I am not an avid soccer or racing fan, but combining the two together makes a strangely addictive and fun game. Rocket League takes the basic concepts of the game of soccer (football to countries outside the US) and meshes it together with solid driving controls and multiplayer mayhem. The end result is a game that lends itself well to online play that keeps beckoning me to come back for just one more game. Before you realize it, that one more game will end up becoming a whole evening of online games with others from around the world.
The real pull here is that you’re playing soccer while driving cars on a field. You only really need to know the bare minimum about soccer in order to play Rocket League. There are two teams, two goals and one giant soccer ball that will get rammed around constantly on the field as each team attempts to score. Driving the cars on the field is incredibly solid and responsive when participating in a match. You can accelerate and reverse with ease and even give your car a turbo boost using energy that you can gather on the field. You can easily move from one side of the field to the other with a full tank of boost energy, which can make all the difference in really competitive matchups.
The different fields you play on are aesthetically pleasing to the eye, with many lights and little details scattered around to create a populated stadium. I constantly felt the intensity of matches from the visual cues and sounds from the stadiums every time someone scored a goal or made a crucial move in a match. Rocket League’s DLC maps are planned to be free for everyone upon release and will add fields with different layouts that will radically change how matches are played. While currently there aren’t any weather conditions that affect the players on the field, DLC maps for later release promise to add this extra level of depth to the matches.
Online matches are where you will have the most fun playing Rocket League. While playing offline with AI teammates and opponents is still good, playing with other players online is a completely different kind of experience. The constant back and forth between teams trying to score goals is a constant struggle online, but is very exciting and incredibly fun. You can form a small team of three or four and go into matchmaking together to play against others online.
Games usually last about five minutes in both online and offline play, so you are constantly playing different teams when in matchmaking online. This enhanced by the ability to customize your individual car with different car body types, wheels and color schemes.
You unlock different custom car parts by playing any of the game’s modes and accomplishing different actions, such as scoring a goal or knocking an opponent away with a well-timed turbo boost. While the overall color scheme of your team is uniform, your individual custom parts still are visible during a match no matter what team you play for.
Even if you aren’t a sports fan or attune to driving games, you will find something to love about Rocket League. The game is available for PC and can be downloaded through PlayStation Plus, but is well worth grabbing even if you aren’t a PlayStation Plus subscriber. The driving and matchups are simple enough to get into and enjoy alone or with friends online. The servers for matchmaking at launch were a bit rocky due to high traffic, but have since stabilized and made getting into matches pretty easy.
What you get here is a superb game that offers one of the most expertly handled PlayStation Network online experiences to date. Rocket League is addictively fun and well worth downloading onto your PlayStation 4 games library.
This review was based on a digital copy of Rocket League on the PlayStation 4 provided by Psyonix.