This is what finally kills my dual shock
July 26, 2015 9:05 AM   Subscribe

If you're a long time user of Steam, you might assume that the current top selling game would be a AAA blockbuster, or maybe a half-finished multiplayer survival game. But for the past few weeks, the gaming world has been completely gripped by a game about cars playing soccer. posted by selfnoise (23 comments total) 14 users marked this as a favorite
I haven't played it yet, but from what I've read a lot of why Rocket League is popular is that it's just tuned really well. The controls are said to feel really responsive and satisfying. That kind of direct interaction is so important and so poorly implemented by so many games. Even something like RPG-of-the-year Witcher 3 had terrible movement controls at launch, although the new "alternate movement mode" in 1.07 helps a bit.

Another reason Rocket League is so popular is it's free for PS4 owners with PS+. Sure helps build word of mouth.
posted by Nelson at 9:10 AM on July 26, 2015

My husband is playing this right now and it's the most ridiculous thing I've seen in a long time. I chuckle at it and then go play my squid ink shooter in the other room.
posted by phatkitten at 9:11 AM on July 26, 2015 [17 favorites]

I'm not in the video games, but the phrase a game about cars playing soccer did grab my attention and I checked out the trailer. It looks totally ridiculous and therefore fun.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 9:19 AM on July 26, 2015 [1 favorite]

It's a great family game; my husband and kids have been playing it for a few days now and cackling happily while driving upside down.
posted by tracicle at 9:26 AM on July 26, 2015 [1 favorite]

I found actual cars playing soccer on the TV in Germany once , on Eurosport or something.
posted by hoyland at 9:56 AM on July 26, 2015 [1 favorite]

Some 20 years ago...
posted by lmfsilva at 10:10 AM on July 26, 2015 [1 favorite]

I'd love to see this with Tron Style visual effects.
posted by symbioid at 10:19 AM on July 26, 2015

I think they played soccer with cars on Top Gear a couple of times, though they never approached the Jecht Shot levels of insanity that Rocket League embodies.
posted by fifteen schnitzengruben is my limit at 10:22 AM on July 26, 2015 [2 favorites]

This looks like it will satisfy a need I didn't know I had. Local multiplayer car soccer? Yes.
posted by deludingmyself at 10:33 AM on July 26, 2015

The insane local multiplayer sports game I can't get enough of lately is Regular Human Basketball.
posted by jason_steakums at 11:27 AM on July 26, 2015 [4 favorites]

I've got six or so hours into Rocket League, and it's pretty great. You can play four people on a single local instance which is a rarity for PC games. You can even play those four local players against another team online.

The threshold to play is low compared to League or DOTA which requires 100+ hours to just be able to recognize other players. I don't think the different cars / tires / boost effects do anything in Rocket League so everyone starts on a level playing field.

Seeing a bunch of cars fly at a huge, blinking bouncing soccer ball makes me cackle wildly, especially when they all miss and I can swoop in and nudge it in for a goal.
posted by meowzilla at 11:50 AM on July 26, 2015

Kotaku's Highlight Reel series on YT has had some nice Rocket League clips in the last few episodes (#138 for reference) and it kind of looks like the ideal sports video game in that you're playing in ways you definitely never could in real life because there is no amount of training that will turn you into a madly flipping car.
posted by automatic cabinet at 12:16 PM on July 26, 2015

Forza 4 had an online soccer component, it was dull as hell.
posted by Keith Talent at 12:32 PM on July 26, 2015

I figured I'd make an FPP since I'm finally getting around to checking it out.

It's SO good.

Nelson is correct in that the controls feel right. The entire game feels technically accomplished... it looks REALLY good, the framerate has been perfect for me, load times are very low, matchmaking seems (now) to be working very well. The friction of "another match?" is basically nil.

Gameplay-wise, it hits a perfect balance between skill and chaos. It's wacky enough that you don't feel like the joy will be sucked out of it by obsessive min/maxers, but rewards skill enough that you feel tremendous when you score a goal.

One thing I'm wondering is if people are leaving the ball-cam on? I did initially but I have been playing with it off and I think it's better for me... I'd rather have a good sense of the heading and velocity of the car rather than seeing the ball at all times. Also, the game does a good job with arrows and an outline to show you where the ball is when offscreen.

At the end of the day, it's fantastic that this game is so fun, but it's kind of icing on the cake for me. I'm mainly just thrilled that there's a critical mass of players to play a game that isn't a MOBA, CoD, or tree-puncher.
posted by selfnoise at 1:08 PM on July 26, 2015 [5 favorites]

Basically, if you love soccer and driving, you're going to have an amazing time.
posted by kyp at 3:20 PM on July 26, 2015

How does the game hold up as a singleplayer experience? Is it worth a look for someone who doesn't intend to play it multiplayer?
posted by Proofs and Refutations at 4:46 PM on July 26, 2015

I found actual cars playing soccer on the TV in Germany once , on Eurosport or something.

I miss All American Racing on The Nashville Network.
posted by dances with hamsters at 6:44 PM on July 26, 2015

How does the game hold up as a singleplayer experience? Is it worth a look for someone who doesn't intend to play it multiplayer?

I can't speak from personal experience, but there definitely is a single player. There are exhibition matches with bots of various skill levels, and there's also a "season" where you create a custom team and play matches with playoffs, a championship, etc. There are also a series of training challenges that do a pretty good job of demonstrating how bad you are at the game.

I've played with bots and they seem to know how to play the game. I can definitely tell they are bots, though, because they seem a bit less chaotic than human players.

I also noticed last night that the PC version has split screen MP of some kind, which is kind of astonishing in a game on the PC these days.
posted by selfnoise at 7:06 AM on July 27, 2015

This seems like, with split screen, it would be an awesome way to scratch that twisted metal/cel damage sort of itch minus as many weapons and explosions, and with a more clearly defined end-goal than "blow shit up".

Too bad it feels like none of my friends ever get together to play games offline anymore, at least more than once every couple months.
posted by emptythought at 3:34 PM on July 27, 2015

The ball explodes after every goal... so the "blow shit up" DNA is in there.
posted by Mr.Encyclopedia at 5:21 PM on July 27, 2015

Saw my daughter watching youtubes of this, then saw this post, then bought the game. My 9 year old has been hogging all the game time so far, but it's pretty darn fun.
posted by Windopaene at 7:10 PM on July 28, 2015

The Giant Bomb coast to coast rematch was sooooooooooo good. Multiple amazing comebacks, last second goals, the works!
posted by kmz at 8:17 AM on July 30, 2015

This post inspired me to pick up the game. I've had it for a week and logged 24 hours. I hate you.

One thing I'm wondering is if people are leaving the ball-cam on?

Yeah, my shooting/striking accuracy is 1,000x better with ball-cam off. I just flip to ball cam real quick if I lost the ball after a collision, or if I'm picking up boost while the ball is stuck in the corner and I want to make sure no one has cleared the ball back to my side of the pitch.

How does the game hold up as a singleplayer experience?

Possibly not. The "season mode" is a pretty monotonous affair compared to other sports games. For each difficulty level the bots have a very distinct "personality" or play style that's pretty east to take advantage of, even if their accuracy is a lot better than yours. There's not much in the way of Madden or NCAA storylines or team customization either. But, the multiplayer servers are really painless, and I have pretty crappy internet and do fine. If there's any chance you might be able to swing multiplayer I'd say try it out.

BTW, me-mail me your steam ID so we can be friends and ram balls at eachother!
posted by midmarch snowman at 1:28 PM on August 20, 2015

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