Rocket League, as an idea, struck me as something completely mad, maybe even over ambitious: I didn’t think blast ball – with cars – was the sort of thing you can make a good full game from. But I can say it works. And that it works well.
The first thing that struck me about Rocket League is how colourful and bright it is, and how generally polished it looks: every car looks fantastic and unique, with every texture and colour looking brilliantly intense. This bright colourfulness is very refreshing, and brings the game a nice, fun Nintendo-esque feel with a carnival sort of atmosphere: which is great. Through all of this, the game is presented very well.
The second thing I noticed about the game is the complexity of its mechanics: it takes the very simple premise of blast ball with cars and develops upon it to make something brilliantly and surprisingly complex, but it does this through simple controls; so it is deceiving. The controls are: X to jump, R2 to drive, L2 to boost, Square button to hand-break and O to boost. Easy, right? No, not really; at least it isn’t at first. You have to understand the mechanics of the game and how it works before you can properly play it and have fun; you can’t just press the buttons and hope on this game, you need to do it all properly if you want to win. This game has a good learning curve, and doesn’t let you win if you don’t know how to play; and this is brilliant, because it is rewarding to those who have mastered its mechanics.
The third thing I noticed about Rocket League is that you can do a lot of really cool stuff. You can score goals in many different ways – this is because of the complexity of its mechanics: you can boot it – in a way – from the half way line and score a screamer, you can jump and volley it in from close range, you can angle your car and boost into the ball to score from difficult angles and many, many, many more. There is so much variety in what you can do that you can do a fantastic – maybe even skillful – run on the ball on the flank, cross it in and hope there is someone else in your team in the middle: there is, and he scores a goal which requires you to say “Wow! That was a great goal!” I wouldn’t have ever imagined you could do things like that on this game, and it is brilliant that you can: as it adds a large dosage of variety and wow-factor to the gameplay.
Finally, the other things I noticed were small things that added to what is already a great thing, how many different stages there are, it can rain and the crowd is there and it adds great atmosphere, and, finally, how great the customization options are for your car: you can make whatever type of car yours is pretty darn cool. The big thing about Rocket League, though, is how fun it is. It is very fun. Fun, colourful, bright, unique and surprisingly complicated. It is fitting that the focus point of this game is the online feature, because playing multiplayer is the most fun way to play a game, and for an already fun game, it flourishes when being played online; also, playing online tests your skills and adds a competitive air, because you are playing against real people rather than AI; but I am glad there is the option to play against AI and it is great that the season mode is there for single player experience.
However, it’s not perfect; there are some server issues – which for an online game isn’t good, but games often have a few server issues in their first couple of weeks: so I guess it’s not really something to worry about. And there could be one or two more modes for some more variety; like maybe a tournament mode or something like 5-on-5 matches – however mad they may be! But those flaws aren’t at all major and are overshadowed by how fun the game is to play, and I think the developers wanted the gameplay to be the main positive for it however many minor flaws were picked up; essentially, the gameplay is the most important aspect.
So, in conclusion, Rocket League is great fun. It’s the sort of game I would give something like an 85/100.