A Quick Overview of Rocket League
This game is one of the most addicting, fun, and intense video games that I have ever had the pleasure of playing. There is just something about flying rocket-powered cars playing a game of hyper-paced aerial soccer (Or football for you European folks) that is just fun.
It is a shame that new players can only download Rocket League from the Epic Games store these days.
Rocket League is one of the most surprisingly addicting video games that I have had the pleasure of playing in recent years. In fact, I’ve dumped a similar quantity of time into Rocket league as I have Path of Exile. At 2,522.2 hours, Rocket league has been one of my most played games in the last few years. Considering that I only started playing Rocket League on September 18, 2015, and started playing Path back in 2013, this means that I’m merely 1,200 hours behind, with two additional years of ownership on record.
Funny thing, though… I never in a million years thought that I would consider a game like this to be so good. I have never been one to enjoy sports-related games – I always found them to be boring or pointless in my youth. I enjoyed games like Guild Wars, Baldurs Gate, Neverwinter Nights, World of Warcraft, Diablo 2, etc. Basically, my main games were RPGs with a sense of progression dipped into an intriguing story to tie it all together.
On the other hand, sports games just felt like a hollow shell of what I considered a good video game. In particular, one specific game series soured the genre further for me – Madden NFL. This game was a franchise hit with many of the kids in school all my life, yet the idea that they can re-release the same game over and over (Madden NFL 06, Madden NFL 07, etc.) with slightly improved graphics and a charge of $60 for it irked me.
There was no innovation. No interesting story, nothing to really set the new release apart from the older title. Just more of the same gameplay, with slightly different player rosters to compensate for the progression of professional football. I guess seeing the NFL players sweat was considered to be a big deal back on the Xbox when that was big, but… I always found that just kind of gross.
No disrespect to those of you who enjoy games like Madden and such, they just aren’t for me.
Rocket League, though? Something about flying rocket-powered cars playing a game of hyper-paced aerial soccer (Or football for you European folks) is just fun. How fun? You’ll see, just read this Rocket League Review, which shows why I love this game so much.
Table of Contents
What Is the Goal of Rocket League?
In Rocket League, the goal is to get the ball into the opposing team’s net and score more goal points than them before time runs out. Each standard game has a game time of 5:00 minutes, which can be extended indefinitely should the game end in a tie and no team can sink a goal in. The actual length of each game is around 10-15 minutes, which includes replays that stop the game time whenever a goal is scored.
Some Games Last Seemingly Forever
With that said, there are situations where the game can last far longer, such as overtime. This state occurs when both teams’ scores are equal at the end of the standard game time. Overtime is home to some of the most intense game matches in Rocket League.
In fact, I have been in several games over the years that have gone to overtime that lasted over 27 minutes, though I have no screenshots of them, and none of the replays I’ve saved were longer than 10 minutes. By the end of one of these games, I am usually spent, and completely forget to save the replay. Needless to say, those games are some of the most intense and most exciting games that I have ever had the pleasure of playing.
There is another way to extend the game’s length – should the game time reach 0:00, and the ball is still in the air, then the game will keep going until it hits the ground or is scored. In high-level gameplay, players can balance the ball on their cars, carrying it essentially, which prevents it from hitting the ground. You can also bounce it off walls or the ceiling without worry that it would end the game and set up a passing play to your teammates.
I’m not quite at the level where I can do things like that consistently, but it certainly is fun to try.
What Makes Rocket League so Fun?
I think that, for me, the variety of plays and differences in how games end up being played are what excites me most about this game. You, as the player, are in charge of only one car – You aren’t managing an entire team yourself. As a result, you can focus on yourself, the ball, and the goal.
This low spread of focus allows for high-speed gameplay to occur, and the games evolve organically, based on position, speed, and at times, strange Rocket League physics. Each game feels different because there is no set formation – you can be anywhere within the arena, at any time.
There isn’t really much to the game at a basic level. Cars can:
- Move Forward
- Boost Forward
- Move Backward
- Turn Left
- Turn Right
- Hydraulic Jump
- Double Jump
- Roll Left Midair
- Roll Right Midair
- Combine a few together.
And that’s really it.
However, there are advanced techniques, such as
- Pinching the ball between two cars, or a car and a wall to impart a burst of speed beyond what is normally possible
- Wave Dashing to achieve maximum speed with less than 12 boost points
- Advanced ball control methods, such as carrying the ball on the roof of your car
- Carry the ball on the nose of your car, that you then flick in a special maneuver called the Musty Flick for a hard to defend shot on goal
- And so many other situationally unique strategies that you encounter in higher ranked matches
These advanced techniques spice up the variety to a new level in high skill ranks. No longer are players playing hot-potato and passing the ball to each other. High-level gameplay is intense and deliberate. The challenge I feel when I go up against a clearly superior player is visceral. I end up hyper-focusing on the game, trying to read what my opponents are doing, and in those precious few seconds, formulate a countermeasure to where I can rip control of the flow from their hands.
It is exhilarating!
I’ll admit that I’m actually a bit addicted to that challenge, especially since I am actually able to keep up with them to an extent, despite my physical limitations. Diamond 1 Division 1-3, playing essentially one-handed. Mentioning rankings…
Competitive Rocket League Ranks – Challenge Yourself
Competitive Gameplay is one of the defining features of this game. Going head to head against other players is far more challenging and rewarding than against bots. Rocket League competitive rankings are separated out into Tiers, which has changed in the past. Currently, the Rankings are as follows:
- Grand Champion
- Supersonic Legend
Each rank has three separate divisions you need to go through before you upgrade to the next tier. Bronze 1 goes to Bronze 2, then 3, and finally Silver 1. This follows the same trend up until Supersonic Legend, which is only a single division. Of course, there is only one division of Unranked too, but you are assigned a rank after 10 placement matches at the start of a new competitive season.
At the end of each season, you are rewarded with unique items, up to your highest rank achieved. That said, you also need to win a LOT of games in order to receive the higher rewards. You can’t, for example, place in supersonic legend and get all of the rewards for all the ranks. You need to play and maintain your position for a set amount of games, which the amount of games you need to win varies by how many games you end up losing.
If you stick it out, you receive all of the rewards for each tier, up to the highest rank you achieved. I actually have a reward from Season 1 of Rocket League when it was still owned 100% by Psyonix. A Silver Crown. I’ve come a long way since then.
Like Competetive Gameplay, but Rocket League is Too Competitive?
Check out Minion Masters instead, a blend between hearthstone and league of legends!
How Streamable is Rocket League?
Out of every game that I own, I feel that Rocket League is the most streamable title. From Showing off Competitive gameplay at high levels to acting the fool, there are many opportunities to spin this game into an enjoyable experience for an audience. Not only that, but it is enjoyable to do so in the process… unless you start to get frustrated from a losing streak.
Still, even a losing streak has angles that you can take to keep your audience engrossed in watching you. For example, you could try out new techniques that are a bit beyond what you feel comfortable doing and show your learning experience. Or, you could hop into chaos with them and play matches with your fans.
Yet another option is crafting blueprints and giving them away to a lucky few viewers. Altogether, this makes Rocket League one of the most streamable video games out there.
Rocket League Has a Ton of Car Customizations Available
For the collectors out there, there is a lot of car customizations available. By a lot, I mean holy crap, a lot. Tens of thousands of different combinations and colors are available to you to make the car you use unique from others.
There are also parts with unique attributes, such as Painted and Certified, which have different color traits and categories. You can even level up your certified parts to have a special name appended to them. I’ve compiled a neat set of tabs here with a bunch of information about the cosmetics available within Rocket League for you.
- Different Car Bodies, which have one of 6 hitboxes (Changes how the ball reacts to you driving into it)
- Body Paint Texture
- Body Color
- Wheel Types
- Engine Sounds
- Boost trails
- Boost animations
- Toppers, or Hats for your car
- Goal Explosions
All painted Items are fairly rare, but certain colors are rarer than others. The rarity in this list is based on a little math and my personal inventory after 2,500+ hours of playing with only a few trades ever, and I have never traded in any painted parts unless they were duplicates. My personal favorite color is Burnt Sienna.
|Black||Rare – 1 in 100|
|Burnt Sienna||Rare – 1 in 100|
|Cobalt||Common – 1 in 50|
|Crimson||Very Rare – 1 in 500|
|Forest Green||Rare – 1 in 1,000|
|Grey||Common – 1 in 50|
|Lime||Rare – 1 in 1,000|
|Orange||Very Rare – 1 in 500|
|Pink||Very Rare – 1 in 500|
|Purple||Exceedingly Rare – 1 in 1,000|
|Saffron||Very Rare – 1 in 500|
|Sky Blue||Rare – 1 in 1,000|
|Titanium White||Exceedingly Rare – 1 in 1,000|
Certified Parts have different tiers, as well as different types:
|Certification Types||How to level it up|
|Acrobat||Score bicycle goals|
|Aviator||Score aerial goals|
|Guardian||Make epic saves|
|Juggler||juggle the ball on your car|
|Show-Off||Score backwards goals|
|Sniper||Score long goals|
|Striker||Make shots on goal (not to be confused with scoring)|
|Sweeper||Clear the ball from your side of the field|
|Tactician||Center the ball on the other team’s side of the field|
|Turtle||Score turtle goals (When you are sliding on your roof)|
As for the different certification levels, there are 10 total tiers, but only after you reach the 6th Tier does each certification type have a unique name associated with it.
|Certification Tag||Tier 1|
|Certification Tag||Tier 6||Tier 7||Tier 8||Tier 9||Tier 10|
|“The Most Valuable”|
Things I don’t like about Rocket League
For all my praise of the game, there are a few things about it that don’t sit well. For example, the price of cosmetic items is ludicrously high. I get that they have to make their money somehow from a free-to-play game. Still, for the number of cosmetics out there and the many variations that each can have, it makes collecting cosmetics an astronomically expensive hobby.
Before the Epic Games acquisition, I made it a goal to collect every item from every box series, and with each key costing a paltry 1 dollar to open, It was much more feasible to get the cool-looking items you wanted back then.
Now, a black market blueprint cosmetic in Rocket League, which you get from RNG at the end of a game, costs 2,000 OR MORE credits to unlock. To put that in perspective, 2,000 credits cost $20. There are over 2,600 items in the game to unlock, which each can be Certified, Painted, or both. There are a lot fewer black market cosmetics, sure, but it would still cost a small fortune to unlock them all.
I don’t like that it is now owned by Epic Games, but that is just a personal vendetta I have and should not be a deciding factor regarding the game itself.
And that’s really my only gripes about the game itself, if I’m being honest.
It’s Free to Play!
There is one last thing I’d like to mention in this Rocket League review – It is 100% free to play. In fact, you don’t need to spend any money at all to enjoy everything this game has. All purchased items are purely cosmetic, so there is no pay-to-win scheme going on since all cars in the game are using one of six possible hitboxes. This makes it a fair playing field for all players.
Mix in the fact that there are mods for Rocket League that allow you to make your car have any cosmetics on it (for only you), and you have near-zero reason to actually buy their overpriced cosmetic items.
I hope that you give this game a try – Who knows, you might just learn to love it as I do.