Rocket League’s New Modes Punctuate Radical Summer

Get ready for spikes and beach balls!

Rocket League is getting new modes over the next couple of months as part of their Radical Summer event. Last week, the first phase of Radical Summer began with a celebration of 80s blockbuster films, like Back to the Future, The Goonies, and (most prominently) Ghostbusters. Aside from being able to play as the Ecto-1 car, there’s a new mode called Ghost Hunt, a 3v3 mode involving proton packs and guiding the ball into “containment zones.”

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From July 1 till July 22, Radical Summer shifts its focus to general 80s culture, with cosmetic items like pixel pizza and cassette tapes with which to adorn your car. The last phase of Radical Summer goes from July 22 till August 12 and focuses on 80s TV. You’ll be able to drive with K.I.T.T. from Knight Rider and put Macho Man and Ultimate Warrior decorations all over your car. At E3 2019, I was able to play each mode from the second two phases of the summer event.

Spike Rush is radical rugby

Spike Rush is the new limited mode for Rocket League launching on July 1. In this 3v3 mode, players will be able to activate spikes on their car by coming in contact with the ball or another player. When you’re in spike mode, contact with the ball sticks it to your car, allowing you to essentially carry the ball with you instead of “kicking” it like the vanilla game. You can carry the ball directly into the goal or release the ball, which you can flick or toss if you jump correctly.

This has two very important, game-changing side effects. First of all, carrying the ball turns off your ability to boost, meaning you’re going to have to use finesse to get to the goal. The second major weakness thrown at the ball carrier is one-hit demolition. This fragility makes for a lot of mayhem and in the three matches we played with devs and press, I saw more explosions in 15 minutes than I typically see in 15 normal matches.

I really enjoyed this mode and it might get me to jump back into Rocket League for the first time in months when Spike Rush drops. I can also see it as an entry point for new players who have seen even regular play get inundated with folks who know all the fancy air boost moves. Spike Rush doesn’t punish air boosting but it’s certainly not as valuable as it is in a regular Rocket League match.

Beach Ball Mode is the perfect summer fling

Is normal Rocket League too fast and predictable for you? Maybe Beach Ball Mode is your cup of lemonade. This 2v2 limited mode turns the huge soccer ball we’re all familiar with into an even larger beach ball complete with lower ball gravity and realistic ball curve. That perfect shot that would net you a goal 99/100 times in a normal match? Good luck with that! There’s a great chance friction from the ground or air will push the ball where you don’t want it to.

This was a fun diversion, but the unpredictability and slower nature of the match we played made this feel like a capital L limited mode. This will be a fun change of pace in the back third of Radical Summer, but I don’t see it sticking around (see what I did there?) like Spike Rush could.

When I asked Psyonix about their recent acquisition by Epic Games, I was met with a quick “no comment.” Rocket League Radical Summer content is available on Steam for PC, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and Nintendo Switch.

This article was corrected from an earlier version that incorrectly stated Rocket League was available on Epic Games Store now. We apologize for the error.

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John Warren

I miss Texas sometimes. Wheelchair person. Professional wrestling is humanity's greatest achievement. He/his, y'all.

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