The latest title from EA Originals – Electronic Arts’ program publishing and supporting indie games – is a little different than some of the previous entries such as A Way Out and Sea of Solitude. Rocket Arena, previously in Steam Early Access, is a 3v3 third-person hero shooter focusing on easy-to-pickup, but frantic, combat.
Naturally due to the game’s arena focus, the maps are relatively tight, funneling the action to chokepoints suited towards the game’s current selection of modes: Knockout, Rocketball, Treasure Hunt, and Mega Rockets. Although we didn’t get to play Mega Rockets, the other modes are pretty straightforward (stopping to collect coins in Treasure Hunt at certain times is a cool break), and whether you’re just gunning for anyone who crosses your path in Knockout or scoring in the capture-the-flag-style Rocketball, the maps keep things moving along.
Heroes don’t die, but instead are momentarily blasted off the map when their health depletes, so you’re never far from the battle. Likewise, the maps provide enough cover and nooks, enabling you to get a break from the fire around you. As the name implies, everyone has rockets, and when you’re not firing them at someone you can use them to propel yourself upwards to reach previously unaccessible areas of the map.
Currently the game has 10 playable characters and as many maps, but these will grow via the title’s seasons format as time progresses. Naturally there are cosmetics to customize your character with, and each one has a secondary weapon and special attack, as well as overall playstyle that sets them apart. For instance, pirate blast beard is slower, with area-of-attack grenades, as opposed to Rev who has a hoverboard. Apart from cosmetics, players are rewarded for their efforts with artifacts that boost their abilities.
Rocket Arena comes out on July 14 on PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC, and features cross-platform play amongst all the systems.