Developed by Final Strike Games and published by EA Games, Rocket Arena is a third-person shooter centred around, you guessed it, rockets. The game was officially revealed by EA earlier this summer during their annual EA Play Live event.
The game’s premise is simple, choose your hero and master the art of the rocket through a variety of play styles, roster of heroes with highly competitive action.
Rocket Arena Details
Platforms: Xbox One, PlayStation 4 and PC
Reviewed on: PlayStation 4 Pro
Developer: Final Strike Games
Publisher: EA GAMES
Genre: Third-person shooter
Modes: Single-player and multiplayer
ESRB Rating: T (Teen)
While Rocket Arena shares many similarities with other third-person shooters and even Super Smash Bros. Melee, it takes the action a different route. Your key to victory is to K.O. your opponents by sending them flying into the Arena Bounds or by Megablasting them.
Each time you land a hit on your opponent, their Blast Meter increases. The higher their Blast Meter, the farther they fly. By completely filling your opponent’s Blast Meter, it puts them into a state called Megablast Danger. When in this state, only a small amount of damage is required to send your opponents flying out of the Arena and K.O.’ed.
Meet your squad
Rocket Arena includes ten characters, all with colourful personalities and their own unique gameplay. Final Strike Games could have taken the easy way out and just give everyone a rocket launcher and be done. Fortunately, they have equipped characters with a wide variety of creative variations including a shotgun that fires micro-missiles and a pirate who shoots a cannon.
Each character can equip artifacts, which give you boosts and bonuses including increased movement speed on the ground and extra knockout damage. In total, there are three slots per character and artifacts are earned just by playing the game.
Rocket Arena is home to many exotic locales
Rocket Arena ships with an assortment of 10 maps, which mostly feel well balanced. All are filled with hidden tricks and traps that you can use to your advantage. For example, Frostwind Grove has secret passageways to surprise your opponents. And, Star of Crater has rock formations that you can hide behind, providing cover from incoming rockets.
Being a 3v3 third-person shooter, I wasn’t expecting the maps to be huge. But, some of the maps feel small. There were times where no matter where I turned, I couldn’t get away from someone shooting at me. Final Strike is promising more maps and two are releasing on August 12, hopefully these will be a bit bigger in size.
Rocket Arena currently features five game modes: Knockout, Mega Rocket, Treasure Hunt, Rocketball and RocketBot Attack. Knockout is as the name implies, knock out as many opponents from the arena as possible. My favourite, Mega Rocket, has you defending and capturing Mega Rocket zones from the opposing team to score points.
Treasure Hunt is unique in that you need to pick up and protect a treasure chest to earn points. Additional points can be earned by collecting the many coins that are scattered around the map. On the other hand, Rocketball is a race to grab the ball and score either by running, throwing, or blasting it into your opponent’s goal.
Finally, RocketBot Attack is a PvE mode where you and your teammates try to survive waves of attacks from RocketBots. Seeing as Rocket Arena is a Live Service game, you can probably count on seeing more game modes in the future.
Stylized pixar-esque visuals
Visually, Rocket Arena isn’t going to impress anyone. And, that’s ok because it doesn’t have to. The game is filled with colourful graphics and stylized pixar-esque visuals that fit the game well. Characters are well animated and all though the arenas are small they are well designed.
Along with the colourful graphics and stylized design, the characters themselves are voiced well and are unique. Audio wise, while playing with headphones , I was easily able to identify where my opponents were coming from.
Rocket Arena is a charming third-person shooter that is a bit rough around the edges
Rocket Arena‘s core gameplay is entertaining and I feel that, given time, the game has the potential to evolve and blossom into something even better. In its current state, I found that playing anywhere from 30 to 60 minutes gave me the most enjoyment. Anything more than that and I started to feel the repetition in gameplay set in.
While the characters are colourful and unique, none of them were really that memorable. Maps are varied but are small, some too small. Again, all of this can change over time. Currently, Rocket Arena is an enjoyable game that is a bit rough around the edges.
With that being said, if you are looking for a third-person shooter without all the gore and violence with a unique twist and are willing to give it time to grow, Rocket Arena is a good choice.
+ Colourful and well animated visuals
+ Intuitive gameplay
+ Fun to play with others
+ Variety of different modes
+ Cross-play support
– Some maps are too small
– Characters aren’t memorable
– Gameplay gets repetitive in a relatively short period of time
OVERALL ASSESSMENT OF ROCKET ARENA
Lasting Appeal/Replayability: 4/5