This game is hilarious. I just love the off-the-wall idea of cars hurling themselves all over an oversized soccer field. And the physics, oh the physics of it all. It can get pretty insane, but it never crosses over into the ridiculous. The developers seem aware that the idea itself is already so absurd, that all they need to do is present it with a straight face to get the desired effect. And it works! The closest it gets to taking the joke too far is the hats, but even those are presented tastefully and will likely charm even the most cynical opponent of digital headgear. In this setting, it doesn’t feel wrong putting hats on the cars. It’s just part of the well constructed joke, made funnier when contrasted with the vehicle’s emotionless exterior.
It’s interesting to see the developers so puzzled over its overwhelmingly positive reception, saying in effect that it’s only a slightly more refined version of its predecessor which came out in 2008. Good on them for believing in their idea enough to try again. The timing worked out much better this time around. Also doesn’t hurt that it’s free right now for PS+ members. We’ve been hungry for a good PS+ game for a while now. So thank you, Psyonix, for somehow working that deal out.
Now it doesn’t have the personality or detailed world that a game like Splatoon does, but to be fair, it really doesn’t have the skeleton to support that kind of thing. And even if it did have such a setting, it would feel misplaced, possibly even intrusive. The premise is already strong enough to make you want to believe that such a bizarre sport is possible in the future, regardless of its insanity. And even when I stop to think about it afterward, I can’t help but laugh thinking about what these drivers must be seeing and experiencing from behind the wheel. It’s just bonkers.
And that’s just the kind of bonkers I like to see. It’s about as deep as a game of foosball, but the rocket car madness redeems it in my book. If you’re going to settle into the versus multiplayer camp, this isn’t a bad way to go about it.