It’s been nearly 10 months since Rocket League first released, the beginning of a phenomenon that has exceeded all expectations. The game is still incredibly popular even now – just the other day the concurrent user record was broken – and even more amazing is that it keeps on getting better.
Added just this week is the basketball mode “Hoops” which completely changes the way the game is played. Instead of soccer as the base sport or hockey which was introduced late last year now basketball takes center stage. Each sport, the principles of which have been built upon, have proven to be a completely unique and engaging experience and basketball is the most challenging one yet.
Naturally because of the bounce of the ball and the rim that must now be scored in, the emphasis is heavily on the air-game. That’s the toughest aspect of the game for players to get a confident hold on so basketball wouldn’t be recommended for novices. Additionally the unpredictable ricochets make the ball even more difficult to judge.
The biggest adjustment though will probably relate to the area underneath the rim. While it’s a solid when interacting with the ball, vehicles pass right through it. The natural urge early on is to drive up it as a ramp and tap the ball in but it doesn’t work that way.
While it’s difficult Hoops will probably be the mode that has goal-scoring rely the most on luck. The ball tends to take high bounces and bank off the walls and, without actual intention, end up in the hoop possibly more often than actual proper “shots” are successful. However it’s all about creating opportunities, and hitting the ball into the air or off the walls where something can happen becomes part of the strategy.
Rocket League Hoops is a blast and along with all the other free content that has been added to the game developer Psyonix continues to impress. Don’t be surprised to see Rocket League make an unprecedented appearance for a second straight year on Sports Game of the Year lists when 2016 wraps up.