Rocket League – Review (PS4)

Rocket League Main

I think Rocket League might be the dumbest game I have ever played, the insanity of using cars to play football in a giant arena with a huge ball is like nothing else out there. It’s also the best multiplayer experience I’ve had in the last few years and a great game to boot.

So as I said above, Rocket League is essentially football (soccer) with cars. The beauty of the game is how well balanced the play mechanics are and how well the physics of the ball work. The ball has a great heft to it that makes clean contact (if you can get it!) a wonderfully visceral experience. The cars handle well and while there are a variety of vehicle styles, none of these change the handling, they are purely cosmetic.

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As well as vehicle styles there are flags, paint patterns, wheel types, hats and different boost effects so you can really go to town on making your vehicle feel like your own. These items are unlocked randomly at the end of each match, regardless of performance (and result) which is a great way to keep people playing. Another reason to keep playing is that the developers have completely nailed the ‘just one more game’ feeling and with matches only taking five minutes, it’s very easy to still be sitting there forty minutes after you were going to stop!

Matches take the form of 1v1, 2v2, 3v3 or 4v4. I found 1v1 and 2v2 to be fun but a bit too challenging and the 4v4 mode is actually called ‘Chaos’, which gives you an idea of how that plays. For me 3v3 is the perfect amount of players, taking into account the size of the pitch and the movement of the cars/ball.

Rocket League 1

These games can be played online or offline with computer controlled bots and there is also a cool little Season mode, which puts you in a league and ends with a post season playoff for the championship. It’s a cool addition and adds another layer of depth of proceedings. The same goes for the tutorials which, although short, do give you a great sense of how to play the game with a bit more finesse.

And that’s the real genius of Rocket League, anyone can pick this up and play. The basic driving isn’t difficult and the idea of the game is simple. Hit the ball into the goal. No offsides. No fouls. No stoppages. The developers have stripped out everything football related that might be a barrier to entry. However there is still an elation when you score a goal or win a match that replicates the buzz of football.

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That buzz is only half of Rocket League, the rest of it is made up of joy and laughter. While I’ve scored some memorable goals, the moments I often describe to others are the times I backflipped into one of my own team and caused them to miss a shot or when I had a shot and it ricocheted off the post and crossbar and trickled along the goal line until a desperate opponent put it in his own goal.

This is a game that should be in everyone’s library. Play it with strangers, play it with friends but definitely play it, Rocket League is one of the best online experiences available.

Rating: 10/10

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