REVIEW: Rocket League

Soccer meets driving once again in the physics-based, multiplayer that causes far too many all-nighters! Choose a variety of high-flying vehicles with huge rocket boosters to score amazing aerial goals & pull-off incredible game-changing saves!

Sequel to Supersonic Acrobatic Rocket-Powered Battle-Cars (wow), you choose between a number of vehicles, all aesthetically customisable, equipped with rocket boosters that allow you to reach great speeds, launch into the air and control your aerobatics. The aim is to hit a large ball into the other team's goals to score points, while simultaneously preventing the other team from doing the same against you, essentially mimicking soccer. But that's not all.

Players can jump their cars to hit the ball, mid-air, as well as use their limited boost, which is restored by driving over boost charges on the ground, to keep it up or beat an opponent to the punch. Even better yet, 'demo' them by crashing into them at full speed, leaving them to respawn back in their corner and giving you the crucial seconds you need to knock that ball in. You also have the ability to flip your car in almost any direction, pulling off 'bicycle hits' and ridiculous goals/saves.

What may seem like a retro, arcade game, which inspires people to mash the buttons until something happens in their favour, is actually something completely different. The level of skill players develop in Rocket League is incredible, with hours and hours spent getting used to the handling of different vehicles, learning the different arenas pro's and con's and generally working on your handling and aerials. The learning curve is steep if you want to compete at pro level and against high ranked players, who seem to play almost entire games in the air, but by offering casual & ranked multiplayer, human vs bot exhibition matches and an extremely helpful training section, the average joe gamer will have no problem loving this game. Offering games of 1-4 players aside and odd teams for private matches, Rocket League is something you can enjoy on your own, or as a team. If you choose to play with a team, communication, passing and general tactics are almost essential to victory. If you have a group of friends who need to pass time or love cars and a fast paced action, look no further. If you are an individual who prefers solo gameplay or maybe ou like multiplayer but don't/can't team up, then 1v1 'duelling' is always a fun option. As well, you could always use the 'solo standard' playlist, which allows a 3v3 without any parties/lobbies, eliminating the chance of encountering an unbeatable team of experts.

Rocket League is suitable for anyone and everyone, but don't dismiss the idea of teaming up and working together with friends to play 1v1 or exhibition matches alone. Rocket League offers the chance to develop your teamwork as much as any other aspect of the game, with competitive scenes opening up around the world. The game supports this through the points system, offering points, not only for goals, but a number of actions in game. Assisting in a goal, knocking the ball away for a save, clear ball or centre ball, all grant points to individual players, helping to gain experience and move from Rookie to Rocketeer. This will affect not only what cosmetics are unlocked for customising your vehicles, but also who you will be matched against, with the game prioritising the matching of players of similar skill level.

With an additional feature now, 'mutators' allow modifying aspects of the game and rules, such as gravity, ball shape/size/speed/bounciness and even the speed of time. With this, comes chaos. And I'm not talking about 4v4 where you can't hit the ball without colliding with at least 3 other players, usually at least 1 teammate. I'm talking about a ping-pong sized cube with super high bounciness, fast speed, slow time, low gravity and 5 minutes of screaming mixed with laughter in TeamSpeak.

You don't need to be a fan of driving games, soccer, or epileptic fit educing colours to appreciate Rocket League. You just need the game in your library and the patience to not rage quit after you fly right passed the ball 3 times in a row. Unless that is just me... But everything comes with practice I keep telling myself, as does everyone I play with. A decent community has built around Rocket League and more and more PGL members are giving it a go. A few have played it since release and can show you how it's done. Rocket League was an impulse purchase while on special, that I never thought I would play longer than an hour. 122 later and I hate myself for not getting it sooner. Join in the fun now and be near the front of the line, with PGL's plans to host casual and competitive events in the future. If you haven't been sold, speak to anyone with the game. I am sure they will reaffirm what I am saying.

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