Rocket League is a game that embodies all of the best things about a skill-based competitive experience. It's unbelievably easy to pick up and play thanks to it's intuitive mechanics, yet difficult to master due to it's high skill ceiling. The concept of combining soccer with race cars is as ridiculous as it sounds, but in such a satisfying and fun way that it must be experienced in order to be completely understood.
The object of the Rocket League is simple: drive, jump, fly, flip and boost yourself into a giant ball in order to push it into the opponent's goal. Not surprisingly, you apply these same mechanics to keep the ball out of your own goal. Standard matches are 3v3, but 2v2 and 4v4 modes are also available in both exhibition and ranked matches. There are a plethora of customizations and vehicles to unlock which are all (thankfully) strictly cosmetic. Success in Rocket League will always be completely dependent on how much experience a player has rather than the equipment they use. No matter how good or bad a player is at the game, there always seems to be a higher level of play within reach. This carrot-dangle keeps players compelled to continue developing techniques in order to become more competent. Highlights of Rocket League include centering a ball and watching your teammate drive it home, using your boost to demolish a pesky goalie, and haphazardly flying through the air accross the field in hopes of scoring an accidental goal. There are even plenty of quick chat options and nothing beats a sarcastic "what a save!" after you've scored your third goal of the game.
For those who prefer offline play, standard season options are also available in multiple difficulty modes, but playing with/against the AI really is a different experience. This is where some of Rocket League's very minor issues present themselves. It always seems that AI teammates and opponents are either brilliant or incredibly stupid, never quite hitting that perfect sweet spot. It can also be very frustrating to see the incredible things that can be accomplished. Watching a car fly through the air to hit a pop-up ball into the goal from half-field while you're still barely able to block shots can be frustrating at times. The problems with the AI become extremely evident in online-play because there is currently no punishment system for players who frequently quit out of matches. Having a teammate drop out to leave you stuck with hit-or-miss AI for the rest of the match is not the ideal experience. The first week after launch I had consistent problems getting into online matches, though this issue seems to have been ironed out for the most part.
Thankfully, these minor gripes don't detract at all from how enamored I am with the gameplay, which is why I am awarding Rocket League the Adonis Immaculate on the Game Awry Review Scale. I frequently find myself playing for far longer than I intend to, and the rationalization of "one more match" is a constant threat to my sleep schedule. Rocket League is one of the most inherently fun things I've experienced in a very long time, and I encourage everyone to take part in the madness.