Platforms: Xbox One (reviewed), PC, PlayStation 4
After finding unbelievable success on the PlayStation 4 and PC, Rocket League from Psyonix has finally arrived for Xbox One – and I personally think the timing couldn't be better.
Sure, it could've come out last year, but chances are it would've run head-on into the likes of Halo 5: Guardians as a result. By placing its release in February, the developer finds a unique opportunity to deliver the experience to the Xbox platform – because it's going to draw a huge audience that'll be hooked on it in no time.
While it doesn't go above and beyond other ports (aside from some Xbox exclusives like nifty Halo and Gears of War cars), Rocket League maintains more than enough momentum to score.
Gear Up and Polish Them Skills
What makes Rocket League so joyously addicting is that its gameplay is easy to grasp, yet hard to master. Anyone can hit the field and attempt to hit a large ball (or puck, if you're using a Mutator) into a net, using savvy flipping skills or a straight up speed boost to assure its rapid delivery into extra-point land. Of course, the competition can be frivolous, as opponents do anything to block the shot or, worse yet, steal the ball and claim it for themselves while leaving you temporarily wrecked.
The online performance on Xbox One has been second-to-none, performing just as admirably as it has on other platforms. This is bound to make the game another favorite for the platform, even with all the stiff competition that's already on there. And if online isn't your thing, you can race around in split-screen as well, or practice your skills against bots with various difficulty settings, so you can hone your craft and then take on the best Rocket League-rs out there.
The lack of a spectator mode is noticeable, but no matter. Once you hop into a match of Rocket League against others, you'll find nothing else like it on the market. Its gameplay is sheer madness, and soon you'll discover ways to score goals that you never even knew existed. For serious – I nailed a longshot during my second game that I thought was the luckiest thing in the world (Of course, I've boasted otherwise…).
Plenty of Customization Options
Like previous versions of the game, Rocket League comes with abundant customization options, from changing what kind of smoke trail you leave from your vehicle (pink and puffy for the win!) to the build of the car itself – you can even get the DeLorean from Back To the Future if you've got a couple of bucks to spare.
But the key choices here are, of course, the Halo and Gears of War-related items. These are bound to be favorites for the Xbox crowd, and they look and perform the part admirably. The other cars are great, too, so it never hurts to play around and see what options are presented, even if they don't look as cool.
Other things, like tires, flags, and even toppers (like a sombrero or the Portal cake) will keep you busy as well – and most can be unlocked in the game without dropping a dime. Now that's fan service.
A Swell-Looking Game of Soccer
Like other versions of the game, Rocket League looks stupendous on the Xbox One platform. The graphics run very smoothly (we only ran into a few slight hitches online) and the cars themselves look the part, even as they flip through the air at an unbelievable pace. No matter – that's all in the name of the game.
The variety of playfields are impressive as well, from a Harry Potter-ish field with trees surrounding it, to a back-alley style setting (but fitted in an arena) to the Mad Max inspired Wasteland arenas, where anything goes and flames shoot out of the goals upon scoring. It may not have too much new stuff, but why change what works?
As for audio, the music is upbeat and great to listen to, and the car effects are still right what you'd expect them to be. The signature vehicles are cool as well, especially the DeLorean, which hums along with the same engine noise from Back To the Future. Great Scott, indeed.