It has been two years since Rocket League first launched on PlayStation 4 and PC, little did we know it would turn out to be a massive hit, a soccer car game, really? This turned out to be a winning combination that not only has a huge presence on every platform it launches on, but is now a major eSport as well. It’s now finally released on the Nintendo Switch, meaning you can score shots, hoops and aerial hits wherever you want. This begs the question, does Psyonix successfully capture the magic on another new platform?
It goes without saying that this has one of the most rewarding and potentially most frustrating gameplay loops ever. Now what I mean by that is it feels great to land those shots and accurately measure distance and angles to score a goal. However, in my case, when you miss because of lack of good judgement it can get pretty rage inducing. This is in fact a pro, you can go through a range of emotions in a title that doesn’t even feature a story or narrative, you’re just driving around and trying to hit a ball into the goal area. If you miss, it’s either your fault or another player’s, not the game.
What keeps me coming back is the variety in game modes that let you play what you want to. If you feel you’ve had enough of the soccer modes which come in 1v1, 2v2, 3v3 and 4v4 styles, then there are other sports you can try your hand at. Hoops is a basketball variant in which the goal post is now a hoop you need to land the ball into. Snow Day is your hockey mode, the ball becomes a puck and the arena is icy which affects movement speed on the puck. Dropshot is a completely different style, land the ball on sections of the floor on the opposing teams side to progressively break it and then score a goal through said hole.
My favourite mode however, that leads to many laugh out loud moments is rumble. Take the regular soccer car game and add power-ups, yes, and it’s so much fun. You can trade places with an enemy car, force another player to go super-speed and miss their shot or just freeze the ball in place at the highest point because if you can’t hit it, nobody else should be allowed to. Always expect the unexpected, a lot of your regular plays won’t work once these abilities are thrown in and can be executed without warning.
With approximately 20 maps not including the different variations of those maps I feel there is enough to keep the game feeling fresh. Not only that, but more maps and vehicles can be added in the future. Some of them can only be accessed in certain modes, which dependent on preferences you may be limiting yourself, but you can create private matches to try any combination of settings.
You can show off your personality and flair by customising your vehicles. Able to choose the body, decals, paint finish, wheels, rocket boost effect, topper, antenna, trail, engine audio and even goal explosion effect. Collect the items through gameplay and acquiring loot crates, to open the crates you receive you will need to purchase unlock keys with real money. Thankfully it’s all for purely cosmetic, non-gameplay changing stuff, the best type of microtransaction.
It’s rough around the edges as the Switch shows its difference in performance power compared to the other home consoles. Jagged lines are noticeable and more distant textures appear in a lower resolution. It still looks good when your moving around which is primarily how you spend the most of your time, but at a stand still the visual problems show. The bright contrasted colours do well to cover a lot of the other issues and take your focus away from them.
The menu soundtrack features many catchy tunes and I find it annoying that the you can only listen to those songs whilst in the menu screen. Have no fear because the in-game sound effects and music are just as satisfying to listen to. The klaxon countdown preps me for action and the goal music makes me feel epic. Every sound effect just has this indescribable aura about them, they all feel, right.
Rocket League on Switch certainly brings the magic encountered on other platforms. The variety of game modes and customisation options help players be look how they want and play what they want. It may not be as visually pleasing as its counterparts but by no means is it a bad looking game, think of the jagged lines as more of a five-o-clock shadow. This is the version I have always wanted, being able to pick it up and play whenever I have the free time available, no matter where I am.
OVERALL: 8.3/10 – GREAT
Reviewed by Rhys Baldwin.
(Disclaimer: CONQUEST received a review copy of Rocket League, however this does not in any way affect the scoring of a game or our thoughts on the game itself. We believe in total honesty and being transparent with you.)