Rocket League reminds me of a particular episode of Top Gear from 2008, which featured small cars being used to play football. It appears the developers of this game, Psyonix, also came to the same conclusion, as that’s the premise of this game. Yes, Rocket League is football in cars. Or did they??! (Delivered in my best Clarkson voice) I’m not sure when that episode of Top Gear aired but this game is actually a sequel to Supersonic Acrobatic Rocket Powered Battle Cars which was released in 2008.
Thankfully, they didn’t leave it there. The cars, the ball and the pitch have all been improved upon from the real thing, and that’s a good thing as it makes Rocket League more fun than driving round in a small hatchback. The now ex-presenters of Top Gear would have thoroughly enjoyed this interpretation either way, as I did. (Well that’s if any of them play video games. Jeremy certainly doesn’t look the type!)
The cars themselves can powerslide, rockets boost your speed to supersonic levels, and they can also do a rolling flip and a double jump with a double tap of the X. Those moving can be used for a diving save or jump up to do a header. The football in the game is huge and it dwarfs the cars (That didn’t stop me from missing the ball and an open goal on more than one occasion). Totally missing a giant ball rolling across the goal mouth can be a little embarrassing, especially online in front of other so training to get your timing and coordination right is well advised.
Rocket League Beta Gameplay Fun! (PS4) – BroKenGaMezHD
The pitches are enclosed arenas, allowing you drive up the side of them to continue your progress rather than come to an abrupt halt by slamming into them. This was a good move by Psyonix as it helps to keep the flow of the gameplay. There’s certainly a learning curve to the controls in Rocket League and during my online games, I was probably more of a hindrance than help. My teammate, on the other hand, had either been playing the game non-stop or was a developer for the game as his skills were amazing. So good, in fact, our opponents quit after one game leaving us to win our second game by default! Despite my lack of skills, I found the game to be great fun. Boosting my car up the enclosed pitches, glass walls, power drifting around the pitch like a rampant terrier after a tennis ball was a hoot. Action is certainly fast paced and frantic.
You can easily lose a 3-Nil lead in the last minute so there’s no resting on your laurels or basking in the glory of your perceived dominance.
The view is third-person from behind, rather than the more traditional side-on view. This could have been confusing but the developers have thoughtfully added a “ball cam”, which gives you the ability to locate the ball by tapping ‘triangle’. Ram your opponent hard enough at Supersonic speeds and you will see them explode taking them out of play for a few seconds, effectively leaving them a man down which you can hopefully capitalise on. All good fun.
The final version will see a training, single player and season mode. 10 different cars with customisation, multiple stadiums to choose from too. As it is, the online modes allow 1vs1, 2vs2, 3vs3 and 4vs4. Match-making was quick and simple unlike some games in recent history. The sound was atmospheric, with the crowd chanting and cheering – not that I noticed any crowd in the stadium, my eyes were glued to the mayhem on the pitch. I’m not a massive fan of football games, but this spin on the genre was an interesting one that left me wanting more. The game looks like it could be premiership material with good graphics and refreshing game play it’s definitely worth scouting upon its release.
Rocket League was previewed on the Playstation 4. Release date: TBA.
- Publisher: Psyonix
- Players: up to 4 v 4 (Mayhem mode)
- HDTV options: up to 1080p
- Dolby Digital 5.1 sound: Yes
Thanks to those channels featured for the gaming footage.
Rocket League Beta Gameplay (Full game) (1080p 60fps) – xkoeckiiej Youri