Reviews - Updated on April 3, 2022

Thanks to FIFA’s annual lucrative pipeline, Electronic Arts is able to allocate budgets to original multiplayer projects whose chances of survival are in question. The recent Rocket Arena was an unusual game, a kind of Super Smash Bros. in action format, only without popular heroes. But at the start, they made so many mistakes that attempts to gain an audience again did not work. After a few hours in the “beta” Knockout City, it seems that the game can repeat the fate of the breathing Rocket Arena, but it still has more chances for success.

Easy to learn but…

Two teams of three meet in a match and play dodgeball. Balls (both regular and special) are scattered all over the map, and the task of the participants is to pick up these balls and throw them at opponents. Each player has two health, so it takes two hits to kill. Despite the presence of auto-aim, skillful bouncers cannot be defeated by simple methods – there are enough mechanics to constantly learn something new and perform better in every match.

The character has a fairly large number of abilities, which are perfectly described by a series of training levels. The ball can be thrown, having previously charged the force of the throw. But you can not just launch it at the target, but do it beautifully by performing a somersault (for a hinged throw) or a turn (for a twisted one). In the first case, you can throw the ball over a high barrier, and in the second case, it will go around a column or other obstacle.

Knockout City: Beta Preview

The color of the symbol on the back indicates which team you belong to in this match.

It seems to be a simple mechanic on paper, and all this is done with a couple of clicks, but after an exact hit you get a huge buzz. You wounded the enemy, dodged his oncoming attack (this can be done with a separate jerk button – you push enemies with it), and he ran away behind the barrier. You grab his ball, which he did not take, charge the attack and throw it in time after the somersault, earning a point for your team.

These moments are very cool, and the size of the maps allows you to find yourself in exciting situations quite often. Other mechanics also contribute to this, including the ability to grab someone else’s ball on the approach – an increasing red frame on the sides of the screen warns of an attack. If you want, exchange the ball with your opponent for a long time until a third player joins and ruins your holiday. And you can also make deceptive movements so that the opponent prepares to grab the ball ahead of time and becomes defenseless for a while.

Throw it – get it back.

But the most interesting thing is the ability to take the shape of the ball yourself. Curled up, you start rolling on the ground in the hope that someone will pick you up. This is where Knockout City begins to reward team play – the “human ball” is stronger (kills on the first hit), and it can be turned into a real bomb by holding the throw button for a long time.

A well-coordinated team is the key to success.

This mechanic works, and works great. There are a limited number of balls on the map – some are already held by players, others are lying around in the corners, and others have reappeared in certain areas. Therefore, when a serious batch begins, the shells may not be enough. And then you join the fight: you roll up, roll towards a teammate, he automatically picks you up (and often he is not ready for this – not everyone has figured out the mechanics yet) and defeats someone with your help. You can repeat the process or run away and eliminate the new target yourself – there are plenty of options.

The enemy can also grab you while you are in ball form. Some try to throw the opponent out of the map, but the glider saves.

My own director

The fact that the game allows you to generate interesting moments on the fly, when you quickly react to events and emerge victorious from them, is the main reason why Knockout League is unlikely to quickly lose the audience. So far, a lot of it seems thoughtful. Matches are short enough to make you want to participate in one more, waking up as a result in the late evening. There are no heroes with unique abilities – everyone is equal, like in Rocket League, so your knowledge is not scattered on different characters that someone on the team can take earlier.

The conditions and rules also generally do not change – the difference lies only in special balls. They, like ordinary ones, appear in certain places. These can be bomb balls ticking in the hands and exploding after a few seconds. Or cell balls – the target they hit takes the shape of a ball and cannot get out of it. Or sniper balls – they can be sent over long distances. There is only one type of special balls on the map, so matches do not turn into chaos with “randomness”, but this brings the necessary variety.

Knockout City: Beta Preview

Among the maps there is a city with moving cars, and construction, and the roofs of skyscrapers.

All of the above mechanics work especially well in the fights between two well-coordinated teams that have been trained and do not get confused in the buttons. Therefore, I really want to wait for the launch of the full version and plunge into the rating mode – it is not available in the “beta”, but, judging by the menu, they will not delay it for a long time after the release. Plus, they will allow you to assemble a squad in a special section of the menu – it is not necessary to look for allies on third-party sites.

In addition to the main mode, there are others. For example, a one-on-one fight, which is more suitable for figuring out with a friend which of you is cooler. Or “Diamond Rush” – almost the same as the usual three by three, only diamonds fall out of defeated enemies that need to be collected. But bonus entertainment is not as interesting as the standard mode, where the bulk of the players will gather.

Knockout City: Beta Preview

The character is shown frequently, so customization is important. There are many options here.

So far, Knockout City’s only potential problem is the price tag. It’s lower than Rocket Arena ($20, like Fall Guys), but you still need a lot of support from streamers, otherwise sad history will repeat itself. Yes, and without microtransactions will not do, albeit cosmetic. There are many opportunities for customization: faces, hairstyles, glasses, gloves, costumes, gliders (open in the air), and all sorts of taunts and poses. The visual style, judging by the reviews, did not appeal to everyone, but it is bright and quite suitable for a game with such dynamic gameplay.

If we compare Knockout City with Rocket Arena (although this is not entirely correct – the games have a different approach to gameplay), then the first one seems more promising. It’s easier to figure it out, you don’t have to remember which hero can do what and which card is best suited for. And the price is lower (although in a good way it would be better not to have it at all). Solely because of the distribution model, it is difficult to predict the fate of the game – it can both go unnoticed and be sold for three kopecks a month later, or win the attention of the public, which will sit in the “rating” and enjoy it. I would like to believe that the second will happen, but for now we are waiting for the release on May 21 on PC and all current consoles.

Similar content:

Marvel’s Avengers: Beta Review & Gameplay

Reviews • 06/04/2022

After the lurid Marvel Ultimate Alliance 3: The Black Order, which is still a Nintendo Switch exclusive, Marvel’s Avengers is especially nice to watch ...

Battle Chef Brigade: An Review

Reviews • 13/04/2022

A 2D anime-style RPG fighting game, a chef simulator and a match-3 puzzle – they’re not a couple, not even a trio, right? However, ...

Masquerada: Songs and Shadows: Review

Reviews • 15/04/2022

Everyone who saw this title had a cry in their hearts: something new about vampires, in the spirit of Bloodlines and Redemption! No, Masquerada: ...

Course: Review

Reviews • 11/04/2022

+126.7 Main Content Cranberries in muddy water Spies visit us Figaro on a submarine Light in troubled waters Gender: husband Age: 46 Online: since ...