Rocket League may be the most moreish multiplayer game since Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare. Psyonix’s vehicular soccer simulation adeptly illustrates the theory that easy concepts can succeed when expertly executed. Even though it may took a whole generation for the seeds sewn by underrated Ps3 3 exclusive Supersonic Acrobatic Rocket-Powered Battle-Cars to seriously take hold, we suspect that leftfield local and online team-based hit will be boosting into some Game of the entire year lists after the final whistle blows on 2015.

But the facts which makes this PlayStation 4 outing so entertainingly addictive? Essentially, it is the pitch perfect mixture of accessibility and depth. The free-flowing rules of football are dialled down, eliminating boundaries and off-side traps, and therefore anyone can discover how to play. However, this simple understanding is increased by a skill-based control system; the game’s fleet of frivolous vehicles are easy to pilot, but few will master the art of aerial play. This means that, like Infinity Ward’s first-person shooter, there’s something here for everybody.

However the car-cum-soccer smash has an added trick up its exhaust pipe: it manages to create proceedings entertaining even though you lose. The easy act of controlling your vehicle – which eliminates input lag because of a silky smooth framerate – signifies that even though you’re chasing teams ten times much better than you, there’s fun to be enjoyed. Identical vehicle classes – bodywork changes are purely cosmetic – and symmetrical arenas imply that the title is correctly balanced; it never feels as though the overall game is conspiring against you prefer so numerous others do.

And that signifies that when you do can get on the score sheet – be it thanks to a lucky long ball punt or a brilliantly timed boost-powered bicycle kick – you’ll always feel just like you’re accountable for the target; there is no number crunching or rubber banding going on under the surface. However, the game’s real genius may be the manner in which it acknowledges every effort on the path to a win: goal line clearances could be just as spectacular as aerial shots – and even how the screen rattles as you strike the ball offers a sense of sublime satisfaction.

All this would, of course, be meaningless without net code to complement its expertly honed mechanics – but, as the game has sadly fallen foul to the moment Game Collection kiss of death, it’s began to stabilise nicely. You can pick between ranked and unranked playlists which range from two to eight players, with the matchmaking employed in the background when you spend time on working out pitch if you want. Games are located with Call of Duty-esque speed, and players are funnelled in and out almost invisibly to make certain that there are no breaks in play when someone inevitably quits.

Considering just how many titles understand this crucial aspect wrong, it’s refreshing whenever a release just works – when the servers are online, of course. Once you’re in a match, you can virtually stay there indefinitely, allowing the netcode to introduce new players as you hop from round to round. And, after a large number of matches, we haven’t noticed any cases of extreme lag; even in the hectic eight-player match-ups, proceedings remain smooth – a marked improvement over the slightly shaky days of the pre-release beta.

There can be an offline option for all those that are looking it, but it’s evidently not the package’s primary appeal. Season lets you create a custom team by using a selection of rudimentary options, where you’ll work the right path to the summit of the, er, Rocket League. The artificial intelligence could be a lttle bit dumb on lower difficulties, nonetheless it steps it up when you reach the All-Star tier. Still, you can never take into account the unpredictability of a real-world human, even though it’s relatively fun lifting the fictional cup, it’s most likely not something that you’ll get back to after winning the championship once.

Working out minigames are, secretly, most likely the more entertaining solo option. They are split into three categories: defence, offence, and aerial play. Here you will be tasked with either saving, shooting, or flying respectively in an array of random scenarios, and it’s really quite fun playing through these as long as you’re looking forward to an invitation from friends or the servers to hook up you to a match. You will also be levelling up and earning cosmetic items as you progress, the latter helping you to kit out your vehicle with personal flourishes such as for example flags and flowery effects.

Performance is paramount in a casino game such as this, but great image quality and slick artwork make it to achieve success from a presentational perspective, too. There aren’t a massive number of arenas available – though post-release additions will be free – but they’re all buoyed by attractive features. Some are fitted with AstroTurf which sways in sunlight, while others include shiny hard courts. Meanwhile, some spots are lashed with light rain, while some overlook futuristic city skylines during the night. There are several minor anti-aliasing issues, but nothing worth shouting about.

If there’s any presentation flaw it is the soundtrack, which employs forgettable trance tracks – several which boast unexpected vocals parts. If you are on the pitch, the sound files take centre stage, but while these are typically strong, it’s the sort of title that practically begs you to create a fitting Spotify playlist before booting it up; fortunately, all this functionality is built straight into the PS4. We’d also indicate the menus – which are forcing some formats to appear to be aircrafts – as another problem, but we’re nitpicking a bit.

Rocket League may be beneficial which has been expertly executed. When you may roll your eyes at the thought of a vehicular adaptation of America’s least-favourite sport, that is a title that’s hard to place down once you test it out for. Flawless controls and a frightening amount of depth make certain that both everyday and hardcore players could have fun on the field – and the generally excellent online implementation transforms it into four-wheeled crack. Not a lacklustre single player option and an out-of-place soundtrack can stop us from declaring this the stunning car game.