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Rocket Arena – Hope dies last. Review / Games


Genre Action
Publisher Electronic Arts
Developer Final Strike Games
Minimum Requirements Intel Core i3-530 2.93 GHz / AMD Phenom X3 8650 2.3 GHz processor, 4 GB RAM, DirectX 11 graphics card and 1 GB memory, such as NVIDIA GeForce GTX 460 / AMD Radeon HD 4850, 30 GB HDD , internet connection and Origin account
Recommended Requirements Intel Core i5-670 3.46 GHz / AMD Phenom II X3 740 3.0 GHz, 6 GB RAM, DirectX 11 graphics card and 4 GB or 6 GB memory, such as NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 / AMD Radeon RX 480
release date July 14, 2020
Age qualification from 12 years old
Platforms PC, PlayStation 4, Xbox One
Official site

Played on PS4

The emergence of new competitive shooters, which publishers dare to distribute outside the shareware model, is often received with hostility. It’s not so much about unwillingness to pay – it’s not a pity to give money for a good thing. The fact is that paid competitive games (especially in a crowded market) run the risk of not gaining the critical mass of users necessary for further support and development. There are lots of examples: Battleborn, LawBreakers, Bleeding Edge … Some of them are made free after realizing failure, but it happens too late.

⇡ #New fighter

It’s hard to say what will happen to Electronic Arts’ Rocket Arena in the future, because it costs $ 30 for the West and as much as 1,999 rubles on Russian Steam. Nowadays, the game rarely has more than 400 concurrent users on the Valve platform, but the project is also available on Origin and on home consoles. On PS4, matches are found quite quickly (both fast and rated), and if it ever gets really tough, you can enable crossplay in the options and search for players from all platforms. Console players are not afraid of “computer” ones – according to my observations, playing with a gamepad is no more difficult here than with a mouse and keyboard.

It is easy to understand that the character is on the verge of death - and the scale below fills up, and red stains appear in the corners

It is easy to understand that the character is on the verge of death – and the scale below fills up, and red stains appear in the corners

I would like to believe in the success of Rocket Arena for many reasons. At least because the idea of ​​the game does not seem to be hackneyed, although it resembles an action version of the fighting game Super Smash Bros. Two teams of three fight each other in short matches, the rules of which depend on the mode: in “Bouncers” you have to eliminate more opponents than the enemy three, in “Rocket” – take the ball in the center of the map and throw it into someone else’s goal, in “Treasure Hunt” is to collect coins, and in “Megaraket” you need to hold points that appear in random places.

And in any mode, the participants in the match will have to run, jump and shoot a lot. Before the start of the fight, everyone chooses heroes – each has a main weapon, two special moves (recovering within a few seconds after use) and the ability to dodge danger. Rocket is present in the name of the game for a reason – the main gun of each character is a rocket launcher, but they are arranged differently for everyone: they shoot large projectiles, fire small exploding missiles, require holding the button to load, and so on.

The faster you master the weapon’s features, the better the results will be.

To defeat your opponent, you need to shoot at him several times, and each hit will push him further and further. There are two ways to eliminate the enemy: either push it out of the map, or bring health to a critical minimum and deliver a finishing blow. The first happens rarely – usually everyone climbs the nearest wall with “rocket jumps” and saves themselves. Therefore, basically all destroy each other using standard methods, throwing shells to the bitter end. All this really resembles Super Smash Bros., but does not seem to be a copy – the genre is completely different.

⇡ #Fighting without fights

The idea seems to be simple, but getting out of Rocket Arena is difficult. Every day I started the game in order to complete daily tasks and get currency for them, but in the end I continued to search for matches one after another even after the completion of the “daily”. There are many reasons: the visual style is nice (and not boring, and not jerky), and the controls are convenient, and the mechanics are interesting – it’s especially great that all heroes have a triple jump, which makes it easy and pleasant to move around the maps. While there are ten characters in the game, and there are no frankly bad or simple ones among them – everyone is interesting to study in order to find a favorite and then hone their skills.

Personally, I immediately liked Amphora – its weapon fires after holding the corresponding button, and the longer you hold it, the higher the projectile speed and damage. In the fighter’s arsenal there are three bouncing mines that aim at the nearest target, as well as the ability to turn into a stream of water and transform into a water whirlwind, throwing opponents high up. Good and Topnotch, causing rocket salvos and a cascade of artillery shells. Kayi is also an interesting character who shoots a crossbow and is able to create a field that slows down enemy projectiles. They are all played differently, charismatic and well animated.

A successfully executed combo produces the desired result

You can improve the characteristics of heroes with the help of artifacts that make the chosen tactics more winning and deadly. If you want to move faster around the map – one artifact increases your running speed, the other speeds up movement after being eliminated and returning to the arena. If you want to use abilities more often – special artifacts will reduce their recharge time. If you find benefit in random objects scattered around the map (bomb, mine, temporary acceleration, magnet attracting missiles), you can increase the chances of getting them. There are plenty of options, and the more often you wear artifacts, the more powerful they become.

The main surprise was that from the very beginning there were already ten cards in the game. And this is not somehow cobbled together for the sake of the number of locations – they are completely different from each other (one under water, another in the jungle, the third in the snow, the fourth as if taken from a cartoon western …) and require different tactics depending on the mode. For example, in the “Rocket ball” mode, this very ball can lie in an open area or in a cave with a low ceiling, and you will have to get to the gate either by going around one post or jumping over rocks. So even when two times in a row I have to play by the same rules, the matches will be completely different.

Although something is constantly exploding in the game and shells are flying in different directions, the effects do not interfere and it is always easy to understand what is happening

Although something is constantly exploding in the game and shells are flying in different directions, the effects do not interfere: it is always easy to understand what is happening

Rocket Arena was not tested before its release by the audience, and the developers themselves, alas, have not yet managed to find the perfect balance. Most of the problems are related to the “Rocket Ball” – the Amphora mentioned above can turn into a stream of water, get close to the ball and soar up at the first opportunity, gaining a great advantage. If an experienced Amphora is only in one team, the outcome of the match is usually predetermined even before the start. Among the other characters, there are also those who seem to be somewhat stronger than the rest, but this is not yet so obvious.

In general, the game is excellent, original and fresh. The only question is how many weeks it will last and whether it has a chance of survival. Of course, among the multiplayer fun there are a lot of those that were launched with a price tag and still have not got rid of it: For Honor, Rainbow Six Siege, Overwatch, Rocket League. But all of the above, except for the Rocket League, were actively supported and promoted by large publishers, and the latter was distributed right at the start on PS Plus. Neither one nor the other in the case of Rocket Arena happened, although there were attempts – EA sponsored the tournament on Twitch, inviting eminent streamers, but it is difficult to say if this somehow affected sales.

All heroes have a dozen alternate outfits, but almost all of them are colored versions of the standard skins. There is practically nothing unusual (yet)

All heroes have a dozen alternate outfits, but almost all of them are colored versions of the standard skins. There is practically nothing unusual (yet)

Final Strike Games has clearly put a lot of effort into Rocket Arena. There are interesting characters, a dozen beautiful maps, several modes (of varying degrees of quality, but still). With monetization, everything is more or less good – they give out tons of currency for the purchase of cosmetic items, there are no loot boxes, and the upcoming heroes will be available to all owners of the game for free. Unless a battle pass was introduced – buyers of an expensive edition can get it at no additional cost, the rest will be asked for about 799 rubles. But there will be nothing special there either, except for costumes and jewelry.

***

Rocket Arena is a fun multiplayer game with an unusual idea and charming style. Those who have already gotten involved will probably continue to spend time in it: the launch of a full-fledged rating mode (for now, you just earn levels in it), the start of the first season with a battle pass, and the appearance of a new character. But it is not known whether the audience will actively and rapidly grow. Be that as it may, this will not affect the quality of the action in any way – the same LawBreakers was a great shooter, but she was not lucky with a user base. Rocket Arena may not take off either, but would love to see it succeed in the foreseeable future.

Advantages:

  • non-standard game mechanics make matches exciting;
  • unique characters with very different abilities from each other;
  • due to the large number of cards and the presence of several modes, the game does not get bored for a long time;
  • artifacts allow you to build a suitable assembly for yourself;
  • support for cross-platform multiplayer.

Disadvantages:

  • some balance problems;
  • due to the price, the game may not be able to quickly gather a large audience.

Graphic arts

Nice cartoon visual style: charismatic cute heroes, detailed and varied maps.

Sound

This is not the type of shooter where you need to listen to other people’s steps and try not to make noise yourself. Enough fun music, and it’s full of it.

Single player game

Not provided, except that you can participate in matches against bots and hone skills for different heroes.

Collective game

Today, regular matches and pre-season preparation for rating are available – the difference is not large, just in the second case you increase your skill level and more often meet with the same experienced players.

General impression

A fun and unusual action game that could easily become a hit thanks to its non-standard game mechanics and addictive gameplay. But so far it is difficult to say how the need to spend money on the purchase will affect his fate.

Rating: 8.0 / 10

More details about system estimates

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