spiritual successor.

So the game itself is, again, pretty simple: in teams or individually, use rocket-cars to knock a ball into the opponents goal more times than they can to you in 5 minutes. Rockets can propel you forwards quickly, or up in the air for aerial duels, and individual points are awarded for several offensive and defensive manoeuvres – meaning that the goal scorers don’t get *all* the glory.

Rocket League is an archetypal example of the cliché “easy to learn, hard to master”. Ultimately, near enough anyone can pick up a controller and drive towards a ball. However, go into the realm of goalkeeping, aerial hits, effective crossing, tactical positioning, demolitions and teamwork, and one can peel back the overarching simplicity to unveil a deep game buried beneath. It is this, married with the quick match time, which ultimately makes Rocket League such an addictive experience.

Rocket League offers both online and offline experiences, which somewhat vary in their appeal. For single player, there are tutorial games that allow you to understand the mechanics of the game further (always recommended for new players), and one off exhibition games. However, the meat of the single player is produced in Season mode, a new offering for this version that introduces a league system played over a series of weeks, followed by play-offs and a championship game for those finishing in the upper echelons of the league. However, it must be said that with a lack of specific unlocks or anything like that actually attached to season mode, there is very little substance to it and not much to draw you in to playing it.

However, multiplayer is considered the major component of Rocket League, and it does not disappoint. With up to 4-player split screen, and both unranked and ranked online modes, multiplayer is well catered for, both in house and worldwide. Online matchmaking works reasonably well (following many days of well documented initial issues with the servers, not unlike many releases nowadays with online components) and it is online where Rocket League really shines. The unpredictability of other players makes for an interesting playing experience, one that is quite tricky to explain in words, and should really be experienced. It feels that it is unusual to play a competitive online game where there is obvious tension in both attacking and defending, which rarely spills into annoyance when things go wrong. But that might just be me.

With Rocket League running on the Unreal Engine, it looks rather nice for what it is – it isn’t going to win any aesthetic awards or compete with the newer AAA games in the looks category, but the arenas are reasonably well designed and the grass and spectators look okay. Meanwhile, the soundtrack that the game provides is rather understated and as such never really detracts from the overall spectacle of the game, which I guess is its overall aim. Frankly, much of the work on either of these two parts of the game will be rather lost on many people, myself included, who will spend 99% of the time playing concentrating fully on where the ball has gone.

Whilst I absolutely adore the game in general, there are one or two things that kind of irritate me in a missed opportunities sort of way. One of these stems from the lack of variety and imagination that was present in creating matches on Rocket League’s predecessor. In particular, this involves the lack of slightly more unique arenas. Rocket League sticks to a general standardised pitch, which is great (I suppose) for forming e-sports and a competitive scene, but just removes that little bit of replayability that feels somewhat lacking in the single player department. Similarly, the inability to run handicapped matches of 2v3 or 1v4 for the masochists just prevents the game from offering experiences that are a little bit different, beyond the experience it offers already.

In conclusion, Rocket League is a great game that very much covers the “one more game” addictiveness level, particular when playing online. Single player is a little limited, with season mode generally being a little lifeless, and the lack of mini-game challenges (beyond the tutorials) and variety in game selection hurts the game slightly, but online is the major focus here. The simple-yet-challenging footballesque gameplay may not be everyone’s cup of tea, but it is most definitely worth a try. However, be wary of issues involving overheating consoles when playing on PS4 – I have experienced on some occasions, particularly when watching back saved replays, of hard working fans beyond what I’ve experienced on other games.

Summary: Very little to hate with addictive gameplay that enables near-enough all to find their role. May appear too simplistic for some but has surprising amount of depth in gameplay. Single player is rather dull, despite attempts at introducing a slightly more structured season mode, but online ultimately shines as an experience that’s just too fun to miss.
8/10
There have been no replies to this thread yet.
Thu 30/07/15 at 12:54
Regular
"Tip The Scales"
Posts: 869
Rocket League Review
For this review, the Playstation 4 version was played

“You know what’d be awesome? FIFA - but instead of players, there are cars. Like on that Top Gear episode, except with rockets…and EXPLOSIONS!”

There was a time, a while back, that I would think aloud about games that could potentially be interesting or enjoyable to me in a “why isn’t this game out right now! I’m a genius” kind of way. That quote isn’t from me aged 12, by the way (unfortunately I can’t claim to have thought of the concept beforehand). But it is possibly one from the team at Psyonix, developers of one of the newest crazes sweeping the gaming landscape – Rocket League.

Rocket League was released earlier this month on PC and Playstation 4, being rather generously released as part of July’s Instant Game Collection for Playstation Plus members. The game features two teams battling for supremacy in 5-minute games of rocket powered car football. As I previously alluded to, the premise of the game could easily have come from a hyper-imaginative youngster. However, whilst it may not be the most sophisticated foundation of a game, bear with me, there is definite brilliance behind the madness.

For those of you who are familiar with some of my earlier reviews on the Freeola forums, you might have seen a review for the ridiculously/awesomely titled (depending on your viewpoint) Supersonic Acrobatic Rocket-Powered Battle Cars. A fun, if flawed, title of which Rocket League is the spiritual successor.

So the game itself is, again, pretty simple: in teams or individually, use rocket-cars to knock a ball into the opponents goal more times than they can to you in 5 minutes. Rockets can propel you forwards quickly, or up in the air for aerial duels, and individual points are awarded for several offensive and defensive manoeuvres – meaning that the goal scorers don’t get *all* the glory.

Rocket League is an archetypal example of the cliché “easy to learn, hard to master”. Ultimately, near enough anyone can pick up a controller and drive towards a ball. However, go into the realm of goalkeeping, aerial hits, effective crossing, tactical positioning, demolitions and teamwork, and one can peel back the overarching simplicity to unveil a deep game buried beneath. It is this, married with the quick match time, which ultimately makes Rocket League such an addictive experience.

Rocket League offers both online and offline experiences, which somewhat vary in their appeal. For single player, there are tutorial games that allow you to understand the mechanics of the game further (always recommended for new players), and one off exhibition games. However, the meat of the single player is produced in Season mode, a new offering for this version that introduces a league system played over a series of weeks, followed by play-offs and a championship game for those finishing in the upper echelons of the league. However, it must be said that with a lack of specific unlocks or anything like that actually attached to season mode, there is very little substance to it and not much to draw you in to playing it.

However, multiplayer is considered the major component of Rocket League, and it does not disappoint. With up to 4-player split screen, and both unranked and ranked online modes, multiplayer is well catered for, both in house and worldwide. Online matchmaking works reasonably well (following many days of well documented initial issues with the servers, not unlike many releases nowadays with online components) and it is online where Rocket League really shines. The unpredictability of other players makes for an interesting playing experience, one that is quite tricky to explain in words, and should really be experienced. It feels that it is unusual to play a competitive online game where there is obvious tension in both attacking and defending, which rarely spills into annoyance when things go wrong. But that might just be me.

With Rocket League running on the Unreal Engine, it looks rather nice for what it is – it isn’t going to win any aesthetic awards or compete with the newer AAA games in the looks category, but the arenas are reasonably well designed and the grass and spectators look okay. Meanwhile, the soundtrack that the game provides is rather understated and as such never really detracts from the overall spectacle of the game, which I guess is its overall aim. Frankly, much of the work on either of these two parts of the game will be rather lost on many people, myself included, who will spend 99% of the time playing concentrating fully on where the ball has gone.

Whilst I absolutely adore the game in general, there are one or two things that kind of irritate me in a missed opportunities sort of way. One of these stems from the lack of variety and imagination that was present in creating matches on Rocket League’s predecessor. In particular, this involves the lack of slightly more unique arenas. Rocket League sticks to a general standardised pitch, which is great (I suppose) for forming e-sports and a competitive scene, but just removes that little bit of replayability that feels somewhat lacking in the single player department. Similarly, the inability to run handicapped matches of 2v3 or 1v4 for the masochists just prevents the game from offering experiences that are a little bit different, beyond the experience it offers already.

In conclusion, Rocket League is a great game that very much covers the “one more game” addictiveness level, particular when playing online. Single player is a little limited, with season mode generally being a little lifeless, and the lack of mini-game challenges (beyond the tutorials) and variety in game selection hurts the game slightly, but online is the major focus here. The simple-yet-challenging footballesque gameplay may not be everyone’s cup of tea, but it is most definitely worth a try. However, be wary of issues involving overheating consoles when playing on PS4 – I have experienced on some occasions, particularly when watching back saved replays, of hard working fans beyond what I’ve experienced on other games.

Summary: Very little to hate with addictive gameplay that enables near-enough all to find their role. May appear too simplistic for some but has surprising amount of depth in gameplay. Single player is rather dull, despite attempts at introducing a slightly more structured season mode, but online ultimately shines as an experience that’s just too fun to miss.
8/10

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