When Splatoon came along, I thought it was the perfect multiplayer experience for me. Good fun without the hassle of crappy players bugging me about being bad at it. Then along come Rocket League.
I dismissed the game initially, it being a multiplayer focused experience and all - but the fact that it was free for PS+ subscribers tipped me over the edge. I'd been umming and arring since I got my PS4 about getting plus, but seeing as I've managed to cobble together a PS4, PS3 and a Vita in the last 12 months, I figured it was worth subscribing to (side note: yes, it most definitely is.)
Rocket League is, essentially, soccer with cars. Doesn't sound that appealing to you? That's what I thought at first. Far be it from a simple sports game, Rocket League puts you in control of what feels like a hotwheels racer, with the ability to turn tightly, speed boost and flipping double jump. Like, for real: You can actually double jump and do flips.
As you drive around the field, you'll find you need to knock an over sized ball across the field and into the other teams goal, while defending your own. The field is encased in a large clear dome, which yes, you can drive on. From the ground to the walls to the ceiling, you can drive anywhere you god damn want to. Matches are 5 minutes long, which is a decent amount of time to score a few goals without the match dragging on to much.
When you jump in to the game, your first port of call will be the basic training tutorial - it's quick and teaches you the basics of how to control your car. From here, you can play around in a free roaming mode, practicing your moves and handling. Also available is an advanced tutorial that teaches you a few extra moves, including how to fly. Yep, you read that right. It only takes another minute or two - definitely worth checking it out.
Games can consist of a few different options - 1v1, 2v2, 3v3 or 4v4. You have the option to make up your own game with friends, or just jump into online matches with randoms. Within a minute or two you'll be driving around like a crazy person trying to push a ball around a field.
Also available is Seasons, a mode where you face off in a set number of matches against AI opponents. I can't attest to if this mode is worth your time or not - I've been having way to much fun with the multiplayer to worry about it (which, it should be noted, is what this game is all about.)
After each match, you have the option to save a replay of the entire thing - which is great for going in and rewatching any magic moments you manage to conjure up. You can rewatch the match from multiple perspectives, including a flyover mode, from the players/opponents point of view and you can change camera angles at any time. This makes it great to show off those insane moments when you pull of something spectacular - such as this amazing comeback I somehow managed:
The game is, as you can probably tell already, super colourful. Between the neon lights, bright colours and amazing attention to detail on the modelling of the cars, this game is absolutely gorgeous.
On top of that, the sound design is phenomenal. The game opens with a track that gets me pumped every time I turn it on, then the music that lays through on the menus is a perfect fit for this type of game. When playing, the ambient noises hit that sweet satisfying spot, with every thunk of the ball feeling just right. Plus, it never gets old hearing dollars bills blast out the back of your car when you boost across the track.
The level of customization for your vehicle are insane. Essentially every match you play grants you an unlock, so you've always got something new to check out. Options range from 10 different cars, two toned paint jobs with multiple decals, paint options ranging from gloss to metallic, a multitude of wheels, random antennae from country flags to smiley face balls, amazing booster options from flames to neon to confetti, and last but not least, hats. Every good game has hats.
Check out the sweet ride I'm currently running with:
Rocket League has sprung up out of nowhere and is possibly one of the most fun experiences I've had this year in gaming period. I strongly recommend at least checking it out - especially if you're a PS+ subscriber. This shit is exhilarating.
Now excuse me while I go play another match.
Rocket League is available on Steam and PS4 (I've been playing with the PS4 version) with PS+ subscribers getting the game for free during the month of July.