Psyonix were at E3 2019 showing off their latest event, Radical Summer, or as we should think of it down under, a tribute to the 80’s and I was lucky enough to go hands on with the games director and other members of the team.
The first thing we did, was have a look at the sheer number of items that are coming as part of the event, Spike Rush was the mode that we played first and its out July 1st for all gamers to enjoy. As part of that mode, after the game begins, all the cars have spikes that shoot out of them and when the ball lands on your car, it sticks there. The downside is that when the ball is stuck on you, you are not able to boost, but you can jump at least and thankfully you can click in the right stick, to retract your spikes, if only for a moment, letting you flick the ball away from you, if you time it with a jump. The reason for that is something you will come to understand very quickly, as if you have the ball stuck to you and you or the ball are touched by the opposing team, you explode.
The mode proved to be as chaotic as you might expect, with cars blowing up all over the place, cars looking like they drove off the set of Mad-Max and the sheer frantic nature of trying to score without boost, and you know what, it was fun as heck. While the normal matches can max out at 4v4, Spike Rush is 3v3, which might sound like it limits things, but thankfully no, it just keeps the action going, it was almost constantly, that cars were exploding all over the place, which kept the action focused on that and the attempting to score, rather than the limited player count.
After my team won Spike Rush, I did score the first goal, before quickly falling to the bottom of the group, we changed things up and started up a game of Beach Ball, which uses, you guessed it a beach ball. The catch is that this is a 2v2 game mode, where the ball is larger than the normal ball, curves at random and is impacted by the lower gravity mod that is turned on for it. What this means is that, the perfect shot you made for goal, might end up no where near it, which did happen several times in the games I played of it. If you have ever tried to play a game of beach volleyball, then you will understand how the ball never goes exactly where you want it to, and it is the case here as well. There were times when the ball would be thrown towards the end of the pitch near the goals, but then start to curve towards the goals themselves, the opposite of what was happening before and it was in these moments that me and the others in my team, would start to get excited, usually only for the ball to curve even more and shoot out to the side.
Both modes are only around for a limited time, but the 80’s love fest will remain, as long as you pick up the items during it and while the event it happening now for classic 80’s movies, like Ghostbusters, Back to the Future and more, if you happen to miss anything form it, during the final weeks, all items will rotate back in for you to have another chance at picking them up.
As someone who does not play a lot of Rocket League, I honestly had a blast playing these modes, Spike Rush is clearly a mode that was designed to be as chaotic as possible and I love it. The modified Beach Ball mode will clearly have its fans, the randomness of the game will keep people guessing and that is always a good thing, so when both go live, get in and start playing, I know I will be.