The rocket launcher is one of the most recognizable weapons in multiplayer shooters. From Quake to Team Fortress, its function as a weapon morphed into an alternative means of traversal, with the risk of a self-inflicted death and the reward of superior map positioning enticing players to become proficient at rocket jumping. In Rocket Arena , both the rocket launcher and rocket jumping are core to the action. But without suitably satisfying shooting and the mitigation of all the rewards associated with its core mechanic, Rocket Arena lacks a compelling and lasting appeal.
Rocket Arena features a roster of 10 playable characters, each equipped with their own version of a rocket launcher and some auxiliary abilities. The variations go from basic, such as Jayto's straight-shooting launcher and multi-missile secondary attack, to complicated, like Kayi's ability to speed up friendly rockets and slow down enemy ones. Whether you settle on the lobbed rockets of space pirate Blastbeard or the trickster abilities of mage Mysteen, Rocket Arena's characters all feature enough mechanical variety to make them stand out from each other despite all featuring the same type of main weapon. Their cartoonish designs and bursting costume colors look great, but their uninteresting backstories and few voice-lines limit the extent of their personalities.
These weapon and ability differences feed into the 3v3 team play in each of Rocket Arena's competitive modes. A team cannot feature duplicates of a character, so you're encouraged to work around the selections of your teammates. Although the very brief and basic tutorial doesn't teach you about it, attacks can be combined between characters to form more powerful combos. Ability effects can be transferred onto rockets fired by teammates, for example, but attempting to coordinate both the timing and positioning for such a move is often not worth the payoff.
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