Forgive me, Father, for I have sinned.
For the longest time, I was on the fence about Rocket League. I saw some matches streamed on Twitch and it looked interesting enough, but I couldn’t fathom the concept in my head. What’s so great about soccer with cars?
Well, let’s just say I have seen the light.
The game effortlessly taps into the idea of “easy to play, hard to master”. In addition to your standard driving controls, you can hop or double-hop the car into the air, as well as cartwheel forwards, backwards, or to either side. Combined with a limited turbo boost that is replenished on the field, it gives your car a whole new dimension of movement, and allows you to exert greater control over the ball. Chip it over opponents, side swipe the ball past defenders, or dive bomb from the skies and punch the ball into goal.
The models are all scaled in a way that necessitates precision control. The RC-like vehicles zip around, attempting to knock the glowing oversized ball into the opponents’ goal. It all takes place in huge arenas with curved walls, sending everything flying every which way. It becomes a game of finesse rather than raw power — players need to master perfectly timed jumps, precise angles, and a little controlled flight to send a ball on its way.
Even the game’s difficulty manages to snare you. “Rookie” mode is laughably easy – the opponent AI hardly uses boost and the score differences become ridiculous. The harder difficulty modes, however, are quick to crush your confidence. Their defense starts to ramp up, aerial strikes are more common, and your vehicle can be demolished when you least expect it. You become a victim of your own hubris, and you’ll suddenly find yourself back in training, perfecting your angles and straining to reach new heights (literally).
And as if that wasn’t enough, the game trickles out a steady drip of unlockable content — everything from skins, tires, chassis, exhausts, and flags.
The games go by quickly, and one leads to another as you mumble “just one more match” under your breath after a particularly hairy overtime. After a few hours, I suddenly found my new religion. This game is a fantastic balance of simplicity, challenge, and fun moments. Definitely worth the asking price.