Game Of The Month: August – Rocket League

Game Of The Month rises again, reborn for another 28-31 days of answering timeless questions such as, “What do I do if I don’t have time to play everything I want?” Answer: play just one thing. And “what one game should I play if I only play one thing?” Answer: for the month of August, car-to-ball multiplayer game Rocket League [official site].

Rocket League is both the perfect RPS game and a huge surprise: it’s about cars and footballs, about which most of us don’t care, but it’s so ridiculous and joyful and carefully designed that it’s gripped almost all of us. We’ll have an RPS verdict up later tonight to explain why in more detail, but in the meantime you can already read Adam’s Rocket League review or gaze upon Pip’s lovely screenshots.

Why is August’s game a game that was released in July?

We want to be able to play the games we choose as Game of the Month, not speculatively guess at what might be worth your time. That means that the games we choose will already be out, and in some cases may have been released years ago if they have suddenly become relevant again. It also means you can start playing the game we pick immediately if you so choose. We explain this every month and people still seem confused.

Have you guys done this before?

Yes. We’ve so far included Cities: Skylines, Grand Theft Auto V, Invisible, Inc and Her Story. That’s quite a nice bunch of games. All of their respective features and GOTM coverage can be read here.

Talk about how much fun cars and balls are in the comments, eh?

33 Comments

  1. Brighdaasa says:

    You could avoid the months confusion by posting the game of the month July on the last (working)day of July instead of on the first (working)day of August.

    • Beefenstein says:

      They could just forge the date of the post and make it Novembruary of the year 0. It’s the game of the month. Which month? This month. And that’s that.

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      Graham Smith says:

      The one game that you /should/ have been playing last month but now it’s too late? Award.

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        DelrueOfDetroit says:

        How about an end of the month column for the worst game of the month. Call it “Who Else Wasted Their Time On This Bullshit?” (or whatever is UK for bullshit)

        • Beefenstein says:

          And every month make it that previous month’s Game of the Month to mock readers.

      • Barberetti says:

        Game of the Previous Month?

  2. eljueta says:

    It is also my game of the month and a GOTY contender. Mechanically it’s so good that you almost never feel you’ve been beaten by sheer luck, and you know more or less where you messed up or what you could’ve done better (if you had the skill).

    I hope future patches bring more content, like league modes. Also a commentator would be spectacular :D

    • Gnoupi says:

      A commentator slot for a spectator to join with an open mic speaking to both teams would be fun.

      Or, you know, the commentators from Chaos League or Blood Bowl.

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      SuddenSight says:

      LIES. Flying car physics can only be mastered by a combination of dark magic and baby’s blood. Us mere mortals can only sign satanic chants in the hopes that our depth perception does not fail us.

  3. Premium User Badge

    Mr. Anderson says:

    Did they fix all the server issues yet?
    I’m interested in buying it but apparently there is lot of rubber banding, lag and disconnecting going on. Especially on the EU servers.

    • Gnoupi says:

      I started the game one week after release (exactly during a big maintenance evening which was made to fix a lot of online issues), and I haven’t had problems playing since on EU.

      3 times (out of maaaany games) I had a case of a bit too high ping, and unpleasant rubberbanding. In this case, don’t bother, it’s your connection to this particular game server. If you stay, the same physical server will host also your next game, so don’t bother. Leave and go back to the matchmaker, and you should find a fine one.

      So I don’t know about others, but I haven’t really encountered the level of online problems other people report.

      • geisler says:

        You’ve either been very lucky or have another definition of “maaaaany” games. I have around 60 hours since release, and about 40% of games or “attempts” at games have had some kind of problems related to their connection with the server (either the rubberbanding or queuing problems which were very common the first 2 weeks). I have 5 other people with which i play regularly, and all of them are from around central Europe (UK, NL, BE), and they have experienced just the same.

        This last week we’ve been playing on US, no problems at all.

        • draglikepull says:

          I’ve played I’d guess about 100 games or so, and I’ve had rubberbanding/lag problems in maybe 10-20 of them? It’s a real problem that anyone who plays will definitely encounter, but in my experience most games run without a hitch.

  4. anHorse says:

    Sure the game is mechanically great but I don’t think an online game with online functionality as bad as RL’s should be getting awards

    • Beefenstein says:

      I got a steam refund because last weekend the game was unplayable for me, cars taking a second or so to ‘reset’ in their position and just being pulled around. I applied for the refund before I read that the NA servers might be a better choice.

      I’ve seen comments about ‘rubberbanding’ on here — to me that means Mario Kart and other such racers where the slower drivers get shepherded towards those in the lead to keep it feeling competitive. What does it mean in the context of an online game?

      • Gnoupi says:

        In this case, I think they mean that since you miss updates on the correct time, the game engine compensates for the missing information by “guessing” the position of the ball and the opponents, based on the outdated data. Then it actually receives the updated data, and the game corrects positions, which gives the impression that entities move on a rubber band.

      • doodadnox says:

        I’ve put in a ton of hours on the NA servers and maybe 1/20 games gets absolutely ruined by rubber-banding inducing lag. It MUST be a location thing. Unfortunate problem for such a wildly entertaining game.

        • Spluff says:

          I rarely get issues on the Oceania server, beyond a few seconds of rubberbanding in every couple of games.

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    Hodge says:

    Woo, called it.

    The existence of this makes me doubly pissed off that my house’s Internet connection got cut off a few weeks ago. It’s the first online game in years that’s made me want to dive in and have a proper crack at it and I can’t play the bloody thing :(.

    • Gnoupi says:

      Spend time on the all-star training in the meantime, then crush everyone when you recover your internet connection.

      Also, the bots are not bad at all.

      • Tacroy says:

        I’ve definitely had times in Doubles where my partner left and I breathed a sigh of relief – the AI is slightly better than about 30% of the player base.

        • Spluff says:

          It’s pretty good lining up shots on goal but pretty awful at almost everything else, I find.

      • Drumclem says:

        Well except those in my team I suppose…

        Just won my first 3v3 in Medium training mode. I FEEL INVINCIBLE.

  6. cristoffson says:

    Sadly, being in South America I get pings over 150 and up to 300 on any match, which is sometimes a big problem. They said they will open servers in Latin America, so I’ll definitely come back and check on it once that’s implemented.

  7. Honigsenf says:

    mta carball ( <- guess rocket league is a lot inspired by this ) insider news ! ;)

    the script for a nearly perfect mta carball game was sold just at the moment carball gets popular
    link to forum.neon-gaming.de

    • soundofvictory says:

      Maybe? But I doubt it. Rocket League is the sequel to 2007’s PS3 exclusive: Supersonic Acrobatic Rocket Powered Battle Cars.

  8. Xzi says:

    It is a very well-made game. Even if its just a leftover from the console version, being able to play with a friend via multi-controller support either offline or online is wonderful. Very rare in PC games. It’s also one of those games at the top of my list every time when I’m deciding what to play.

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    Aerothorn says:

    So, Pillars of Eternity for September, then?

  10. malkav11 says:

    So…any plans to ever do any Game of the Month content for Her Story? Because as far as I can tell you declared it Game of the Month and that was it. Which is fair enough, I suppose. Wouldn’t be anything wrong with just declaring a Game of the Month each month and leaving it at that. But I thought the goal with this feature was to use it as an excuse to do a bunch of additional coverage of the elected GOTM?