For my third category of game for my game log, I chose Rocket League. The game is pretty simple. You play a variation of 2 v 2, 3 v 3, etc soccer as a car. As you might imagine, controlling a car to volley, pass, and shoot like you would as a human being in a soccer game is difficult. In fact, somewhat similar to Peggle, this game uses a difficulty curve, albeit a much sharper one, to get you hooked. I’ve played Rocket League before, but I was pretty rusty. My first few games involved lots of me missing the ball, overhitting passes, and overshooting the goal with frustrating inaccuracy. Thankfully, I gradually become more competent and began being matched with better players. After a while, the gap between my play and that of my opponents became immense again, and not in my favor.
These guys were driving on the walls, speeding around the map, and essentially exploring dimensions of the game totally outside of my capability. I felt good enough to not feel inept at the game. However, there was a clear reward for putting in more time to refine skills. In other words, this game had a relatively low barrier to entry giving the player a sense of accomplishment when achieving a sort of basic competency, but there’s also serious depth!
This game also had some serious juiciness that made the action exciting. Whenever you score a goal in Rocket League, the ball doesn’t just hit the back of the net. It creates a huge explosion that blows all that players goals in the opposite direction of the goal with seismic force, all in SLOW MOTION. It was like playing an action movie….playing soccer…as a car.
The world of Rocket League takes place in a diverse array of arenas. These levels differ in not only appearance but also gameplay-impacting level design. This provided a sort of variety to the game as I honed my skills within the same gameplay mode. This awesome combination of gameplay mechanic design and visual juiciness and variance created an addicting experience, as I intended to only play for 30 minutes and ended up playing for much much longer.