Rather than starting this Rocket League review with a standard generically positive attitude, I would like to apologize to the game’s developer and publisher, Psyonix.
Guys and gals, I’m sorry. I’m sorry that I initially discredited your fast-paced action sports title as indie shovelware. Rocket League is, in fact, quite the opposite. Made using the Unreal 3 engine, this is a polished and engaging game with single player and multiplayer modes my friends and I can’t put down. Maybe it was my lack of interest in soccer (excuse me, football) as an American that made me drag my feet, but the second I scored a goal as a rocket-powered roadster, I was hooked.
You don’t have to be as skilled as Pelé to have fun on Rocket League’s virtual pitch. In fact, after completing a few of the basics in the game’s intuitive Training mode, you too will be boosting and sliding around the field with ease. My first few matches were certainly frustrating as it took far too long to circle around and try to regain control of the ball to score a goal. Despite the metallic flames on the side of my ride, I was getting rocked by opponents and scored on with ease. After training, though, I was drifting all over the place like an extra in 2 Fast 2 Furious and making my presence felt.
Once you’ve got the basics down, the possibilities of having fun with Rocket League are wide open. You can host local exhibition matches with up to four players on a split screen view and compete against each other or the AI, which can be ramped up to genuinely mean levels. The biggest thrill for me was how easy it was to jump online and join my friends and people from all over the world in a few five minute matches within seconds.
As someone with limited time to play video games in general each day, this feature has me logging in for a few games here and there whenever time allowed. I’ve even able to play a few games with one of my friends who juggles a 60-hour work week and a toddler on a regular basis, making most games where you have to devote a ton of time to all but inaccessible. With Rocket League, we just grabbed a controller and jumped in; it was glorious.
Now, if you happen to have the time to invest into Rocket League, the game rewards you with some really cool vehicles that can be customized in lots of wild ways. Simply playing matches unlocks new bodies, decals, and wheels, as well as fun flair like the color of your rocket trail for boosting and different flags to attach to your antenna. My favorite unlockables are the toppers, as my van that looks like something that Marvel’s Punisher would drive through the streets of Hell’s Kitchen is sporting a giant sombrero. Intimidating, indeed.
Don’t be a dummy like I had been for so long, and go download Rocket League now. It’s a whole lot of fun that you can experience for just a few minutes at a time, at an affordable price, with Steam and PlayStation 4 online cross-platform play.
If barreling down the field in a rocket-powered dragster to score a goal won’t get you interested in a soccer game, I don’t know what will.
Rocket League is now available on Steam and PlayStation 4.
Rocket League Official Trailer