Steam's Latest Hit Is About Cars Playing Soccer

Steam's Latest Hit Is About Cars Playing Soccer

I only stopped playing Rocket League to write this article, and man am I ever itching to get back to it.

Rocket League just came out today — after a lengthy period of testing — on PS4 (for free, if you're a PS Plus member) and Steam, where it's doing especially well. Rocket League is Steam's latest sensation, currently the second best seller on the whole service behind only Ark: Survival Evolved, and it's not cut from the same cloth as the service's usual top-selling fare. Basically, it's soccer — or football, depending on whether you can just fucking name your stuff the same way as the rest of the world — with cars. Observe:

It's the little things that helped this one blow up. The feel of careening head-long into other cars or the ball or even a wall. The adrenaline rush of boosting at the ball at the same time as everybody else, praying you'll nose it in the right direction before ricocheting off the other team like a two-ton pinball. The knowledge that you've committed to said boost, and you can't slow down now even if you want to. Cars aren't like people. Wheels + thousands of pounds of screaming steel = forward motion, raw and spectacular.

There's a beautiful balance at play in Rocket League. You're this heavy, speeding rage machine, but you've also got to be precise, even dexterous. If the ball's headed your way, you've got to plot your trajectory and smack it at exactly the right time. Or let's say your teammate slams into the ball with all his might — and let us say his name is, "Nathan Grayson, why do you always do that" — and it bounces off the top of the other team's goal. You've got to position yourself just right to jump and... headbutt it in? Cars don't really have heads or butts, but you get the idea.

Oh right, these cars can jump. That's kinda important.

I lost my first few matches. Striking that balance between precision and, um, being a goddamn car takes some time. My epiphany came during this one match, when all of my allies and foes were duking it out toward the right side of our goal. I saw the ball pop out, like a wet bar of soap squeezed a little too tightly, and knew it was then or never. I rocketed out of the goal and rammed the ball. It blasted in the general direction of the other team's goal, which was totally unguarded. But then I noticed that the ball was veering slightly to the right. I angled and boosted. I ended up banking it just right, and the other team caught up just in time to helplessly watch as the ball gently slid into their goal.

That was when I got it. I was hooked.

Steam's Latest Hit Is About Cars Playing Soccer

The rest of the game is simple, albeit kinda barebones. There's experience to gain and items to unlock, but none of them affect gameplay. Modes are basic, sticking mostly to typical soccer rules (aside from the one that reads, "No cars under any circumstances ever"). There's a season mode, exhibitions, and online play with leaderboards. You can also watch and edit replays.

I'm not sure how much lasting appeal it will have (though the number of hours on alpha players' profiles is encouraging), but right now I'm all about Rocket League. Now if you'll excuse me, I'm gonna sneak off to play a couple more matches before I have to write something else. Don't tell Stephen.


Comments

    I'm so excited to play this game! When they announced it was a PS+ title, I was even more excited. I don't even particularly likes sports or sports games, but I feel like I remember playing something similar once and had a blast with it.

    It's downloading now!

      It really is an absolute blast to play. So much fun.

      I played a bit last night when it went live for PS4. After about an hour though the PS+ crush of death occured and took down the servers [PC version too]. Far as I know they are still having server issues.

      They have close to 70,000 players trying to connect all at once, just on PS4. The PC players on steam are of course livid that it's DDoS'ing their own servers too.

      Hopefully it's up and running tonight, cause I can't wait to play some more!

      Their previous game was the same deal, and it was great. But it flew under most people's radar and only had a small (but devoted) fan-base.

      Which is why I'm glad they made this free for PS+, I would have bought it anyway, but this way there's never going to be a shortage of games available (the AI was a bit easy in the last one), and they plan to support it with new maps, something the last one lacked.

    So they took the topgear idea and made it into a game huh

    Ooh this looks interesting, and it's free for PS+! Plus it looks like a great game to split screen with friends (local multiplayer), it's already in my download queue!

    Reminds me of Buck Bumble on N64. it had a multiplayer mode similar to this, obviously at a slower pace than this.

    Just a heads up on the PS4 version, as of last checking if you sit on the menu for too long it can cause your system to overheat, its a known problem the devs are trying to fix and it only seems to happen on the menu screen.

      I had a crack at it last night, good game but the fan in my PS4 was working so hard that it sounded like a jet trying to take off.

    Everytime I see one of these fast paced, actiony, crazy camera motion, gif creating games nowadays. I feel that the creators thought. I think this will result in good youtube LP videos. Lets make the game...

    Absolutely loving this. The idea shouldn't work but god it does. Somehow ended up matchmade with the best player in the world, Kronovi and boy was he next level skilled compared to the rest of the scrublords in the match.

    Mates and I use to play a mod for UT2004 called Carball at the LANs. Looked just like this.
    Was good fun, ended up having the cops called as we were to rowdy.

      This. Looks identical to carball. Even power ups.
      *looks around at fellow tired LAN players playing UT2004 and Soldier of Fortune2".....*
      "Soooo......Carball anyone?"
      Everyone: "Caaarrrrrrrrbbbbaaaaallll!!"

    I only stopped playing Rocket League to write this article, and man am I ever itching to get back to it.

    I only stopped playing Rocket League to read this article and make this comment... Now back to Rocket League!

    I had a crack at this for an hour last night, great game! I think beginners luck is important though as I got a hat trick and MVP in my first game, then everything went downhill from there! :)

    I think I'm addicted! I played the alpha on the PC but it didn't do anything for me, mainly due to the control (I don't enjoy PC gaming) and it was a little rough around the edges. After getting it on PS4 I'm loving it...sure im crap, but it is a lot of fun.

    What? It's finally out! I've played the alpha for quite some time and it got boring on the same old map. I'm glad a lot of people are liking it.

    ahhh a refresh of Supersonic Acrobatic Rocket-Powered Battle-Cars!
    Played that with a 4 player split screen. Good times.

      Ah glad someone mentioned it. Was about to say PS3 had S.A.R.P.B.C :-)

    it's fun for a bit. gets stale and boring quick though.

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