Rocket League Review: Organized Chaos
Ryan Bloom / Mar 16th, 2016 No Comments
For several years after Mario Kart 64 released, my friends and I would gather around the TV for multiplayer balloon battles. We frequented other games like Goldeneye and South Park, but we always went back to Mario Kart 64. It wasn’t the typical split-screen experience. It was fast, chaotic and simple. Even down to the last balloon, I felt like I had a chance to win.
Related: How to Get Halo’s Warthog in Rocket League for Xbox One
Rocket League captures the spirit of Mario Kart, evolving the multiplayer element into an eSport spectacle. The result is a beautifully simple game full of tension.
What is Rocket League?
If you wanted to break down Rocket League to its simplest form, it is essentially a soccer game where cars act as the athletes. Two teams of one to four players control Micro Machines-looking RC vehicles as they attempt to hit a ball into a goal.
But Rocket League is so much more than that. It is so simple, yet so complex; it is organized chaos; it can be excruciatingly frustrating, but it is extremely fun.
Most of what makes Rocket League great is the ball physics. The oversized ball is almost impossible to control as it bounces throughout the caged arena. Instead, players merely try to direct it toward the goal. This can be especially entertaining when several cars lunge at the ball as it descends from above and completely miss. Like the real sport, patience and timing are rewarded in Rocket League.
Of course, there’s more dynamics at play. Stadiums are filled with respawning boosts that allow players to speed up their vehicle at will, a gameplay device similar to the item boxes found on Mario Kart courses. Boosting gives players a decided advantage, and not just in terms of speed.
In addition to the soccer-style gameplay, there is an element of demolition derby to Rocket League. Knocking away opponents or destroying them completely by driving through them at high speeds can be integral to the success of a team. All of this culminates in a cathartic final moment when the ball breaks past the goal line and explodes, sending nearby cars flying in different directions as the goal-indicating sound blares throughout the arena.
There are vehicle customization items that unlock as you play the game and a few different game modes to try out — Snow Day is the game’s take on hockey and a basketball-inspired mode could be coming soon — but there isn’t much to Rocket League besides short matches of vehicular sport. However, this is never a problem.
Related: How to Get Gears of War’s Armadillo in Rocket League for Xbox One
It’s hard to qualify Rocket League’s greatness because it lies in its simplicity. The game is easy for anyone to play, regardless of your video game experience or interest in sports. Matches are five minutes of emotion, disarray and anxiety, and that is precisely what makes it so compelling.
tags: review , Rocket League , Rocket League Review , Rocket League Xbox One