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Gamereactor UK
reviews
Rocket League

Rocket League (Switch)

As Rocket League reaches the height of success, it ticks another platform off the list.

  • Text: Sam Bishop

Rocket League is one of those games that's grown and grown over the years. It started out life back in 2015 on the PS4 as a sequel to Supersonic Acrobatic Rocket-Powered Battle-Cars, gathering a lot of popularity as a free PS Plus title, but has since then moved from strength to strength, including a launch on PC, an Xbox release, and now a Switch version, bringing the high-intensity vehicular action to Nintendo's hybrid machine. This means that you can play it on the go as well as on your screen as you would do before.

As with a lot of Switch titles it's worth bearing in mind the caveat that you're trading off visual fidelity for portability, and this applies to both docked and undocked modes. As we've already found out from Psyonix, the game runs at 1280x720 in docked mode, but uses a dynamic resolution scaler when handheld, depending on what stadium you're playing, generally hovering around 1024x576. This isn't perfect, granted, but it's certainly playable and the fun still remains when undocked, and at the end of the day Psyonix has said that they will continue to work on optimising the game, and there's a solid 60 FPS in both modes, so we didn't mind the resolution change too much. Sure, you'll notice the resolution when inspecting the finer details like the grass up close, or the slightly jagged edges on handheld mode, but it's never a big issue.

Admittedly, though, it does make things slightly worse when you play two-player split-screen in tabletop mode, effectively halving the screen space available to you. Again, though, we should point out that it's still very much playable and you can have a lot of fun with it, but it's not ever going to equal the increased screen space on the docked version. What's more is that you can only play with two players when undocked, and this is increased to four when docked.

What we found more of an issue with local multiplayer is the Joy-Cons. It's no secret that Nintendo's detachable controllers are incredibly small, so we'd advise that one player uses the Joy-Cons in the grip, while another uses a Pro Controller, since the accelerate and reverse on the shoulder buttons aren't too comfortable or easy to use. What's more is that when you're using one Joy-Con each, you can't use the right stick anymore, so if you're not in Ball Cam you'll struggle to keep track of what's going on where.

Rocket LeagueRocket League

If online play is more your style, you can play with up to eight players online, and what's more is that you can do this with players on PC and Xbox via cross-platform play (as per, PS4 isn't included in this). We played the most intense 4v4 rumble session we could when trying to test the hardware, and we didn't see any noticeable dips during play, even when things got the most chaotic.

One great exclusive addition for Nintendo fans, however, is the Mario and Luigi cars, selected when you go on the orange or the blue team respectively. We went into the game thinking that these would just be cool little skins on the cars, but they even make the classic Mario jumping noise when you hop, and so this is a nice little gesture towards fans of the console and Nintendo's games in general. There's even a Metroid themed skin as well, although this matches the futuristic look of some of the other cars and doesn't stand out nearly as much as Mario and Luigi.

So as it stands now, Rocket League is available on four consoles, and the game has proven itself to be incredibly popular. Not only is there a lot of players getting involved, but the skill required to be the best at the game has lent itself nicely to esports too, as the Championship Series, or RLCS, has just wrapped up its fourth season, with big organisatons like Gale Force Esports and Fnatic investing in teams.

All this is especially amazing when you consider the much less well-known predecessor Supersonic Acrobatic Rocket-Powered Battle-Cars, but now the formula has been tweaked and refined and has really struck a chord with a lot of gamers (the old name certainly didn't help either). Players you'd never find playing any sports games have suddenly been drawn to this moreish, simple, and accessible title, whether that be the chaos of rumble, or the simplicity of hoops. It doesn't matter if you're good or not; everyone can take to the pitch to bump cars and hit balls, and as it stands the game shows no signs of slowing down.

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08 Gamereactor UK
8 / 10
+
Cross-platform play, great to have the option to play local MP on the go, still a fun and accessible game.
-
The expected technical downgrade, Joy-Cons aren't the best control option in MP.
overall score
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