Its Soccer with cars!
Few games in the current era can demonstrate such simplicity and yet so much enjoyment, Rocket League continues to demonstrate to me why indie games are so important in the gaming industry.
Upon many games like fallout 4 and metal gear solid 5 there has been a large amount of anticipation and hype built up upon such highly established titles. Although I was extremely exited and satisfied with both of these games having played others in the series I couldn’t help but feel disappointed in the lack of originality in pretty much any games that come out every year. Rocket League changed that. This game does what few companies are afraid to do. It tried new ideas mashed certain elements from other games together in a way no one could ever expect to be as successful as it was. With only a 5 million dollar budget this game has grossed over 5 times that. This new idea has shown that people us gamers are getting tired of the old. We want something new not just update versions of what we loved 10 years ago.
This game provides an easy concept to learn but something that has so much depth it takes hours to master. What this game is in a broad sense in soccer but with cars. All you need to know is that you control a car that can boost, jump, and do flips and whatnot, and that you need to get a soccer ball into the other teams goal. The controls are easy to learn and the concept is so simple a child could understand it. And that’s how it should be. The huge amount of controls and actions in games aren’t a bad thing but they scare away so many newcomers in the gaming industry. This is a reason the mobile market recently surpassed the income of the console market. Too much complexity is a bad thing and AAA games are starting to focus on creating a huge expensive experience that only some will enjoy. Rocket League presents something that everyone can enjoy.
AAA games tend to present so much to learn at the beginning of their games but leave little to no new content or variety as the player progresses. Something that I miss from older games is the hidden secrets or tricks you learn from repeatedly playing a level. I remember the first time I discovered the hidden 1-up mushrooms in the original Super Mario Brothers. Although the game has only about 3 character actions I am still learning things about this decades old game. This kind of variety is what keep old games fresh. I still play this 30 year old game today and still get enjoyment out of it. Rocket League is very similar. Although the concepts and controls are limited the possible maneuvers in the game adds so much variety. It took me hours to learn to jump your car at the ball to more easily aim it at the goal. After over 40 hours of playing this game I am still learning new things about it and I still have much to learn because I am no where near as good as some other players I have seen. The player community has created tournaments and local events to celebrate and demonstrate hard earned skill at this game.
This game is a diamond in the rough of a gaming industry filled with rehashes and copies. It presents a new idea filled with simplicity and depth. And that is why Rocket League is one of my favorite games of the entire year and why I think indie games are so important.
By: James Murphy