Some say they just likes fast cars and football. Some say it's because the game was free. Whatever the reason, our family loves Rocket League.
It's true, I do like my football and being from Yorkshire I also like a bargain, but I've never been a petrol-head. However, I have always had a soft spot for arcade style driving games. Burnout, Screamer and Chase HQ held me in their thrall for extended periods of my youth. So it stands to reason I should automatically like Rocket League, because it's just cars playing footy, but it was never that cut and dried.
On paper, cars playing football sounds like some daft idea cooked up on Top Gear. Wait, come to mention it, it was. It really shouldn't work, but when you add in rocket boosters, fantastic rule-breaking physics and the ability to go airborne, magic starts to happen.
It's that magic that has gripped me from the moment the game was released for free on PS+.
As a working Dad of two, my game time is pretty limited. I've also never been the biggest multiplayer fan, being unable to dedicate the hours needed to excel at a game and quickly feeling out of my depth. Those two factors should be enough to make Rocket League an absolute no go for me. That it has proved so compelling speaks volumes of it's multiplayer match-making abilities and the pure fun that is had at every level of competition.
Matches are also short and sweet, making it a go to game to fit into a busy schedule, with a pace that is unrivalled by it's pure sporting competitors like FIFA. The rigidity of simulation restricts sports games in ways that Rocket League isn't. As a result, the insanity of some of the matches can take you to highs that very few other games can reach. A fingertip save in FIFA simply doesn't compare to clawing the ball off the goal line at breakneck speed, while performing a 360 degree spin in mid-air.
My passion for the game and it's longevity have completely surprised me, it's eventually rubbed off on my 10 year old son (Joe) too. The split-screen multiplayer providing another great experience for us as a family and also for him and his friends. Controlling a single vehicle each, as opposed to a collection of players in FIFA, makes each win/loss feel entirely your doing. When we're playing doubles online, it's just me and him against the world! Add in a whole array of cars and customisations to play around with and you start to get a more personal attachment to the game.
For my family, Rocket League is as close to perfection as gaming experiences come.
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