There are oodles of online multiplayer games available to enjoy so let's see if Rocket Arena propels itself above its competition.
When I watched the trailer for Rocket Arena, I was pleasantly surprised by its cheerful aesthetic, colourful visuals, and exciting-looking gameplay. Now that I've played it, I must say that I'm slightly disappointed although it's still an undeniably fun experience. For the unfamiliar, it's basically a 3-vs-3 team-based competitive online game that takes elements from Super Smash Bros. and third-person shooters to create a unique formula. Specifically, your primary objective is to not get fired out of the arena and as you get shot, a gauge fills that makes you more sensitive to being knocked around. Plus, if you ever fly outside of the arena yet remain inside the playfield then you can shoot down in order to propel yourself back into action while avoiding falling into the abyss below. This formula is definitely unique enough to set Rocket Arena apart from similar games but does it remain enjoyable for extended periods of time?
Before discussing more about its gameplay, let me just say that Rocket Arena looks great with its upbeat cast of characters, lovely environments, and nifty effects. I appreciate the fact that the characters are very well-animated and expressive while the stage designs feature an impressive amount of complexity and verticality that makes being able to remain aware of your surroundings a substantial part of the challenge. With all of that being said, the cast of characters is rather small and every character is human-like which made me wish that the developers offered more variety. For example, they could have included robots, aliens, and maybe even a bear like me. In fact, most of the characters in Rocket Arena sort of blend together with their somewhat generic Disney-like qualities.
The core gameplay of Rocket Arena essentially involves running and jumping around while aiming and shooting at your opponents. In order to traverse the intricate stages, you can triple-jump as well as fire your gun down which provides a boost as well as allows you to scale walls. In addition to shooting, you can also deploy a couple character-specific special abilities, dodge to evade incoming attacks, and use item pick-ups which offer some interesting boosts. It all comes together to form an intuitive formula that's quite fun at first. However, after playing it for about an hour, I started to get tired of its gameplay which begins to feel sterile as it tends to play it safe in almost every regard. I would have liked to experience more than getting knocked around while going through the motions.
Thankfully, Rocket Arena features a few modes that help mix up its otherwise typical gameplay. First, there are Treasure Hunt matches where you claim a chest and get awarded points for how long you hold onto it then you collect as many coins as you can which are scattered around the arena. Next, there's a sports mode called Rocketball which plays a lot like handball where you try and throw a ball into your opponents' goal. Of course, there are standard battle royal matches, too, and a capture-the-zone mode called Mega Rocket. Although these modes add variety, I found that some arenas don't particularly complement every mode well. For example, Treasure Hunt can be annoying to play within confined environments while Mega Rocket isn't as fun in the more open stages.
As I played Rocket Arena, my enthusiasm for its gameplay drained while the sterile nature of it all gradually reared its ugly head. There's certainly some fun to be had but you likely won't enjoy it for as long as its genre competitors.
- + Frantic yet intuitive gameplay that's quite fun to play via online multiplayer
- + Colourful and well-animated visuals
- + Different modes help mix things up
- - Gameplay becomes stale rather quickly
- - Characters aren't all that interesting
- - Not all arenas complement every mode well