Knockout City game review (2021)

It may seem a bit simplistic at first, but Knockout City offers so much variety with its gameplay and how you approach every single engagement against others. It’s definitely a surprise hit of 2021.

In an industry that seems to be dominated by the relatively new Battle Royale genre, it’s always great to see developers try and create different kinds of multiplayer games which are fun to play and incredibly innovative. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve had my fun with BR games, such as Fortnite, Apex Legends, and till this day, I still dabble into Warzone every now and then. Then again, as a versatile gamer who tries to play all kinds of games, I do long for a change of pace from the chaotic and rage inducing action Warzone tends to deliver. There have been some games to do this for me in 2021, and most recently, the next game I can see myself playing for a bit is Knockout City.

Knockout City is a competitive team-based multiplayer game. The game is supposed to resemble the game of dodgeball and in its simplest form, that’s exactly what it is. However, as you continue to play through it and learn the ropes, such as the maps, the different move-sets, the different kinds of balls you can use and their abilities, and master the movement, you realize there’s more to this game than simply dodgeball. I had my doubts about it when it was first revealed. Then the developers released a free-to-play beta that lasted a weekend, and I was pretty much hooked from the very first match. Obviously, its first impression was great, but will the game stand the test of time and will the people who are playing now stick around for the long haul? Well, only time will tell. It’s definitely on the right track and with frequent updates, new additions to the game, and so on, I can see players playing this for quite some time.

The introduction to the game takes you through a very detailed tutorial of how the game works and how it’s played. You’ll learn how to throw the ball and how you target the opposition, which is an auto-lock aiming feature. You would think a game about dodgeball would be more about precision, but Knockout City is all about movement and using specific moves and obstacles on the map to your advantage. There’s different ways to throw the ball, you can lob the ball at someone, which is done simply by pressing the trigger or key on your keyboard (depending your preference). If you hold down the trigger/key though, it charges up the attack, making for a faster throw. If you spin before throwing, you can loop the ball around certain obstacles, and if you flip, you can throw it overhead. There are a variety of ways to get the ball out of your hands to try and confuse your opponent so you can knock them out.

As mentioned, the game is all about movement, but it’s also all about timing. Timing is your best friend and you’ll need to be on point in every situation in order to make it through the match. You have to time your catches. If you do it too soon, they can tag you out, and if you do too late, it’s the same thing. Timing your catches are crucial to winning the game. There’s also the pump fakes, which you can use to your advantage to try and trick your opponent you’re going to throw the ball. It’s also a good strategy to get them to utilize their catch button since another teammate can capitalize and get them out for you. There’s a dash/dodge in the game, which you can use for a number of things. For example, you can use it to dodge attacks, to go under vehicles, to reach certain locations, and even use it to tackle opposing members. It leaves them stunned temporarily, so your teammate can come in and tag them out. It knocks the ball out of their hands as well.

That’s basically a brief explanation of how the game is played, as well as most of the features involved in it. As for the maps and game types, obviously, it can improve since the selection is somewhat limited. But, for what’s available and at its price, I don’t think I can complain very much. Some of the most frequent modes I’ve played are Team KO, which is basically Team Deathmatch, and Diamond Dash. In Team KO, the first to 10 points win. It’s best two out of three games. Diamond Dash consists of collecting diamonds that are dropped from the opposing team. The first to 30 wins. I’m sure there are also other modes in the works and I’m looking forward to it. As for the maps, most of them are set in a metropolis named Knockout City (obviously) and each map is a different variant/location of that city. Again, I hope to see more in the future.

One dynamic I’m looking forward to the most is the ranked mode. This game has all the makings to be an incredible competitive game. If done right, I can see many people hopping on board in order to sweat it out and climb up the ranks. I wish the “Create a Crew” feature was a bit more than simply adding members to it with a cool emblem and the crew name in your title. It’d be fun to do crew battles and hopefully, some in-game tournaments will take advantage of that. Of course, it’s still too early to tell and maybe this is in the plans.

As far as content goes, the game will definitely need a bit more in order to keep up and keep the players interested moving forward. For the first couple of days, I’ve enjoyed myself, but I can see it growing stale in the future if the developers don’t keep it fresh with new content and new incentives for the players to keep on playing it.

Knockout City is plenty of fun, especially with a group of friends. The price isn’t bad at all for what it offers and I’m sure it’ll get even better with future updates. However, I can see it failing if it doesn’t continuously add new content, such as new modes, maps, character options (costumes, emotes, etc.), and so on. Most importantly, the developers need to invest in the competitive scene since that’s where I believe this game will truly shine. It’s a nice change of pace compared to other games out in the market and it’s something refreshing to the game industry as a whole. I hope it succeeds and I’ll be along for the ride.

Score: B+

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