Scout Gear Review: 'Rocket League: Hoops'

The addicting arcade sports game gets a bball facelift.

Now that Rocket League has found its way to all gaming platforms, last year’s Sport Game of the Year is really exploring the space they’ve carved out. After adding some puck to the game in a limited time winter mode, the evil geniuses at Psyonix have busted out the NBA-inspired Hoops mode and it’s a devious variation on the fast-paced, addicting gameplay.

If you’re not familiar with Rocket League, the game is an arcade style competition that draws from soccer, polo and RC car racing, driving your little car around an arena in the hopes of knocking the ball into the goal. It’s easy to pick up but hard to master and an absolute blast to play with friends. Those well-versed in the game will know that experience brings an element of verticality to the game since your RC car is able to drive up walls or boost into a limited flight; neither are easily accomplished.

The Hoops mode reimagines this formula with that verticality in mind. Instead of a goal built into opposing walls of the court, Hoops features a redesigned hardwood court with a completely flush perimeter. Instead, the goal takes the shape of a rim that’s double-jump height off the ground, complete with backboard and box to help aiming. Hoops turns the Rocket League gameplay on its head, changing the standard kickoff to a manic jump ball and emphasizing well-placed bank shots and rolls up the walls instead of the powerful long shots and centering that lead to success in the traditional game.

Playing Rocket League Hoops may be the only way to hone your skills and really grasp the new strategy that Hoops requires - high shots into the corners that bounce at a 45 degree angle have worked well for us so far - and we’re happy to report that it’s a free upgrade to the $20 game. Psyonix has consistently delivered experiences that fans want with the downloadable game and Hoops is just the latest in what we hope is a long tradition of creative and innovative variants on an excellent core game. Until then, we’ll (sorta) proudly adorn our RC monster truck with a Knicks flag and dunk it home in Rocket League Hoops.