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Rocket League’s newest game mode, Hoops Mode, released just yesterday in an update for the game. I took the time to play a few matches and what I found about the new games mode was that I couldn’t go into the game with the same frame of mind I did with the original game mode. No, this was a whole new ball game. 

It’s one thing to shoot an oversized ball into a small, netted area, but now there’s a more advanced type of strategy involved in Hoops Mode. Not only do you have to get the ball in a small area, but you also have to push it up into the air to get it into the hoop. That means riding the ball along the curvature of the wall and then pushing it ever so slightly into the hoop. Trust me, it’s way more difficult than it sounds. You can check out a clip of gameplay below. 

Another thing that totally changed the Rocket League game for me was the transition in the audio. Of course, I’m going to be one to listen to the audio in a game because I’ve been trained in what to listen for and now I instinctively pay attention to the design. The sound design in the Hoops Mode of Rocket League changed dramatically. Every now and then, you’ll hear your car tires squeal as if you’re ramping up on a gym floor with a brand new pair of Nikes. When I was on the volleyball team in high school, I lived for that sound. Now, it’s a part of the new Rocket League Hoops Mode and I love every second of it. 

Knocking out your opponents has also become more fierce and, in my opinion, a little more difficult. Instead of blasting the ball across the court like I and many others have done so many times before in the original game mode, you have to jump around your opponents to get to the ball. So with the goal of actually bouncing the ball into the air, your opponents will more than likely be jumping a lot more than usual. And that makes it harder to get at them. 

Hoops Mode puts a whole new spin on the Rocket League game that we know and love, and if anything I think it’s a fantastic addition. Despite Rocket League never seeming to lose traction with its fans, Hoops Mode was the perfect thing to throw at them in order to grow their interest and keeps things fresh and challenging. It only makes you wonder what Psyonix has in store for the future of Rocket League. A volleyball mode perhaps? 

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