A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this game.
Some focus on teamwork, especially in certain game types such as Rocketball and Mega Rocket. But action is compact and chaotic, leaving players to focus on their own survival most of the time.
Positive Role Models
Competitors are diverse cast of characters, each with light backstory for character development. They range in personality from honorable to cocky to mischievous and more. They tend to fall more into heroic theme, with no outright villains to speak of.
Ease of Play
Should feel instantly familiar to those with third-person shooter experience. Controls are relatively simple to pick up and play. Competitors each have unique gameplay styles and strategies, but controls are generally uniform across the cast.
Violence & Scariness
Violence is central to the game, with players blasting each other with high explosives. Characters' arsenals include everything from cluster grenades to cannonballs to mini-missiles to giant bombs. Despite explosive nature of game, no blood shown on-screen; players knocked out of the map simply fly back, rejoin the action.
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Game's focus is online competitive play, complete with voice chat features that could expose players to offensive language used by other players.
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Products & Purchases
After purchasing game, players can pay for other cosmetic options for competitors and for items such as a season pass to earn more rewards during limited time of competitive play. These are purchased with currency bought via the in-game shop.
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Rocket Arena is an online multiplayer competitive third-person shooter game available for Xbox One, PlayStation 4, and Windows-based PCs. Competing in two-versus-two and three-versus-three team-based matches, players select from a variety of competitors, using their unique rocket launcher weapons and special abilities to wear down opponents and blast them out of the arena. Although the game features constant action and lots of explosions, there's no blood or gore. Defeated opponents simply fly back into the arena and continue the battle. There are a lot of cosmetic skins and items to unlock in the game, many available to purchase from the in-game store. Parents should also be aware that the game features online voice chat, which could expose younger players to potentially offensive conversations from others.
Is It Any Good?
There's a well-worn phrase that says "Familiarity breeds contempt," which basically means that if you get too familiar with something, you sort of lose interest or respect for it. At first glance, Rocket Arena looks like it might be the poster child for the phrase, as it seems to borrow a lot of elements from other games and toss them all together hoping to see what sticks. There's an immediate sense of déjà vu as it's hard to avoid the feeling that this is something that's been played a million times before. But Rocket Arena somehow manages to piece together these familiar elements in a way that feels like a new twist on popular formulas, while also keeping some surprisingly unique tricks up its sleeve.
It'd be easy to dismiss the rocket launchers in Rocket Arena as little more than a gimmick, but after playing a few rounds, you see just how much potential they have. The tutorial even teaches moves like rocket jumps and rocket climbs as essential basics. And in practice, combining these moves with double and triple jumps is likely to save a player's skin on multiple occasions. Maps that seem claustrophobic at first wind up feeling just the right size to contain the frantic 3v3 action, offering up a surprising number of nooks and crannies to take advantage of. The different game types offer up some variety to the gameplay and strategy, and none are overly time-consuming. Live service has become a staple of the multiplayer marketplace these days, with things like season passes and extra content constantly added to keep players' interests ... and to keep their wallets open. Rocket Arena is no different, with a season pass and lots of cosmetic goodies to unlock or to buy in the shop. But whether you choose to stick with the game as-is or expand the customization via the shop, Rocket Arena is a literal blast to play and plenty of party-style bang for your buck.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.