I am a soccer player. I am also a red and blue car with an American flag, wearing a fez and have a flamethrower shooting from my exhaust. Rocket League might be the best sports video game ever made, and something you really need to play.
Rocket League is an multiplayer game of car soccer that is primarily played online. Teams are typically three players each, but these can be adjusted in-game. It's conceptually simple. We've seen this before on Top Gear, but Rocket League takes this idea and turns it up to 11 with double-jumps, boosts, power slides, driving on walls and even flying -- if you can control your car right.
What makes it all tick is just how right the controls feel. When you mess something up it's your fault, when you do something cool it's on your own merit and this makes it impossible to stop playing. This is soccer distilled to its most pure form without the stoppages, cards, offsides or delays.
Rocket League takes what we love about sports and ensures there's a level playing field in a way traditional sports video games can't. Team and player ratings mean they're never balanced -- because sports aren't fair. This is why competitive Madden isn't really a thing. Competitive gaming leans on perfect balance for both sides, and that's why Rocket League works.
Also the FRIGGIN' BALL EXPLODES WHEN YOU SCORE A GOAL AND WHEN YOU BOOST INTO SOMEONE THEIR CAR EXPLODES!
The game's physics are spot on, the action is fast and it's the perfect pick up and play game. This is the definition of "easy to play, tough to master" and we're already seeing a stunning array of trick shot and spectacular save videos just a few weeks after release.
The one thing I can't shake is how it makes you feel like a real player on a team, even in a surreal environment. Everything good or bad is by your own making, which quickly leads to players accepting blame, patting each other on the back and communicating about where to position their cars. In most sports games we tend to blame the real life player for fumbling, or traveling -- in Rocket league it's all on you.
Perhaps this is just a summer gaming fling, maybe it will last longer -- that will entirely depend on the players. Madden NFL will be out in time, so will NBA 2K16. I will buy both games like every year, but it's hard to imagine either will be as much fun as Rocket League, where I'm still trying to unlock a hat with a propeller on it for my car.