Developer: Final Strike Games
Publisher: Electronic Arts
Genre: Online Shooter
Platform: PlayStation 4
Age Rating: Pegi 12
Release Date: 14/06/2020
A code was provided for review purposes.
Blasting Onto The Market
Rocket Arena exploded onto consoles and PC in early July, although you may not have felt the shockwave. EA released this new 3v3 online shooter with very little fanfare. I think I saw maybe two adverts for the game during its month of release. It may have had a short fuse but does Rocket Arena pack enough punch to make you take shelter?
Electronic Arts have quite the reputation for grinding their games through the money-making mangle. Rocket Arena is no different; with a purchase price of £24.99 and an extensive store of endless cosmetics to shell out on. The combination of a lackluster marketing campaign and a relatively high purchase price certainly did not help Rocket Arena in its first month. Through most of July I struggled to consistently find games and sat endlessly searching. Even with the game’s handy cross play feature enabled… I was left playing with my rockets alone.
Get It While You Can
The few games I got into were great, fast and frantic mayhem, but waiting twenty minutes between games soon killed my passion to play. It was clear there was fun to be had on Rocket Arena, it just wasn’t there yet. I decided to give it some time, wait a few weeks and let the first in-game season start, see if things picked up.
I don’t think the sales master over at EA was prepared to wait. In Rocket Arena’s second month, the game’s price has had a hugely reduced offer. This limited time deal may be a planned promotional event, it may be a desperate attempt to build a player base; either way it’s a bargain and makes great steps in bringing players to the game. It only took a month and a hefty price reduction but I can finally consistently find games!
Rocking The Arena
Rocket Arena is a third person 3v3 online shooter, and the name of the game is rockets, in more ways than one. Every character has bespoke rocket-based weaponry, an explosive basic attack and two special abilities. Your rockets can also be used as transport, blasting yourself across the map or up walls and structures to vantage points.
The game launched with ten starting characters; they are all pretty well-balanced and have varied play styles and abilities. Only one of each character can be on a team at any time so combining characters has certainly been planned and works rather well, although you will find yourself dashing for your favourite character on the select screen. None of the characters have really won me over, I like them all but I don’t love any of them yet.
Counting Up The Characters
Rocket Arena promises an ever growing roster of characters. The first season brought Flux, an excitable top grade science student with a penchant for cats. She is equipped with Rockats, which are guided bouncing bombs. A Black Hole Cat, which is a slow-moving hole that grows in scale and damage by absorbing incoming attacks. And last but not least, Fluxverse which allows Flux to temporarily hide from opponents in an alternate dimension.
There are four main ways to play Rocket Arena: social, ranked, private and practice. Practice allows you to test a character’s weapons and abilities against a single computer controlled Rocketbot in a small arena. Private can be used to set up a game between friends. Ranked matches increase your ranking in the current season to earn rewards and experience boosts. Social offers a small set of varying game modes to choose from and jump into.
How Many Games Can You Play With Rockets?
Rocket Arena’s default game modes currently include: Rocketball, pick up and score five goals with the rocketball to win; Treasure Hunt, which challenges you to hold a treasure chest and collect coins to claim victory; Mega Rocket, which is a point capture game, capturing five mega rockets will win your team the game, and Knockout is a plain deathmatch style game; KO opponents to score points and the highest team score wins when the timer ends.
Every new season also brings new maps and game modes or special themed variants. The first season has a pirate beach party theme and brought us two new maps including Lagoon of Doom, a small pirate arena full of plunder and cannons. Beach Ball is this season’s new game mode, basically Rocketball with a slightly different ball that allows it to be blasted towards its target as well as carried.
Rocket Arena’s gameplay is fun, fast and frantic. An average game is a mass of flying rockets and dashing characters. Smashing an opponent out the arena with a string of accurate attacks is very satisfying, every successful KO you make feels like a tiny victory.
Ranking Rocket Arena
Being on the receiving end of a string of attacks is not as fun but each character has a rechargeable dodge that can break a combo and allow you to triple jump to safety. Nobody dies in Rocket Arena, you simply get blasted out the play zone before floating back down to the fight. This gives Rocket Arena a friendly and playful vibe which I wouldn’t have immediately thought of when thinking about rocket-based combat.
It is a shame Rocket Arena didn’t get more of a promotional airstrike around its release. It also holds a fairly high price tag in a market saturated with popular free to play titles; this puts it in dangerous territory. But I enjoyed my time with Rocket Arena, it’s a fun game and has some real potential, I’ll certainly be playing it again. I just hope this game’s story is of success and not one of steady decline and inevitable server death.
Rapid Reviews Rating
You Can Buy Rocket Arena now At The PlayStation Store