Get off the bench, sporty game folks. Electronic Arts' upcoming competitive team dodgeball game Knockout City is coming up next week and they've gone and made it free to play for the first ten days after launch. A couple of the RPS crew have already had a decent time trying it earlier this year, so it may be one you'll want to jump in on. EA have queued up quite a few events during the free trial period, and are kicking off the first of KOC's seasons then too. They've just announced what all you can get up to starting on May 21st.
EA say that you'll have access to the entire game during the free trial, not just a subset of maps or activities. It is a team-based competitive game, so that'll involve teaming up with friends across platforms, unlocking cosmetic items, and participating in four different game style playlists.
EA are calling the first ten days of KOC their Block Party including a couple days where the developers will be matching up against players on Twitch and a community tournament as well. Knockout's first season begins on May 25th, also during the trial period, which will add a new map, various "contract" types, and league play. You can get the rest of the details on the trial and activities on EA's announcement.
Colm and Ed have both given KOC a go earlier this year and came away optimistic about it. You can hear Colm explain it up there in a video from February. Ed wrote up a Knockout City preview around the same time. He explains there's actually a decent amount of skill involved in how and when you throw your dodgeballs, and that the imagined weight of it feels swell too.
"I also need to give a shout out to the fake throw," Ed says. "It's another super simple act, but I got flashes of evil glee as I feigned a fling and watched my opponent instinctively clap the air in a panic, trying to catch a ball that did not come. There are other tricks too, like the ability to curve balls like haymakers, or do an up-and-over lob to bypass obstacles."
Ed also talked about how the skills for KOC are less about precision aim—you lock onto targets when you're getting to throw—and more about making those quick decisions about what style of throw to use and where on the map to be. As bad shooty game person who hates missing out on the latest team-based trends, that sounds pretty swell to me. It also made it on RPS's list of top ten PC games for May.
The free trial period for Knockout City starts at launch on May 21st at 1pm BST (5am PST) and runs through May 30th at the same time.