One more go... Rocket League

Every now and then a game just appears out of nowhere and takes the Internet by storm. Or some of the Internet at least. Some of the bits you personally read. What I'm trying to say is that a fair few people like, and are talking about, Rocket League. Because it is pretty damn good.

The PlayStation Plus monthly game collection can be hit and miss. A selection of 'free' content for a variety of systems. Sometimes it's games you have heard about but didn't grab, sometimes it's games you have heard about and remember paying full price for them at launch, but other times they are completely new to your gaming library.

For me, Rocket League was a complete unknown. Such an unknown in fact, that when I first saw the trailer for that month's game lineup, my reaction to it was "Oh, car football. Looks good. Probably won't bother with it though".

Probably won't bother. What the hell kind of gamer am I, huh?

So that video was just a few minutes of goal highlights, from the first two thirds of a single player season. There was easily three times as much that could have gone in, but I'm sure not going to watch a 20 minute Rocket League video when I could be playing it.

It is so easy to pick up, but so tricky to master. That's classic video game design. Get an audience on board, then give them just enough of a challenge to keep them around, and when they've got the hang of that, change just one value of the gameplay and another challenge of learning opens up.

Many people will jump into a 4v4 game, ignoring the tutorials. That's fine. You can learn on the job, so to speak. You'll get better, you'll discover tricks and quirks of the game. Then you'll see what 3v3 is like and it all changes. Suddenly you need to think about who is doing what on the field, and where you are in relation to your teammates and your opponents. And once you've got that down, try the 2v2 and 1v1 and the same things happens.

At the end of the day, skill matters. It matters because, thankfully, every single unlock is cosmetic, so you're going to have to have your wits about you in order to get a win. You might need to be first to the ball, but often you won't. You might think you need to hang back and defend your goal, but maybe your teammates will do a better job. You might think flying like an out of control balloon slowly losing air is pointless, but you're probably going to want to master that skill too. This of course affects the single player experience differently from the multiplayer one, so to prepare you for that, try altering the difficulty.

Be warned though, Rocket League doesn't mess around. 'Rookie 4v4' was like playing in the Sunday leagues compared to 'Pro 3v3', which was such a step up I'm still trying to get to grips with it. One fewer player per team, one higher difficulty level, back to boot camp I go to keep my skills fresh.

It's a nightmare of an addicting game. Short games, easy controls, lots of personality. You'll want to unlock the decals, flags, wheels and hats for your favourite car, because it's so easy to start doing so and you have fun doing it.

How long will the fun last? I don't know. I'll tell you after this next match...