The following is a true Rocket League story.
Swiftly followed by some thoughts on newly released mode Dropshot
No humans were harmed in the making of this post.
If I had to give Rocket League a score, I would have probably gifted it the rare and elusive number 10, but I am hugely biased. I adored Super Sonic Acrobatic Battle Cars and have been playing Rocket League since it’s release over a year ago. With a strong online community and new game modes still being added, that’s value for money! A game I can leave for months on end, only to return and play until I realise it’s bedtime.
Car football… Who would have thought it?
Anyway, to story time.
I’m happy to admit I dabble in rank competition. I generally linger around the higher end of the gold ‘challenger’ league in boring ol’ standard mode. That’s my level. I can barely fly, can score the odd decent goal and am under no illusions I’m due a championship winning payday for my skills.
Both me and Joey Jo Jo were unranked in doubles and the season ends in 2 hours. Meaning the servers reset and awards are given out.
‘Hey, Joey Jo Jo! 10 games to gain a ranking in 2 hours? Wanna go for it? What rank will we end up with?’
I’ve had no previous interest in being ranked. I think I got ‘bronze’ playing Standard in the first season, but they took it away and I have to prove myself over again? Nah, I’ll just just sit here smugly knowing that I’m ‘alright’ at Rocket League, thanks. I don’t need to prove it to anyo-, wait, do I get a trophy? Gold crown? Well, why didn’t you say so? *beep* my PS4 pad is on. Bring it!
We hadn’t eaten dinner and thought, let’s have a little go, see how far we get. Joey Jo Jo was currently unranked in all modes and I was keen to get her a shiny present of any dubious quality.
We started well. By well, I mean we were both scored hat-tricks. This inspired cries of ‘quit, you bastard’ and ‘we ain’t got time for this shit’. We were on the clock, and more importantly, hungry. My mantra: “If I was you, mate, 4-0 down after 2 minutes, I’d quit.” No, I didn’t say it over the mic, I’m not some kind of monster.
We were on a hot streak and the amateurs were soon replaced with semi-pros. Several games later the veterans replaced the pros. Than it happened. Around 7 games in we found them. That’s right, the bastard professional team. The team that spammed ‘teamwork in good work’ after every goal. The team that inflicted righteous revenge on behalf of the semi-pros before us. The flying bastards. Afterwards the thought hit us… are we two games away from Gold? I mean, these guys were bloody good?
I’ll admit, I was complacent after the first few games. You know when everyone is a bit confused, just driving around the ball, not touching it, waiting for someone else to attack? Come on! Just, just, hit it! Quit. Quit! We have under an hour left. Argh!
2 wins later, complete with twitching eyes, we gained a ranking. How exciting! We were placed in the higher echelons of the silver league ‘prospect II’, and I badly needed a wee. ‘Hey, Joey Jo Jo… You wanna keep going?’. We had 40-odd minutes spare.
I didn’t expect to get gold and there seemed to be an infinite number of these middling divisions. But each game was taking us one step closer. Too bad, we only had a finite amount of time.
We decided to see how far we could get, I mean, we only lost once. A few games later we go up a rank but this is slow going and time’s running out. After another couple of games, the hat-tricks and showboating have eased off a little. These guys know how to smack the ball now. We rank up again to look upon the shiny silver badge of nearly gold. This is better than I thought we would do.
Another win, no rank up and 8 minutes to go. This is just a saga now. A sterling effort, but the magic of Rocket League means none of this was hard work, all of it was a joy. So with bellies rumbling we take on the next team. The game was like any other, with a few scares before the other team capitulated. We calmly see the game out. Good work Joey Jo Jo, we gave it everything and I’m p-
BLOODY HELL YESSSSSSSSSSSSS!
We leapt up and down. Screamed and even missed a high five. A minute to spare! GOLD!
… and I all I got were these lousy gold wheels. GOLD though!
5 minutes of celebration ensue before we are raiding the fridge in desperation. We leave Rocket League to update to Season 4. As we enjoy a wonderfully trashy episode of Iron Fist with a plate of hot gruel.
‘Hey, Joey Jo Jo, You wanna try out Dropshot?’
A ringing endorsement. On initial inspection Dropshot reminds me of Tron’s disc battles. Both teams take a side of the court, before hitting the ball onto the other side in an effort to smash the floor away. You’re allowed a single hit before the floor panels crumble. Groovy.
My first thought was ‘bloody hell, falling through the floor could be a pain in the arse.’ Luckily only the ball drops through, not your car.
Slamming into the ball charges it, which allows for a larger area of the court to fall away. The colour of the ball changes depending on who charged it last. Flying is highly encouraged, but don’t let that put you off. The arena is designed in a circular manner and the ball’s generous when hitting the edges. In fact, you could take the ball around the edge of course into the opposition’s side with ease.
This mode punishes all misjudgements, but in classic Rocket League fashion, still feels fair. Even if you are terrible you have a bit of a chance as the board doesn’t reset when you concede a goal. So if you’ve cut away half of your opposition’s course, you still have the chance to pull a goal back. Although fair, a superior team will likely crush you. As is the correct and proper way of Rocket League.
It’s possibly my favourite additional mode to Rocket League.
The perfect sports game.