Review: Rocket League

“With the full game promising customisation options, more arenas and league style play it could well be a big little hit for PS4 this summer.”

I said that when I was lucky enough to partake in the Beta earlier this year. And boy was I right. Out a few weeks now, hitting over 180,000 concurrent players, Rocket League is a massive hit. Rightly so as well – it’s brilliant.

I explained the dynamics in the Beta preview but basically it’s football with cars. One, two, three or four a side, ranked or casual play all supported – and despite a few server issues during the first few weeks due to sheer overwhelming volume, when it works (and it is most of the time now) it’s perfect.

Here’s what’s new: tutorial and practice drill modes help explain the controls. They’re short, to the point and help you understand how the game plays. A season mode lets you create a team for offline play, pick your number of weeks and fight to get the playoffs and take home the Rocket League cup. It’s basic but gives a little persistence to those not wanting to venture online.

But this is where the game shines. The unpredictability of human players – the amount of fun that can come out of a set scenario with people left to their own devices is staggering. There’s always something new happening, be it an epic save, a crazy goal or an off the wall rocket boosted flying clearance. Skills evolve as you play, with comfort and confidence building in trying new things.

There’s loads of customisation too. Car types, colours, paint types, decals, wheels, antenna add-ons and boost types & colours – every vehicle on the field is unique. I am currently sporting metallic skulls on my Batmobile style car with a camo flag on my antenna with rainbow coloured boost flame. Amazing. There’s a number of different arenas with weather and time effects too – it’s purely aesthetic but a nice addition.

The internet is on fire with the buzz about Rocket League. It should be. Games like this don’t come around too often – it’s really simple, brilliant fun, and ability with it is constantly evolving. There’s no shortage of incredible shots and plays on YouTube and just when you think you’ve seen it all you see something even more brilliant.

It’s tough to explain how brilliant Rocket League is to those who haven’t played it. Everything I liked in the Beta is still here and it’s just improved with increased content. ESports Leagues are sprouting up everywhere, almost every internet gaming forum has its own tournament going on – it’s gripped and encapsulated communities everywhere. What’s more – improvements are coming. The developers have been incredibly open and honest on Twitter – putting almost all others to shame, a sign that they’re in touch with the community and it’s a two way relationship.

Who knows what the future may hold although increased support for cross play between PS4 and PC is on the cards at least. Causing a storm on PC and free on PS4 for Plus members currently (and probably the best free PSN Plus game there’s ever been) it would be a crime to miss out on this.

Reviewed on PS4

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