5 Reasons Rocket League is the Surprise Hit of the Summer


With the internet being what it is, it was impossible to stay ignorant about Rocket League forever. Reddit was blowing up with posts about this “soccer with cars” game — which I must admit sounded terrible at the time — but my curiosity got the better of me. I read COG’s Review and I watched a couple GIFs. What I saw looked ridiculous. SUVs were drunkenly flying through the air, trying to hit oversized balls into nets, dollar bills shooting out of their exhaust. I had more questions than answers.

The love-in was in full effect. You rarely see that kind of excitement over a game these days; it was a brand of affection that is usually saved for cute cat pictures. I consider myself fairly immune to hype, in fact, hype tends to have the opposite effect on me. I’ve been let down too many times to fall for that shit anymore. I watched the GIFs and didn’t think twice about the game until I heard news of eSports leagues picking it up. I’m a fan of competitive gaming so when that news reached me, I realized that I had probably overlooked something important about this simple soccer with cars game.

Since it was free on Playstation Plus I downloaded it and jumped into a game with low expectations. The next three hours were spent giggling like a child, totally enraptured in what has quickly become one of my favourite games in years. At every possible juncture the game impressed me and deepened my love for it. Let’s run through the reasons this game is so dope.



The controls are buttery smooth baby, and once you get the hang of it anything you want to do with your vehicle is within reality. With enough practice your car becomes an extension of yourself. And all of this is possible because of the handling. Your car turns on a dime, and coupled with the ability to jump and flip, it opens up a lot of possibilities for movement. It’s simple, but that’s where the beauty lies. It’s simple enough for anyone to pick up and play, but individual skill is what separates a beginner from a veteran. And yes the skill ceiling is HUGE; just watch this video. It’s a compilation of amazing shots by one of the best players, Kronovi. The stuff he is doing is wicked hard, which makes it even more impressive.


The Face-Off

The part of the match where everyone drives their car as fast as possible towards the ball, flings their vehicle at it, and laughs as EVERYTHING goes flying in random directions. It’s pure chaos as both teams scramble for possession and it’s the perfect combination of tension and hilarity. It’s tense because it can directly lead to a goal if played correctly. All it takes is some foresight of what your opponents are going for and some smart positioning to counter their play. Goals directly from the face-off are especially demoralizing and tend to swing momentum. And on the bright side, if the face-off goes poorly for you at least, you’ll be laughing at how ridiculous it all looked.



It’s the one resource you have and it’s hugely important. Get this, it allows you to fly. YOU CAN FLY WITH IT DAMNIT! After jumping, while in the air, you can angle your car freely and apply boost to fly. This is a more advanced tactic but once mastered it will bring your game to another level. At low skill, most of Rocket League is played on the ground, but if you can work aerials into your game, it gives you a huge advantage. Think about it, while everyone else is playing the ground game and waiting for the ball to come to them, you’re able to fly to the ball and play it above everyone’s head. That’s huge.


My first night with Rocket League was special. I was solo queuing for 2v2 games and I was matched with someone who worked really well with me. We won our game and afterwards I got a message from him saying “Yo, let’s team up 2v2.” Fine by me. We seemed to do well enough together.

The next three hours consisted of the most sickening display of dominance I’ve ever been a part of. I felt dirty afterwards. We won game after game and no one could stop us. At one point I messaged him saying “Okay, this is my last one. ggs man.” to which he replied: Play until we lose? It was already 2:00 in the AM and I was tired, but I was enjoying myself so I agreed. It would be another hour worth of games until we finally lost.

The point of this story is that this was all possible because of teamwork. Rocket League is very much a team game. Much like hockey, position rotation is a big part of a successful team. When he would go into the opponent’s zone, I would hang back to cover any misplays, and vice versa. We had to trust in each other’s ability to clear the ball or defend an attack. It’s that trust that allowed for proper positioning and good chances. If I don’t have to worry about whether he’s going to be able to defend, I can worry about getting to where the ball is going to be. Chemistry is a real thing in Rocket League.



Very few things in life come close to the rush of scoring a goal in Rocket League. Maybe stealing an ice-cream sandwich from a gas station could, but that’s beside the point. When the ball crosses the threshold, the horn blows, and the announcer screams “GOOOAALLLLLL” everything wrong in the world falls away and is replaced with a deep, shimmering bliss. Doesn’t that sound nice? Good, cause it is. I might be overreacting a little, but it’s damn satisfying. Seeing a plan come together in real time is actually thrilling in the same way that any other sport is. In fact, I’m feeling low, I gotta score more goals…

Rocket League is free for Playstation Plus members this month and if you haven’t yet, I beg you to give it a shot. If only for a few minutes, just to see what the hype is all about. It’s a special game and deserves the love. See you on the field.