Rocket League was something I didn’t think I’d get into. I’m not sure why. Maybe I thought it was going to just be a fad that would come and go and, thus, was not something I needed to bother myself with? Maybe I thought the gameplay loop would eventually grow tiresome, and I wouldn’t enjoy it? Maybe I felt a game that seemed predominantly targeted towards online and local multiplayer wouldn’t have much to offer a psychotic loner like myself? Whatever the reason was, I thought that my life would remain Rocket League-free, and I was mostly okay with that, just as it’s remained Fortnite-free and Fall Guys–free.
Then I played it.
Rocket League really took me by surprise. The easy pick up and play nature of the gameplay combined with the fun aesthetic and graphics gripped me almost instantly, and it very quickly became my go-to “decompress from the misery of life” game of choice, especially on cold autumn and winters evenings when there wasn’t much else to do, and I was on me tod. For those not acquainted with what Rocket League is, it’s basically a soccer/football game, except you drive around in a souped-up vehicle around many different pitches going after a comically oversized giant ball. Scoring a goal will see the net explode, and any nearby vehicles get flung all the way back to the centre circle.
It’s nutty, bombastic fun, and I love it!
What I enjoy so much about Rocket League above all else is just how easy it is to stick it on and play for a couple of hours whilst also listening to music or podcasts. It has a simple three-button setup (drive, boost and jump), but it’s also tricky to really master, giving it just the right mixture of simplicity and complexity that games like it desire to have. Yes, it’s mostly intended to be played online with (shudder) other humans, but there is also an offline season mode available that can see you create your own team name and logo before taking on the CPU opponents. The difficulty sliders are good enough that you can tune it to just the right difficulty for yourself, and I often just load up a season when I want a quick Rocket League diversion from whatever is happening in the real world.
Seasoned footy nuts might find that the gameplay of Rocket League doesn’t quite scratch the itch of a FIFA or PES¸ but I’m increasingly unsure as to whether those sorts of games are what Rocket League even sees as its competition. Who really is the target audience for a game like Rocket League, anyway? Sports game fans? Driving game fans? Casual video game enthusiasts? The answer to all those is probably “maybe, I guess, play what you like”. Rocket League casts a pretty far-reaching net and certainly has the sort of broad appeal that games like it desperately need in order to be successful. It’s neither a niche release for a specifically targeted demo nor a game that’s trying to be everything to all people in the pursuit of mass appeal. It’s just a very well made game that does what it does very well and can be enjoyed by all kinds of players.
From my own personal experience, Rocket League doesn’t utterly fleece you when it comes to things like loot boxes or DLC either. I haven’t spent a single, solitary additional penny on Rocket League outside of the purchase of the game itself, and I haven’t come across any particular roadblocks when it comes to modes or gameplay. Finding a game online is always easy, there are plenty of fun customisable options for my vehicle available from the off, and none of the game modes that I want to play appear to be sealed off in their own little DLC domain. I should point out that I’ve only played the PS4 version of Rocket League, and I probably haven’t ventured down every nook and cranny of it, so if I’m out to lunch with my comments in this section, then please feel free to disabuse me of such notions, and I’ll be happy to hold my hands up.
If you actually like playing online or have friends who would like to come round and play some video games with you (please adhere to the relevant regulations in your part of the world whilst The Backstreet Boys Reunion Tour is still ongoing), then Rocket League is possibly one of the better games you could go with. It’s available on multiple platforms, it’s fun to play and the possibility to cause all kinds of grief for your friends is bordering on tantalising, especially when you hit full speed with the boost and straight up obliterate them. Rocket League is just a darn fun game to play, and I couldn’t recommend it highly enough.
Maybe I should give Fall Guys a go sometime?