Checking in on the New Content for E-Sports Superstar Rocket League

Rocket League
Reviewed On
Nintendo Switch
Available For

Hey all. I’m back with another review for a game that’s been frequently updated over the years. It’s Rocket League.

Rocket League has been around for a while, as it started out back in 2015. But the title has been upgraded many times since then. In fact, Season 12 was just announced which brings in some new gameplay, new vehicles, and a totally new aesthetic for players to enjoy. In fact, there have been many upgrades over the years as well as collaborations. For example, at one point it collaborated with Star Wars and had droid themed vehicle content for a limited time.

Basically, the developer, Psyonix, does a great job of making sure that Rocket League remains fun and exciting to play, no matter if you have been with it for years or, like me, dropped out a few years ago and are just coming back into it. It’s also one of the most welcoming titles for new players, especially for ones that are mainstays in many eSports arenas. And it even became free to play a little while ago too. If you are reading this review and think that vehicle-based soccer sounds cool, then there is really nothing stopping you from getting Rocket League and taking the field on the platform of your choice.

So, let’s check in on Rocket League and see how it plays in 2023. For this review, I am going to be using the Nintendo Switch, which it expanded onto a few years ago.

Gameplay: At its core, Rocket League is essentially an odd version of soccer where each player controls a fast car that can both jump into the air and boost via the titular rocket engine. The car kind of acts like a human would on the soccer field, only it’s much faster and more exaggerated. The objective of the title, however, is the same in both regular soccer and Rocket League, to push or kick a ball into the opponent’s goal.

Over the years multiple new modes of play have been developed. For example, you can now play with two on two or four versus four matches. The bigger matches are a new feature from when I first played it on my PlayStation 4 years ago, and it’s a welcome addition that makes it seem even more like a soccer match, with a tight emphasis on teamwork. It’s easy to see why Rocket League is a standout when it comes to eSports. It provides a much more sports-like alternative to having multiple teams shoot each other.

In addition to those new modes, there are also more options like the Spike mode, which I enjoyed quite a bit when I started playing Rocket League again for this review. In Spike mode, players’ cars will grow spikes that can directly cling onto the large ball in order to control its movement even more effectively, but they lose the ability to boost while they do this, which prevents the mode from devolving into complete chaos.

As you might expect, there are highly competitive, ranked matches that players can compete in. If you go that route, you can gain ranking and status and eventually might be able to participate in an actual eSports tournament, although you would probably need to also play with a team for that. In any case, that generally isn’t my idea of fun so I stuck to the more casual matches and had a great time. The community is a friendly one, especially compared to other eSports titles, so newcomers should feel welcome.

To keep things even more interesting, Rocket League allows for a rather large amount of customization when it comes to players’ cars which is a nice touch, although you do have to pay for the more extravagant options generally, either directly through the in-game shop or through buying the battle pass seasonal system where players can earn various rewards, with most being locked behind the paid version rather than the free version all players can get. If you just do the free version you can still have a good time, but the cosmetic options are nice and are a good way of supporting Rocket League if you decide to keep playing for a long time.

Art: The art is pretty simple. While there are various effects like the boost trails of cars or the explosion that occurs when a goal is scored, the art isn’t particularly noteworthy. That said this is mostly a free to play game, so I wasn’t expecting 4K ray traced rendering or anything like that. Also, because this is designed for tournament and multiplayer games, having less detailed (but still appealing) graphics means that everyone is on a more or less level playing field when it comes to bandwidth and performance.

Music: The music by default is pretty lackluster to be honest. But you are probably going to be concentrated more on the gameplay sounds in a title like this anyway, especially if you are playing competitively.

Overall: Rocket League was amazing when it first released, and it keeps refreshing itself so that it remains so even now this many years later. It’s great for either those who just want to play it for a few hours every month, or for those players who really want to become ranked and respected eSports contestants.

Rocket League is a perfect example of how to make a title remain relevant for the long term. It’s just as entertaining today (and maybe even more so with all of the new additions) as it was when it was first released in 2015.

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