(sharon) #1

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People have often
told me that
Rocket League
is their favourite
way to de-stress.
I’ve never been
able to grasp
that. To me, Psyonix’s mega-hit is
the epitome of competitive gaming,
rewarding intense concentration
and masterfully honed skills. I’m
more of a casual player, perusing the
unranked servers, but even those are
populated with aerial magicians and
prolific goalscorers. And that’s why
I’ve been delving into the refreshingly
accessible Rumble mode.
Rumble sits alongside the likes of
Hoops and Dropshot as one of Rocket
League’s lesser-played modes, but it’s
not as unpopular as it might seem. In
fact, you’ll find thousands of players
enjoying it at any one time, making it
one of the biggest side-attractions
the game has to offer. The mode
pits players against one another in
otherwise standard 3v3 games, but
features power-ups that are given out
at regular intervals.
The whole thing descends into a
frenzy of over-the-top action, but it
also retains the need for strategic
thinking as seen in Rocket League’s
primary modes, with plenty of
ways to maximise each
power-up’s effectiveness.
Your ability to manipulate
these advantages - or
counter them – can be
the difference between
a win or a loss, even
despite the perceived
randomness on display.
My favourite is the
Haymaker. It’s a big boxing glove
that explodes out of your car and
shoots at the ball. You can use it
to line up the perfect shot or make
a goal-saving clearance, and the
Boot does a similar job by pushing
opponents out of the way. The
Spike is great, too, piercing the ball
and sticking it to your vehicle until
someone smashes into you. There’s a
fine art to avoiding other players and
simply driving the ball into the net.

I’ve started to become more
disciplined with my timing, too.
There’s a ten-second window in which
power-ups are generated, and players
regularly spam them as soon as
they’re available. But holding on a little
longer can give you an advantage.
Those extra few seconds serve
as the perfect opportunity
to take advantage of less-
impactful power-ups
such as the Magnetizer
to generate an attack.

Carefree fun
The best thing about
Rumble is its ability to
provide an all-inclusive
kickabout. It serves as the perfect
drop-in mode for me and my friends.
And while there’s still scope to pull
off incredible manoeuvres, we’re
often as likely to benefit from luck.
It never feels like an overly intense
competitive mode.
Alternatively, when I’m not playing
with friends, there’s far less of a
desire to quit out of frustration. You
never know what you’re going to get
with random team-mates, but at least

in Rumble, you don’t need to rely on
them so heavily. I’ve borne witness
to less-experienced players scoring
goals by accident, using power-ups
at coincidentally opportune moments.
Even when this goes against you, it’s
hard not to chuckle at the sight of it.
That sense of carefree fun is what
I’m looking for in Rocket League right
now. I’m not dedicated enough to
master aerial moves and put up with
uncooperative team-mates. I’ve grown
tired of playing unranked games with
players of varying skill levels. But invite
me to a couple of games of Rumble
for a few hours, and it’ll require some
monumental power of persuasion to
tear me away. Q

Sampling the calculated mayhem and supreme accessibility of


Rocket League’s Rumble mode FRASER GILBERT


PUBLISHER PSYONIX / DEVELOPER PSYONIX / FORMAT XBOX ONE / RELEASE DATE FEBRUARY 2016

“I’m not dedicated enough to


master aerial moves and put up with


uncooperative team-mates”


WHAT IS IT?
A physics-based,
multiplayer-heavy
vehicular soccer game
in which you compete
to score goals with
rocket-powered cars.

098 THE OFFICIAL XBOX MAGAZINE


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