In an age when virtual combat was handled primarily through online multiplayer games, a new type of MMO entered the scene called a multiplayer first person shooter. The game was called “Halo”, and it was truly innovative in how it made players feel like they were a part of a single large player collective. But while the game was critically acclaimed, it performed poorly in sales, and was followed by the less successful “Halo 2” and “Halo 3”. Today, there are numerous online shooters, but only one that has managed to capture the magic of the original “Halo” experience. It is called “Halo 4”, and it is the best FPS to date.
Knocking your enemy out in PvP is a simple concept that you should know how to do well. But if there’s one thing I’ve learned about PvP, it’s that a lot of people don’t know how to do it.
Knockout City could be the biggest surprise in video games in 2023. The dodgeball-style battles are colorful, fun, and a great alternative to the endless, ultra-serious deathmatch games. This original EA game was developed by Mario Kart Live developer Velan Studios and should be remembered as a quality game that offers lots of fun in an affordable package. It starts with a focused approach to making a game that doesn’t take itself too seriously, followed by varied level design and freedom of movement and combat. All these aspects combined make Knockout City one of the best player-to-player games of recent years.
From unnoticed discovery to exceptional publication
While the trailer for Knockout City didn’t do much to make the game feel like anything more than a standard multiplayer game, the actual approach of the development team shows that they wanted to make a fun game. For me, it started when I first played the game during the open beta in early April. At the time, the game was already as we know it today, but after I was a little hesitant about whether the game would be an interesting experience, that first impression has made a big difference in how I view the game now. I think the same could be said of anyone who tried the game here in the early days. The content, like the combat instructions, has a lot of cosmetics so far, and with the addition of cross-gaming and cross-progression, the party and team systems feel great.
Movement and combat at the highest level
What strikes me most about Knockout City is the overall sense of movement and struggle. In fact, as you might expect, it can be compared to a free game of dodgeball in an arena. Both teams take dodgeballs located at specific points on each map and use their skills and surroundings to take advantage of their opportunities. But it’s not just a pick-up and drop game. Your throwing load determines your speed, and lobbing and spinning changes the ball’s trajectory, which can be useful for hitting hidden enemies.
This adds a much needed layer to the battles, making you feel every part of the map in play and keeping you constantly on your toes. On defense, if you can synchronize your keystrokes, you can intercept your opponents’ throws so you can throw a ready throw. This can quickly turn the tide of battle, even if a few enemies have you cornered. In addition to the catch, a tackle can knock the ball out of your hands or off course. It can also be used to dodge incoming throws if you can’t catch them. One of the most interesting additions to Knockout City’s movements and combat is the ability to transform into a sphere.
Holding down the corresponding enter key will roll your character into a ball. In this form, anyone on the field can pick you up and throw you, which counts as a ball that helps each team score. Push your throw to the limit by keeping your teammate in ball shape. So you catapult it into the air, where it can control where it falls, causing an explosion and potentially destroying multiple enemies in one motion.
All of these controls are the main reason why the combat and movement in Knockout City are excellent. This all sounds intuitive and useful in different situations, but it also requires quick thinking, spontaneous teamwork and reaction to make the right moves. There is nothing difficult here to understand, but it takes practice and skill to master. A beginner can get away with it, but someone who has taken the time can use these entries to bend the game to their will.
While Knockout City’s core mechanics are excellent, they would be of little use without fun playgrounds to which they can be applied. Each card in the game is unique and brings dangers and environments that make the game worth playing. There aren’t many levels in the game to begin with, but all the ones there are are excellent. Whether dodging through crowded streets or battling between skyscrapers, dodgeball is always a busy activity in these bustling urban locations.
Some multiplayer games suffer from the common problem of creating maps with similar layouts, but thankfully all the battlegrounds here stand out. The concussion site is one of my favorites with its wrecking ball and construction equipment scattered throughout the site. In addition, Back Alley Brawl has tubes and colored areas and Galaxy Burger has a recycling system and revolving doors. Hopefully there will be new maps in the future, but the six you can play now are well done and change the gameplay with each match.
A bright future
The future of Knockout City depends entirely on the development team’s ability to keep it going, and we’ll see as time goes on. More maps, new game modes and constant cosmetics should be the focus of Velan Studios’ development for this game. While I like the cards presented here, six cards are not enough to take Knockout City into the future. The problem is that I don’t think they can bring instant content. Instead, they should be as aggressive as possible and constantly remind people that the game exists.
Think of the constant big drops in Fortnite – without the crunch, of course, and in moderation. Sure, Velan isn’t a big company like Epic Games, but they should put the pedal to the metal and try to release updates at least every few months that people can look forward to. The content drop should be something like a map or two, lots of new cosmetics to buy, and something incidental like a reference to another EA franchise. It’s possible and it just depends on EA and Whelan’s willingness to promote Knockout City.
Knockout City can be a landmark experience that you won’t see with anyone else if you choose to take this course. This allows both occasional players and avid athletes to return to the game. With the right storyline and setting, Knockout City could be one of the best multiplayer games not just in 2023, but in the years to come.