Rocket League – Review
Follow Genre: Action, Racing, Sports
Developer: Psyonix
Publisher: Psyonix
Platform: PlayStation 4, PC
Tested on: PC

Rocket League – Review

Site Score
9.0
Good: very competitive, cross platform, great graphics and music
Bad: very bad launch week, no in-match music
User Score
9.6
(5 votes)
Click to vote
VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 9.6/10 (5 votes cast)

Football has been around for as long as we can remember and sports games like FIFA help gamers immerse themselves in the sport they love most. For the people who aren’t a big fan of football, maybe you’ll change your mind as Rocket League has been released. Rocket league is a football game where you don’t play with humans, but with rocket propelled cars.

rocket league

Story

As many sports games, Rocket League doesn’t have a story whatsoever. It doesn’t really need one because nobody expects one anyway in a game like this. You simply hop in the game and go competitive or test your skills against AI.

Graphics

Graphically, Rocket League is a very strong game. It’s made in Unreal Engine 4 and that’s one of the reasons why this game looks so pretty. The game is centered around 2 colors: blue and orange. Of course, these are the team colors and they’re also reflected in the football arena you play in. One side of the arena is themed blue and the other orange, providing some pretty neat effects when you look closely at the grass. Even the crowds in the tribunes are orange and blue themed.

The cars themselves look awesome and you can customize them in every way possible. You can have different tints of blue and orange for your base paint and you can color your stickers however you want. Rocket trails are also very beautiful and diverse, ranging from pink flamethrowers to green slime coming out of the back of your car when boosting.

Keep in mind that because this game is made in Unreal Engine 4, it might not run on old or low budget systems. Of course if you experience a bit of lag, there’s plenty of graphic options to tone down in order to make the game more playable.

RocketLeague 2015-07-07 15-56-29-42

Sound

Sound effects and music are equally as awesome. In the main menu you’ll be greeted by an awesome high energy tune to get you ready for your game. However, music won’t be played in match so it might become a little quiet if you’re not playing with friends and shouting at each other.

On the other hand, this gives you the ability to hear the cool sound effects better. During your game, you of course have the sound of your badass car, but you’ll also hear some other cool sound effects like crowds shouting when something cool happens, the sound of your rocket boost and even chirps of birds can be heard now and then. When scoring you get a nice loud applause and the referee will also blow his famous whistle, luckily you can’t get any fouls or you’ll hear the whistle constantly.

Gameplay

As briefly mentioned before, Rocket League is football on steroids. A game consists of 2 teams, 1v1, 2v2, 3v3 or 4v4 and your goal is to score as many goals as possible while preventing the other team from scoring in your goal. Sounds like a simple game of football right? Well, it isn’t, as Rocket League is pretty much entirely skill based.

RocketLeague 2015-07-07 15-54-03-77

Of course you have to know how to drive a car before playing football with them. Luckily, the developers haven’t made it too hard and the controls are easy to learn. You can accelerate, brake, steer, boost, power slide and jump. Without jumping, the game is pretty easy but you won’t be making a lot of progress against other players if you don’t master your car. Jumping is pretty easy in its core, you just press the jump button if you want to jump and hold it if you want to jump higher. You can also press it a second time and it will give you a little extra boost up, if you hold any direction on your keyboard or gamepad however, the second jump will send you into a bicycle kick into that direction. It gets even harder if you want to do crazy aerial shots by jumping and then using your boost, allowing you to fly.

That all sounds pretty complicated right? And it sure is! Before you play against other people, you might want to get familiar with the game. You can do this by playing the tutorial, mastering goalie, striker and aerial strategies or mess around in free play. You can also play with a team of AI or friends against other AI in order to help you. There’s also a season mode where you make a team and then battle in playoffs to eventually get to the championship. The season mode can be adjusted a little bit by changing the season length, the amount of playoff teams, the difficulty and the team size.

Once you’ve done all that, you can hop right into the online matches against and with other players. You have unranked modes for 1v1, 2v2, 3v3 and 4v4, allowing you to test what you’ve learned against other players, but with nothing to lose on the line. If you’re more competitive, you can test your skills against other players in the Ranked mode and climb to the top of the leaderboards. Also, Rocket League can be played cross-platform between PC and PlayStation 4. However, there’s currently no system to create a party with PC and PlayStation players together, which you can with only PC or only PlayStation players.

Crossplay (apparently) comes with a big cost: server stability. This was one of the main issues the first week of launch. With tons of people playing the game because it’s free this month for PlayStation Plus users, the servers were crippled and online play was pretty much impossible. This on top of the fact that there are no peer to peer lobbies, requiring the system to hand you a server even if you play with all friends. Luckily the game is now mostly stable, and while you might experience some lag here and there, it’s nothing game breaking anymore.

RocketLeague 2015-07-07 15-57-10-32

There are currently 7 different arenas you can play in and they’re all as cool as the other. Functionally they’re all pretty much the same but they look very different. All of the arenas have curved edges, high walls and a ceiling. This allows you to easily go for wall rides or even ride the ceiling for a short amount of time. On the ground of the arena, you can find several glowing pads, which give you boost when you drive over them. There’s also a couple of special pads in the corners and to the sides in the middle, giving you full boost when you drive over them. Boosting doesn’t only increase your speed, but once you break the sound barrier you’ll be able to demolish cars of the other teams by ramming them, then they will have to wait a second or 2 to respawn. Demolition derby gamemode, anyone?!

As said in the Graphics section, there’s also car customization. In the garage, you can change the body of your car, add decals, change paint job, choose your wheels, change rocket trail, adjust your topper and antenna. There’s a lot of things to unlock, giving you over 10 billion combinations in total. Unlocking things is simply done by playing, nothing more or less. Every time you finish a match you’ll unlock a random item and you’ll have to play quite a bit to get all of them.

Communication is another major factor in any competitive game. You can type if you want to but it’s very time consuming and the other team will take advantage of that. That’s why the developers have included some quick chat options, allowing you to have at least some degree of communication. Apparently there’s also VoIP but I’ve never heard it being used before and calls of “can you guys hear me?” were always left unanswered.

Other features include viewing and editing saved replays, viewing your stats and having a look at the ranked and non-ranked leaderboards.

Conclusion

Rocket League stands out in all aspects that it wanted to and it’s an absolute blast to play together with friends or competitively. It has fast cars, awesome music, beautiful graphics, competitive gameplay and customization. It might have had an extremely rocky launch week but now it’s up and running, hopefully for good. If you’re a fan of football, this is definitely worth checking out. If you’re not, you’ll probably love this game anyway.

VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 9.6/10 (5 votes cast)
VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: +1 (from 1 vote)
Rocket League - Review, 9.6 out of 10 based on 5 ratings

5 Comments

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  2. […] our review of Rocket League a couple of months back, two DLC packs have made it through to the fans. Supersonic Fury was the […]

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  4. […] the release, Rocket League has received a couple of DLC packs. Supersonic Fury being the first and Revenge of the Battle-Cars […]

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  5. […] fan base with free DLC to make up for lost time. As the mechanics haven’t changed since our main review and the heaps of DLC reviews, this one will simply be a short recap of what you can […]

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