On the Playstation 4 we are treated to a great game as part of the Playstation Plus service for the month of July, Rocket League. For a game coming out on launch day and being made free to millions, there is plenty of content inside the idea of Futuristic soccer played with Rocket powered cars.
The game is very straight forward with its main idea. You control rocket powered cars in football (soccer for you Americans) matches. The stadiums are beautifully designed and the outside sounds of the arena make it really come to life as you compete in matches, either in local play or online modes. The game supports 4 different modes of play in matches. 1v1, 2v2, 3v3, and 4v4. As a personal preference the most standard and most accepted I have seen is 3v3 as it seems to be the most balanced. 1v1 matches can get a little stale. The best recommendation for game play is definitely anything 2v2 and higher.
Weapons are not in this game; the goal is not to kill your opponent but instead to work with your team to grab the fuel for your rocket boosters around the map and hit the ball to the enemy goal. The training mode is very adequate in helping you learn the game from the basics all the way to the advanced techniques. Goalie training, striker training, and even aerial training can be played and practiced on three different difficulty levels. There is even a packed in season mode for you to play against A.I in and earn more parts for you vehicle. You can set the amount of weeks your self-named team can play against. You can choose how you want your season to play as well as how many players you would like.
Speaking of vehicles, the more matches you play and the more XP you earn the more parts you can unlock for you vehicle to customize. Different decals, paint jobs, antenna flags, wheels, body styles and even a hat for your car can be unlocked. Everything has a different combination to help make your rocket car feel like its own.
Gameplay is very simple and easy to pick up. Each match is played within 5 minute rounds, the team with the highest score wins. There are no balance issues that I have seen in my time with the game. Every team has an equal chance to win the match while communication is key. Joining in on the public lobby teams and communicating on the microphone granted my team and I more success than of those on the other team who were not communicating. The online functionality of this title is fantastic. Running on dedicated servers is a nice touch indeed. No host advantages mean that everything is balanced. As advertised, cross play is happening here between the PC and PS4 versions of the game. At first I was unsure of this, until I went and looked at my recent players and saw that only a few were on there after playing against a good amount of people.
The only thing I see wrong with this, as Rocket League is one of the few games to utilize cross play with home consoles to PC players, is that you cannot party up with your friends on Steam to Playstation. When you create a Party on either platform you must invite friends on the platform you are actually on. Though still a technical feat that home console is playing side by side with PC players, the thought that I cannot invite a friend from Steam if I wanted to can be a little bit of a let down. I hope it can be an idea that more developers can take into account with future titles with cross play in mind, even though there would probably be several technical hurdles.
Rocket League brings a great arcade like feel to the console. With dedicated servers, plenty of content, and loads of customization it is an excellent addition from the Playstation Plus subscription, considering its quality and releasing for free. It is more than worth paying for if you are not a Plus member or you are a PC gamer.
My overall score – 8.5/10