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Rocket League - the best 10 minute game ever!
#1
While my "review" won't be nearly as nice as A7XShadow's Battlefront review, I did want to write a few words about Rocket League.

For those who aren't familiar this is a racing-meets-soccer game (I'm an American, I call it soccer - don't hate). In short, you drive a rocket powered car around an arena and try to knock a very large ball into the opposing goal. The premise sounds simple and shallow, and really, it is. But wow... I don't know that I've had more fun in a game that I can fire up for ten minutes, then quit. In fact, lately I find myself playing a match while waiting on a Minecraft instance to load.

The game is built using the Unreal Engine. To me, this is an important point because it means that the graphics are going to be decent, and the controls are going to be rock solid. These are two things you can assume for most Unreal Engine games, and Rocket League is no exception. While the graphics aren't ground breaking, they are flashy enough that you aren't immediately turned away.

The controls are as close to perfect as you can ask for. You can play with keyboard and mouse if you like, but I find that you have much more control of your vehicle if you use a gamepad. Your vehicle has gas and brake of course, but you can also jump, double jump, and fire a rocket-booster for an extra burst of speed. This rocket is powered by fuel that you pick up as you traverse the playfield. Using the jump and rotating around (left thumbpad, or WASD) will allow you to flip your vehicle. Combining this with a second jump press makes your vehicle flip around much quicker, which causes your vehicle to kick the ball if you manage to time it just right. Of course, you can just ram the ball too. As you play and get comfortable with the controls, you'll learn a bit of finesse that allows you to do some pretty tricky shots.

The camera control has two options. The first is a typical 3rd person view behind your vehicle. The other option is a ball camera. This keeps your camera pointed at the ball, regardless of where the ball is. I didn't think I'd like this view, but having played a few games with it, I'm not sure how you could play without it - it just works really well.

As for game modes, there are a few options. To begin, there is a short tutorial and sandbox arena you can play in to practice your controls. From here you can create an exhibition game with bots, or you can start an entire season with a league full of bot teams. Of course, a game like this must have multiplayer, and it does. If I'm not mistaken you will play online with people from all platforms, not just the platform you are playing on. This adds some longevity to the game since not everyone will be on the same platform. The gameplay in multiplayer is nice - there's no need to chat, no need to get to know your teammates. You join a game, play, and move on.

There is a tiny bit of "character development." As you play you will level up and unlock new vehicles and accessories for the vehicle. All vehicles are the same speed, so you aren't adding functionality - just modifying the appearance. At some point you will level pass the "rookie" stage, but I haven't gotten that far yet, so I can't tell you if you are matched up with better players or not.

I got Rocket League on sale last week from Steam - I think for $13 bucks. It's been worth every penny, and I highly recommend it for some pure, very fun game play.
[-] The following 1 user says Thank You to SeanWcom for this post:
  • WireWulf
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#2
Great review! I do love me some Rocket League, and I totally agree with you about the Unreal Engine - it's one of the most consistently solid and reliable engines out there right now, and as you say, the game is pick-up-and-play fun, no grind, and no waiting in lobbies for ages waiting for players.
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