The Sporting Sports (PES16, Rocket League)

This was always going to be the shortest piece to come from “Legend of Gaming Live”. The only sports game I’m interested in the “Tony Hawks 5” and that’s only because I played through Pro Skater 1 – 4, Underground 1 and 2, American Wasteland and Project 7. The last time I played a football game was once when I was in high school (so about 10 years ago) at someones house that one time. I kicked his ass! So what has happened to football games in the 10 convening years? Well… nothing.

If you read my other piece you’d know that EA was showing off “FIFA 16” but I didn’t play it. Partly out of shear disinterest and other parts shear dislike of the FIFA organisation. Also a little part that EA would let me even take a photo of the booth even though this is a yearly release. A yearly release that was that solitary time I played a football game 10 years ago. From what I saw the only thing they’ve added was a roster change. Yes they added the female teams (In a moment that screamed “about time!”) but FIFA being FIFA, or football fans being football fans, I saw no female teams being played. Either way, bugger FIFA 16.

The football game I did play was “PES 16”. I really don’t know what to say about it. It has the same problem as the FIFA game. No innovation and it only acts as a roster update. You can’t innovate a football game as there is nothing to innovate.

William Morris, 2015 “Legends of Gaming Live 2015”
William Morris, 2015
“Legends of Gaming Live 2015”

The football game that did innovate was “Rocket League” because it made it a 3v3 jet-car arena derby. Someone finally made football not just interesting but fun! The matches they had were 1v1’s but it was local co-op so that is an automatic and gigantic plus. Although, if you want a 3v3 match your going to have to go online.

The concept of the game, if you didn’t know already, is pretty simple. You are a Micromachine styled car on a team of up to 3 other cars against a team of up to three other cars. A giant ball spawns in the centre of the arena and you and you team has to knock it into the opponents goal while stopping the other team for doing the same. You have a boost that recharges through pick-ups and you can stick to walls and ceilings if your going fast enough. Also if your going fast enough you can blow up other players but they respawn instantly to its not a deal breaker. With the similarities to football this whole paragraph can be summed up just by saying “it’s 3v3 jet-car football with sticky tires and explosions.”

William Morris, 2015 “Legends of Gaming Live 2015”
William Morris, 2015
“Legends of Gaming Live 2015”

Even with its simple premise I found my self getting really competitive when I played it. As I was playing against a kid I felt kind of guilty but wasn’t going to lose to some random kid! In the end I won some and he won some so I’d say it very well balanced.

Even with my dislike of football I have to say I recommend “Rocket League”. But there is an asterisk but it’s not about the game itself. It’s about the online. What can kill a game that is built and designed with online play in mind is slow and eventual player apathy. As long as the audience stays with the game it will be great and access to many public matches. As soon as they start to leave you have a major problem on your hands. So Psyonix, keep the audience playing because the game is really fun. It’s the only football game that I think is any good so for the love of everything please don’t die.

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