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E3 2015 Rocket League Preview: Gearing up for its season

Sections: Consoles, Conventions, E3, Exclusives, Genres, PCs, Previews, PS4, Sports, Windows

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RocketLeague_01After a successful beta and slowly-building positive buzz for its predecessor, Psyonix’s Rocket League is nearing its July 7 release on PlayStation 4 and PC. The developer’s building on a solid core conceit — soccer, but with cars — and outfitting it with team customization, a season mode and lots of multiplayer options.

The original’s gameplay has been refined here. The online functionality seems to be quite solid based on the beta; project lead Thomas Silloway said the extension was mostly to keep playing with the community. There appears to be more precision this time around to your aerial maneuvers, so angling your car just right to tip the ball toward the goal is totally within your power.

Most of the work that has been done to the game lies in the single-player component. The previous game, Supersonic Acrobatic Rocket-Powered Battle Cars, had a minimal solo mode, but Rocket League adds a full season mode with custom teams and a season length of your choosing. The AI and abilities of the characters aren’t any different, but the different aesthetic options can be fun, and cars with different shapes and sizes can have an effect on your strategy. You can train with a Rookie AI, which doesn’t use boosts,or crank up the difficulty and test your mettle.

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RocketLeague_03If you’re playing Rocket League with friends (which is the ideal way to play), you can make that happen in a bunch of different ways. You can join in on a friend’s season, replacing one of the AI helpers. You can play up to four-player split-screen, either in two-on-two play, cooperatively against the computer or against a squad of online foes. The game feels different with two-car teams than it does with the standard three-car ones or the “so crazy we call it Chaos Mode” four-vehicle squads.

Rocket League offers cross-platform matchmaking with players on both PS4 and PC. The PlayStation version includes a bonus car option: Twisted Metal‘s Sweet Tooth. (If you’re matched against a Sweet Tooth while playing on PC, you’ll just see the normal van. Silloway assures us that it won’t change gameplay, even though the vehicles are slightly different shapes.)

Rocket League is finalizing its release build now, and should have no problem releasing on July 7 as scheduled on both platforms. See you on the vehicular battlefield?

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