Knockout City: First impressions

After playing Knockout City for a few hours, it’s evident this game is cleverly made and has game mechanics that are extremely well-done. The potential for it to be something special is immediately apparent.

Are you still on the fence about the latest competitive multiplayer game, Knockout City? Well, I played it just so you don’t have to, but after putting some hours into it, I kind of hope you do play it. Since its reveal, I was definitely interested. I consider myself a versatile gamer, meaning I’ll play all kinds of games from a variety of different genres. Whether it be RPG’s, FPS’s, MMO’s, MOBA’s, action-adventure games, fighting games, and so on, you name it. I usually look for three elements in a game: Does it have replay value, if it does have multiplayer, is it well-balanced and creative in its approach, and does it have an engaging story? For me, these are the three most important aspects to any game. Sometimes, it only has one of these three and that’s perfectly fine. However, there are many games which have all three of these elements, which only improves the overall gameplay experience. Any other additional features or details further compliments the game and enhances it.

I’m not saying Knockout City has all of these three. In fact, it’s only an open beta, so the full build of the game isn’t available at the moment. But, it definitely has replay value and the multiplayer has a ton of layers to it. It’s checking off on two elements I always look for, so that’s already a major plus. The tutorial does a fantastic job at showing you the ropes and the controls are incredibly user-friendly. I believe anybody can pick this game up and learn how it works fairly quickly. I mean, separating yourself from the pack in terms of skill level and competitiveness is a different ball game, but again, it depends on the kind of player you really are. From what I’ve seen, it’ll have a casual online mode and a ranked mode. This will cater to different kinds of players, which is great to see the plans that are already in place prior to its official launch.

Knockout City is a dodgeball game with a twist. Think of it as extreme dodgeball at a much larger scale with witty commentary, bright and vibrant visuals, and dynamic gameplay variety. The game is surprisingly nuanced in how it’s played. I mean, you can play it as simply as you want to, but that’ll prove difficult once everyone else is taking advantage of the different mechanics and creative ways to knock somebody out. For example, you can simply walk or run up to a ball to pick it up and throw it to the opposing player on the other team to try and knock them out. One ball won’t cut it, but if you’re successful in tagging them, you knock off a life and they’re basically one-shot now before being knocked out. Once you knock someone out, your team gets a point. In the most simplistic terms, this is what it’s all about. As mentioned though, there’s plenty more to it.

You can double jump, you can do a flip in the air, you can spin in the air, you can glide while in the air to reach a farther location, you can dash to either dodge or you can dash into someone to temporarily stun them, and it goes on and on. Speaking more on the dash, if someone has a ball in their possession, if you dash into them, they lose the ball, which gives you the opportunity to pick it up and try to knock them out. Playing as a team, you can call for them to pass you the ball, you can pass them the ball, and you can even roll into a ball yourself and be used as a ball to try and get someone else out. As for the flip in the air, if you time it right as you’re charging the ball to throw it to someone, you can throw it over obstacles to try and hit them at different angles.

Speaking more on that, you don’t always have a visual of the opposing team. You may see an outline of them through walls if you’re locked on to them, which is where the flip and spin come in handy. As mentioned, with the flip, you can throw the ball over obstacles, but the spin lets you throw the ball around obstacles. It’s a great way to catch them off guard. Speaking of catching, you can also catch a ball. Obviously, you have to time it right or it’ll just end up hitting you. However, if you get a perfect catch, the ball gets some sort of boost and it flies at them a lot faster once you release it.

Depending on the mode, there are also different games to play. The one’s I played are Sniper Ball, Cage Ball, and Moon Ball. Each ball has a unique ability. For example, with the sniper ball in your possession, you’re able to charge it up and hit people from a distance and it reaches them impressively fast. It’s really hard to dodge these or catch them. With cage ball, if you get hit with it, you basically turn into a cage ball yourself. In this situation, the enemy team can pick you up and either throw you off the map or use you to hit someone on your own team to knock them out. You can also be hit by another standard ball and get knocked out as well. Lastly, the moon ball let’s you float higher temporarily, which comes in handy.

As you can see, there’s a lot of depth and scale in this game and this is only in the beta version. I have to say, I’m pretty hooked on it so far and it’s only been a few hours with it. This is definitely a game I’ll consider purchasing once it releases and I recommend you give it a try. It’ll be available until Sunday, April 4. As for the future of it, I hope the developers are planning to update it regularly with new modes and maps, more customizations options, and so on. This has a ton of potential and I’m hoping it can live up to it.

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