It’s fair to say that when Rocket League first appeared people weren’t expecting much, the PS4’s PS Plus offerings weren’t exactly brimming with amazing titles, solid perhaps, but not amazing. That was until Rocket League came along and completely flipped the script, it was available completely free for PS Plus subscribers, and launched on PC at the same time, it’s popularity deservedly skyrocketed. It was brilliant, what wouldn’t be about car football?
Now, all this time later all everyone says when a new Games is announced is ‘Is there a Switch version planned?’ and you can understand their enthusiasm. The Switch is a great console, allowing for similar experiences both at home and out and about, but does it’s power hold it back from competing with the big boys in the biggest titles? On the evidence of Rocket League, yes, but also no.
Now, it shouldn’t be considered out of bounds to say the Switch isn’t the most powerful console around right now, so you shouldn’t expect ports from PS4 and XB1 to b comparable to the original, and Rocket League isn’t. There’s a sub HD resolution in both docked and portable modes with little to no anti-aliasing, what is impressive though is the level-of-detail scaling, which is made incredibly obvious as walls, cars and the ball itself get considerably more detailed the closer to them you get. Rocket League itself isn’t the most visibly strenuous game, but considering it HAS to target 60fps in both docked and handheld modes to facilitate cross platform multiplayer (without PlayStation obviously) a concession needed to be made to ensure it, and in this case it was resolution.
Don’t go thinking this is the end of the world though, yes it does look a bit rough around the edges, no there aren’t any shadows, but this IS Rocket League, and everything bar the looks has transferred over exactly as it should. Snow Days is there, as well as the Hoops Basketball mode, and it all feels and sounds exactly like it’s bigger console cousins. The rougher looks are almost unnoticeable in motion, so you really are getting the full-fat game here with absolutely zero gameplay concessions, what more could you ask for?
If the answer to the previous question was split screen play in portable mode, then you’ve got your wish. Two players can play split-screen just like any other 2 player racing game (*cough* Mario Kart) with a Joy-Con each, you can also play with your friends online, with a suite of invite and multiplayer options that puts Nintendo’s own Splatoon to shame. I guess that it should be noted that the Switch’s lack of easily available voice chat means organising and chatting with friends is a bit more of a faff than the other versions, but this is small beans in an otherwise excellent package.
It’s become a bit cliche to call a game ‘perfect for Switch’ and for a change, while Rocket League is welcome, it isn’t a perfect fit for Switch. Panic Button has done a stellar job transposing the game onto a lesser powered format with the main nagging concession being aesthetics. If you don’t own Rocket League already then this is a no brainer, it’s excellent, always was and always will be, but this is not the definitive home for it. It’s still a fantastic game though and don’t let anyone tell you otherwise.
A great port
The full range of modes
Great work on scaling the game
No easily available voice chat