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henry.m.k    ORIGINAL GONGSTER

[LBG] Game Review - Rocket League

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Credit: Psyonix

With a 2nd anniversary update in the works, I figured it would be a good time to do a full review on Psyonix's Rocket League. I would highly recommend playing before the update drops. 

As always, I will be reviewing the game on how enjoyable and easy it is to play, the art, and the characters featured in the game.


Credit: Laid Back Gamer

FUN – 4.5

Easy to learn, hard to master

Some of you may be familiar with this famous phrase, known either as the Bushnell’s Law or Nolan’s Law. Often treated as the golden rule of game design, the phrase “easy to learn, hard to master” is also famously known as the industry giant Blizzard Entertainment’s motto.


Credit: Laid Back Gamer

Unfortunately for Blizzard, their motto seems to be better practiced by Psyonix, a California studio that had never enjoyed much fame until Rocket League. So far, I have never encountered a game that more closely follows this golden rule. Picking up Rocket League takes 5 minutes, but mastering it? I dare say eternity.

OP? Nerf? Buff? What do you mean?

Many popular online PvP games, such as League of Legends, Overwatch, and DOTA2, suffer from high entry barrier. This not only includes the amount of information a new player has to learn, but also the amount of information an existing user has to follow due to new updates and balance patches.


Credit: Laid Back Gamer

Rocket League however, solves this balancing problem by making all players equal. Many of my non-gamer friends asked me if different car types have different stats–to which I answer, “no”.

Okay, to be completely accurate, there seems to be discussions regarding whether differences exist between different cars, but the only officially confirmed difference is the hitbox. Bottom line is, unless you are planning on going pro (which as a Laid Back Gamer I do not), this can practically be called a “perfectly balanced game”.

Must go online for the full experience

Unfortunately, as someone who immensely appreciates single-player experiences, I must say Rocket League is a game that must be enjoyed online.


Credit: Laid Back Gamer

The single player aspect of Rocket League can be intriguing at first, but it quickly becomes old. Although it goes against my Laid Back principle, Rocket League is a game that is more fun if played competitively. To justify such recommendation, I would say the learning curve does not feel too steep, and even as a competitive game, Rocket League still feels quite casual and that’s where the magic of this game resides.


Credit: Laid Back Gamer

I would (should) give full 5 stars to Rocket League for its fun factor, but because I am a biased gamer who thinks online multiplayer experiences are inherently more interesting (human players are the most unpredictable enemies and thus never loses novelty), I am taking off half a star. But really, Rocket League is an extremely, enjoyable game even for casual gamers.

Entertain your guests!

Sometimes I wonder what happened to all those split screen multiplayer games that existed in the past. Maybe gamers have moved on to online multiplayer, maybe game developers want each and every player to purchase a copy, but kudos to Psyonix for adding that old-fashioned split-screen multiplayer experience!


Credit: Laid Back Gamer

As mentioned before, learning how to play Rocket League can be done in less than 5 minutes (or even 30 seconds, if you are a rather draconian host). So far in my knowledge, Rocket League is the couch multiplayer with the lowest barrier to entry, and this makes it a perfect entertainment you can put out to entertain your guests. Just make sure you have enough controllers! (And maybe a powerful enough PC to process four simultaneous screens).


Credit: Laid Back Gamer

ART – 5.0

Visuals

It is difficult to find an aspect that is unsatisfying about Rocket League‘s visuals. Sure, it does not offer the type of visual awe you experience exploring the snowy mountains of Skyrim, but nevertheless the graphics are extremely polished and seamless.


Credit: Laid Back Gamer

Although many of the best looking cars and customization options can only be acquired through methods that require additional payment, many of the initially offered options are still quite fun to look at.

Sound

Just like many sports games do, Rocket League features a large number of original soundtracks that fit very well with the game. Even better, there is an option to completely turn down its BGM, so that you, the player, can play whatever is your favorite song in the background while playing the game!

The sound effects of Rocket League are extremely well made as well. The engine sounds will differ depending on how long the player has been accelerating, and whether the car is moving forward or backwards. All these auditory cues deliver salient information to the player, and I am very happy with the amount of effort the developers have put in to enable such feature.


Credit: Laid Back Gamer

Character- 5.0

The full grown man with a 90's kid inside

Notable is the somewhat serious, but somewhat ridiculous concept of Rocket League. From the outside, Rocket League is a legitimate, mainstream game. The graphics are clean and stylish, and Psyonix cleverly follows the format many mainstream multiplayer games follow, such as offering seasons with ranked matches.


Credit: Laid Back Gamer

But then, every once in a while you find yourself stopping and asking yourself “what the hell??” because, you are literally (and quite seriously) playing soccer with rocket-blazing RC cars that jump in mid-air.


Credit: Laid Back Gamer

Concept-wise, Rocket League share the DNA of games such as Twisted Metal and Rock n’ Roll Racing, the types of ridiculous vehicular games that 90s and 00s kids loved. Just like how those 90s and 00s kids are all grown up now, those games have grown up as well, showing the polish of a full-grown man from the outside. However, both parties still have that ridiculous immaturity inside, and that’s why Rocket League is both so reminiscent yet relevant.

2 years and counting


Credit: Laid Back Gamer

Rocket League is an active game, vigorously being updated and maintained by Psyonix. There have been multiple events and collaborations that offered new and/or limited-time contents, and such dedication is always good news to a gamer who enjoys an online multiplayer game. For these overall reasons, I believe Rocket League deserves a full five star for character.


Credit: Laid Back Gamer

FINAL REMARKS

Perfectly balanced, easy to learn, hard to master… a miracle!

I am a huge supporter of well-made single player games–creating a rich and novel gaming experience without the input of another human player is an extremely daunting task. Therefore I tend to overlook competitive multiplayer games, since bulk of their fun comes from the human opponent, not the game’s content.


Credit: Laid Back Gamer

I dare say however, that Rocket League is different. This is a competitive multiplayer game that can be enjoyed even by the casual gamers, something that offers so much while demanding very little. I dare say this is a miraculous game, a true one-of-a-kind that cannot be seen elsewhere. Well done Psyonix, I can’t wait to see what’s next in line! LBG


Credit: Laid Back Gamer

Fun: 4.5 / Art: 5.0 / Character: 5.0

This was original posted on Henry's blog, Laid Back Gamer.

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henry.m.k
Always looking for better ways to waste away time, Henry has been a constant binge gamer since youth. Games are really just interactive form of art, right? He argues that one day he will become a game developer himself, at which point all this gaming will aid him in creating something awesome.
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