Rocket League has been available on other platforms for nearly 2 years now and has grown exponentially in popularity and content. The simple premise of playing soccer matches with acrobatic jumping cars seems silly at first, but it works so well it’s hard to imagine the concept didn’t become popular until recently. Rocket League on the Nintendo Switch carries over that experience remarkably well with the only compromises being graphical in nature. This is the complete Rocket League experience on Nintendo’s smallest console.
Not Your Typical Sports Game
Rocket League is all about playing soccer with physics-defying vehicles. These vehicles can jump, fly, drive on walls, and make all kinds of flips. Games can be played on the ground or in the air, depending on the skill of the players in the match. Understanding how to play and getting the hang of the game is mostly accessible to all kinds of players, but what makes Rocket League’s car-soccer concept special is the ability to get better. Skillful players will learn how to use the game’s boosting, flying, and flipping mechanics to make incredible passed, shots, and goals. It’s exciting to see how players of different skill levels play the same game so differently within the same rules.
A Compromise for Performance
Rocket League on Nintendo Switch is not the prettiest version, especially when compared to the other consoles. The game runs at 720p when docked and at a lower resolution when in handheld. There is a severe lack of aliasing, causing stages to look jagged depending on how detailed they are. Performance while docked is a stable 60 FPS. Handheld mode maintains a solid 60 FPS most of the time, but there are frame dips when things get intense. At first, the graphics and small frame dips bothered me but after several matches in docked and handheld mode, they weren’t an issue. Rocket League is a fast-paced game, and when you’re driving and jumping around at high speeds, the last thing you’re going to do is stop to notice a blurry texture or a jaggy asset. These graphical compromises were made for a smooth experience, both docked and in handheld, and I think they nailed it.
More Than Just Car-Soccer
Rocket League features cross-platform play with PC and Xbox One players, meaning you’ll always have someone to play with if the Switch population doesn’t grow. Rocket League is one of the most robust multiplayer experiences available on the Nintendo Switch right now with its own in-game invite-party system, text chat, and dedicated servers. There are a variety of multiplayer modes to choose from like Soccar, Hoops (essentially Basketball), and Rumble Socarr with Mario Kart items). You can play in casual modes or ranked modes to compete with players of similar skill level. There’s also 4 player split-screen while docked, and 2 player split-screen in handheld. If you’re offline, you can play all of these modes with bots and still earn XP and cosmetic items as you would normally.
Rocket League features a cosmetic system, allowing you to customize every aspect of your car with silly hats, antennas, and designs. The Nintendo Switch version has exclusive Nintendo themed accessories and vehicles like Mario’s hat or a Samus’ inspired car. Rocket League also features it’s own loot-box system for special/rare cosmetic items. You earn accessories and crates as you complete matches. Opening crates for those rare items is done with keys you can purchase with real money. Rocket League has DLC in the form of new stages, cars, and accessories. Some notable ones being the Batmobile and the Delorean from Back to the Future. What’s so great about Rocket League’s microtransactions is that they are completely optional and cosmetic, they do not directly interfere with gameplay. They’re for those who want more from a game that already features plenty of content to begin with.
Rocket League on Nintendo Switch is the complete rocket-powered car soccer experience. Being able to play it portably is an undeniable advantage over the other versions that makes the graphical compromises make sense. Psyonix has demonstrated nothing but complete support for Rocket League by consistently updating and adding more content throughout the game’s life. Rocket League is one of my favorite games of this generation, and I’m glad to have it anywhere I go on Nintendo’s hybrid console. Rocket League is available now on the Nintendo eShop for $19.99.
Review Copy Provided by Psyonix