Rocket league was missing to bring some long-term goals to its pickup. Like EAs offering seasonal cosmetic rewards and bragging rights as you try to climb through the ranked tiers and while the mechanical differences between the free cars and the larger assortment of purchasable cars are noticeable there.
They have to be because rocket league allows cross platform play between PS4 and PC and between Xbox one, PC and switch kudos goes to Cyberonics for pushing cross play infrastructure, getting it running as well as it does. And setting an example for more games in the future.
Rocket League is now free to play downloadable on PC through the Epic Games Store. Players who have purchased the game through Steam can continue to play through the Steam client and earn achievements, but no new players can join.
It's worth nothing Rocket League will also be free to download and play on all other platforms, and progress will be synced - you could play the game on the go with a Nintendo Switch and then carry on playing at home on your PC. Rocket League crossplay was introduced at the start of 2019, allowing PS4, Xbox, PC and Switch players to play together.
Described as "soccer, but with rocket-powered cars", Rocket League has up to eight players assigned to each of the two teams, using rocket-powered vehicles to hit a ball into their opponent's goal and score points over the course of a match. The game includes single-player and multiplayer modes that can be played both locally and online, including cross-platform play between all versions. Later updates for the game enabled the ability to modify core rules and added new game modes, including ones based on ice hockey and basketball.
Rocket League's gameplay is largely the same as that of its predecessor, Supersonic Acrobatic Rocket-Powered Battle-Cars. Players control a rocket-powered car and use it to hit a ball that is much larger than the cars towards the other team's goal area to score goals, in a way that resembles indoor soccer, with elements reminiscent of a demolition derby. Players' cars have the ability to jump to hit the ball while in mid-air. The players can also pick up a speed boost by passing their cars over marked spaces on the field, enabling them to quickly cross the field, use the added momentum to hit the ball, or ram into another player's car to destroy it; in the latter case, the destroyed car respawns moments later on their team's side of the field. A player may also use a boost when in the air to propel themselves forward in flight, allowing players to hit the ball in the air. Players can alter their car's orientation while midair, which combined with midair boosting allows for controlled flight. Players can also perform quick dodges, causing their car to do a short jump and spin in a given direction, which can be used to nudge the ball or gain positioning advantage over the other team.
As part of a means to monetize the game beyond downloadable content, Psyonix has tried a few different approaches. In September 2016, it introduced a loot box system known as Crates, where players could purchase them with a random selection of in-game customization items, opened through the purchase of Keys using real-world funds. Due to increasing governmental concern over loot boxes, Psyonix replaced the Crates system with Blueprints in December 2019, which offer a known specific item with potential modifiers as potential end-of-match drops. These Blueprints can then be crafted using the game's new premium currency (Credits), or purchased with real-world funds, if the player so chooses. A new rotating Item Shop was introduced in December 2019 as well, with Featured items available on a 48-hour timer and Daily items on a 24-hour timer. The Item Shop includes all types of in-game items, such as Painted Cars, Exotic Wheels, Goal Explosions, and many more. Each item has a listed Credit value that will show the item's cost, allowing players to purchase the exact item they want, instead of relying on RNG to attain a specific item previously available through loot boxes. Separately, Psyonix added a battle pass feature to the game in September 2018, known as the Rocket Pass. Each pass, which lasts a few months, has challenges and other opportunities through playing Rocket League that allow players to increase the tier of the Pass, from which new unique customization options tied to that pass can be unlocked. While the Rocket Pass is free to all players, a flat-cost premium option that accelerates the level up rate and unlocks additional items at certain tier levels can be purchased.
Psyonix had previously developed Supersonic Acrobatic Rocket-Powered Battle-Cars in 2008 for the PlayStation 3. That game itself bore out from previous modifications that Psyonix' founder, Dave Hagewood, had done for Unreal Tournament 2003 by expanding out vehicle-based gameplay that Epic Games had already set in place in the engine into a new game mode called Onslaught. For this, Hagewood was hired as a contractor by Epic for Unreal Tournament 2004 specifically for incorporating the Onslaught mode as an official part of the game. Hagewood used his experience at Epic to found Psyonix. Among other contract projects, Psyonix worked to try to find a way to make racing the Unreal vehicles in a physics-based engine enjoyable. They had toyed with several options such as race modes or mazes, but found that when they added a ball to the arena to be pushed by the vehicles, they had hit upon the right formula, which would become Battle-Cars. Further to the success was the addition of the rocket-powered cars; this originally was to be a simple speed boost, but with the physics engine, they were able to have the vehicles fly off and around the arena, furthering the possibilities for gameplay.
As Psyonix finished development of Battle-Cars, the studio had tried to gain access to a publisher by selling their game as "soccer, but with rocket-powered cars"; none of the publishers seemed interested. Ultimately, they opted to self-publish the game on the PlayStation Network with almost no marketing. Though it was downloaded more than two million times, it was not considered very successful even after the studio cut the price. The studio continued on to other projects, though kept the idea of building on Battle-Cars as an option, recognizing the game had a small but dedicated fan-base that provided them with ideas for expansion. These other projects, which including contract work for AAA games, including Mass Effect 3 and Gears of War, helped to fund the development of Rocket League.
Psyonix had at one point considered having Rocket League as a free-to-play game with microtransactions, inspired by Team Fortress 2 and Dota 2's models. Though they had put in efforts to establish a free-to-play model, Psyonix decided instead to switch to a traditional sale method, and offer only cosmetic elements as downloadable content, assuring that no players would have any additional advantage beyond their own skill. The name Rocket League was selected in part to reduce the size of the game's title in order to appear fully in digital storefronts, and also served to be an easier to remember name as well as a more mature-sounding title than Battle-Cars, according to Hagewood; speaking on Rocket League's development in March 2016, Davis opined that Supersonic Acrobatic Rocket-Powered Battle-Cars was "the worst game name of all time".
Psyonix planned to continue to support Rocket League with downloadable content (DLC), intending to keep all gameplay updates free and only charging for cosmetic items. In November 2015, a free update added the ability to Mutate a match, allowing for a number of different custom presets and match settings, including a low gravity mode and a cubed ball, among other improvements and additions. Through this, Psyonix is able to offer custom game playlists to test out new modes or for holiday-themed events. For example, during the latter part of December 2015, Psyonix introduced an ice hockey-based mutation alongside a special event featuring holiday-themed decorative items, replacing the normal ball with a hockey puck, and changing the floor to ice. This mode proved very popular and was permanently added to the standard playlists on February 24, 2016. In February 2016, a new game playlist called Rocket Labs was added to offer new experimental maps to players as a means to gauge feedback and interest in a map before adding it to the game's standard map playlist. In April 2016, the developers added the basketball-based playlist to the standard playlists. A new Rumble mode, which adds unique power-ups on various maps, was released in September 2016.
The game's first DLC pack, titled Supersonic Fury, was released in August 2015, along with new arena Utopia Coliseum. It contains exclusive cosmetics, including two new cars, rocket boosts, wheels, five paint finishes, and twelve decals for both new cars. The same month, it was announced that Rocket League would be ported to macOS and Linux later that year, in order to run natively with SteamOS hardware; Rocket League and Portal 2 were part of incentives for those that pre-ordered a Steam Link, a Steam Controller, or a Steam Machine. The game's second DLC pack, titled Revenge of the Battle-Cars, was released in October 2015. The DLC adds two more cars from Supersonic Acrobatic Rocket-Powered Battle-Cars, along with exclusive cosmetics for both. In another event, players had a chance to collect six Halloween-themed items from October 18 to November 2. The game's third DLC pack, titled Chaos Run, was released in December 2015. The DLC added two more cars, along with more cosmetics. A new arena, called "Wasteland", was released for free alongside the DLC. The map is notable for being the first non-standard arena to be released, having a different size and shape than the others and inspired by the Mad Max films, the first of which Psyonix plans to release over time. 2b1af7f3a8