Ah, gaming in 2018. Untold thousands of games competing for your finite attention in any way they possibly can. Whether it be through the latest in cutting-edge graphics, systems design, or taunting you by flaunting their uber-new server architecture, devs will try just about anything to get you to purchase their title.
But, every now and again, buried somewhere deep among the endless slew of near releases, is a wholesome, unassuming gem of a game that remains steadfast in its ability to produce endless hours of enjoyment for its players: Rocket League.
With a premise as simply as: rocket cars playing soccer – it’s hard not to fall in love with Rocket League. While you won’t find scores of complicated systems vying for your attention in an overly-convoluted manner, you will get a handful of gameplay loops polished to near perfection in a package that is dressed up in pop-culture references galore. If you’ve ever wanted to zoom around a stadium in your favorite fictional IP car while vying to knock a ball into a goal, chances are you can do it here.
It really is an understatement to say that Rocket League has well-polished controls and systems. The fine attention to detail put on the various control schemes comes out in gameplay in ways that few other games can manage. Despite its silly premise, it takes little than a game or two to feels oneself bitten by the motorsport-soccer fusion bug. In no time, you’ll find yourself cussing out your opponents for every blocked shot and hugging your teammates for every successfully completed pass.
The game has been released for three years, but the community is still as vibrant as ever – a rarity for many multiplayer-centric games in today’s age. Perhaps due to its popularity – or perhaps due to some arcane means that developers Psyonix worked on their behalf – but the sheer number of pop-culture collectibles in the game is nothing short of astounding. If you’re the type that just can’t let go of chasing down the last collectable to show off on your in-game avatar, Rocket League has you covered. Everything from Oddworld flags to Rick and Morty antenna toppers are there for you to seek out and collect.
But, let’s be real here: we could gush about Rocket League until the cows come home – so what really sets it apart from the rest of the pack? Two words: Ranked. Play. You see, as fun as it is to bob a ball around with some *cough* filthy casuals *cough*, it’s far more challenging to pit yourself against some of the best players across the globe for a chance for glory – and what glory there is. The current pro championship of Rocket League has a 1 million dollar payout for the championship winners. With the earnings split three ways among teams of three, there’s no shortage of carrots attached at the end of sticks.
And here, at last, we arrive at the real reason why Rocket League will surely stand the test of time for many years to come: its preposterously high skill ceiling. Those championships that we mentioned above? There’s a reason that they still draw swathes of audience attendees every time they go up: the plays keep getting better. If you think that soccer has managed to stand the test of time through a highly elegant and refined ruleset, just wait until you see someone rocketboost off of the ceiling to “headbutt” the ball into the opposition’s goal.
If you’ve always wanted to take a leap into the wonderful world of Rocket League but have only managed to watch from the sidelines, it’s time to get up off the bench and plop some fresh treads down onto the pitch yourself. Don’t wait – there’s never been a better time to start.