With a Game Of The Year candidate, most people are expecting the same old nominations – Witcher 3, Fallout 4, Metal Gear Solid V – but those are a little bit boring to do over and over again. You know what isn’t boring? Rocket League!
Now to start off, you can play any number between 1v1 and 4v4 on Rocket League, which is the sequel to Supersonic Acrobatic Rocket-Powered Battle-Cars. The more players you have in each team, the less time you will see on the ball, but the action never stops. During a game, you can play anywhere on the pitch and there are no assigned positions, but needless to say that if you decide to try and play in between the sticks, you’re going to have a bad time. A lot of the action is in front of each goal and you will find that the action changes from end to end incredibly quickly.
The key to what makes Rocket League so much fun is speed. Each car has a boost meter, which naturally depletes the more you use it, but don’t worry, even though the meter falls to zero very quickly, you can gain more by running over boost pads, and certain boost pads even max your meter out.
In game, you can choose between playing online, in exhibition mode, or in a full on season mode where you go head-to -head in a league with other teams, and then the top four at the end of the season will go up against each other in a play off and final. The different difficulties you can use are rookie, pro and all-star, but the jumps in between each are of a pretty high standard. In rookie difficulty, no opposition or team mates will use their boost at all, but when you move up to pro and all-star, they use their boosts to full effect, which makes scoring that much harder.
To start off, it’s recommended that you begin on rookie difficulty, which is more fun and easy going before moving up in the rankings. On rookie difficulty, you can even score from kick off if you boost in the right way, but after doing that ten times a match, you’ll need a new challenge. While this game might sound repetitive, you’ll soon find out that just one game isn’t enough, and that with just five minutes per game, you’ll easily get sucked into playing for hours on end without realising.
The main reason this has been put forward as one of our GOTY candidates is that firstly, it’s an indie game; for an independent game to receive this much recognition is quite frankly astounding. The publicity Rocket League received from being a free game on PS Plus has led many people who missed it as a free download to buying it for the £14.99 price tag it initially had on Steam/PlayStation Store. On top of the initial purchase, Rocket League has released a fair amount of downloadable content in the months following on from its release.
Granted, it isn’t an epic adventure comparable to the likes of the games mentioned at the top of the page, but Rocket League is everything you want it to be – a casual game that is fun, enjoyable and at times, downright insane.