It’s not quite new as it’s been out for over a month now, but if you haven’t tried Rocket League’s “Hoops” update then you are missing out! And if you’ve never played Rocket League on PS4, Xbox One, or PC then, well, we need to have a talk…
Rocket League is, in my opinion, the great unifier of nerds and jocks, gamers and non-gamers. The game is a beautiful marriage of rocket-powered cars and sports that anyone can enjoy. It is simple to learn, yet difficult to master — the sign of any truly great game with lasting power. Up until recently, you drove (and flew) around a field and attempted to hit a ball into a soccer goal. There are very few buttons to learn: an accelerate, a brake/reverse, boost, and the analog sticks to steer. You drive around, passing and shooting the ball while picking up turbo boost fuel that allows you to blow up your opponents at high speeds and fly into the air to make some very impressive aerial goals (see video below from Sixpack Games for an example).
This all sounds very simple, but you have no idea how hard it actually is until you try it. It’s maybe the most pure fun I’ve ever had with a video game, but it takes a bit of practice to even score a regular goal (though it is fun regardless).
So that is standard Rocket League. Then they added a “Hockey” mode that changed the ball to a puck and made the field slippery like ice. This wasn’t too much fun. But now, with a sponsorship from the NBA, Psyonix added a free “Hoops” mode to Rocket League and it is more fun than ever!
I highly recommend this game, and at a fraction of the cost of a regular retail game ($20) you can’t go wrong. Plus, Psyonix is very good to their fans, constantly updating the game and releasing all these great modes for free. With over 100 awards, it’s easy to see why so many people love Rocket League. I am one of those people, and if you want to get rocket car dunked on by me on PS4 send a PSN friend invite to LeroyMcCheeks.
Joe Portes is a writer of Fiction and Essays, as well as a Creative Writing instructor in Upstate New York. He has edited literary journals and online magazines where his stories, interviews, and reviews have also appeared. His work has been in or is forthcoming in the Indianola Review, Pitkin Review, and Free George Magazine among others. Aside from writing for the Pop Culture Beast, he maintains a blog at JoePortes.com where you can read about everything from teaching college freshmen, to his love of podcasts, to playing video games.