Your childhood’s favorite outdoor game has just received a remaster, in EA’s Knockout City! This game packs an unexpected punch as it takes the basic idea of dodgeball but enhances it with new twists, cybercity maps, and flashy cosmetics. Let us get a dive into the review and understand if it is worth your time.
Features and Mechanics
Let’s get to the point – since this is a multiplayer game, the emphasis, of course, lies on the experience and core of the game. Knockout City is a team dodgeball game, and instead of divided spaces in the traditional sport, there are multiple cyber-themed futuristic maps. The game brings in the twist and freshness with multiple aspects and features to the game, starting with the Dodgeballs.
Apart from the one default dodgeball that you can pick and propel towards your opponent, the game offers multiple types of dodgeballs. This type includes – Multiball, Bomb Ball, Cage Ball, Moon Ball, Sniper Ball, and the best of all – YOU. Yes, quite literally. You can ball up yourself and your teammates can charge you towards your opponent which counts as a 1 Hit KNOCKOUT. Best part? if you overcharge your teammates while propelling them towards your enemy, you can trigger an ultimate throw which is basically a mortar strike on your enemies.
Next, we have throwing elements. You can hold down Mouse 1 or RT to charge your ball and smash it on your opponents, or control the charge and try to bamboozle your enemies. Apart from the basic hold charge, you can alternate your throws into – Curveballs and Drop balls (No clue if it is called that, but I call it that and who can question me anyway?). Doing that is pretty simple, while throwing your dodgeball you can press E, which deploys the dodgeball into a curveball. Pretty much what Cricket Legend Lasith Malinga does. And similarly, you can press Q while deploying the ball to turn it into a drop shot. Whole point? Bamboozle your enemy, leave him stunned, ruin his day, make him think about his life (Pretty harsh? You might want to do worse to your enemies once you’re in).
Now comes the best part. We now know what you can attack with and how you can attack, it’s time to talk about – “PARRY”. Being an Assassin’s Creed Fan, Parry is an essential part of us AC fanbois. Being able to catch a thrown ball towards you in dodgeball is considered dope, and even more breathtaking if you do that in Knockout City. By pressing Mouse2, you can catch an incoming dodgeball, but you need to be really careful with the timing. Too early or too late will result in a miss, a good parry is still a good job, but things get real when you perform a Perfect Parry. Perfectly parrying a ball, will upgrade the charge Tier of the ball. In simple words, when you hold down a ball and propel it into a tier 1 charge. But if you’re able to counter that, and perform a perfect parry, the ball will turn into a Tier 2 Charge. Tier 2 Charge basically makes the ball faster and of course hard to parry. But the real dopamine aspect of the game starts when your opponent is able to parry your Tier 2 Charge.
At that perfect moment, when your parried dodgeball gets parried by your opponent, you know much deep into trouble you are when the ball decides to go super Saiyan 3 a.k.a Tier 3. In a point-blank situation or even at medium distance, parrying a Tier 3 Ball requires enhanced levels of muscle memory (Time to pay your RipperDoc a visit). The fun part, the ball can be parried and upgraded up to Tier 5. Good luck dealing with that.
Lastly, we have the dash button which can be termed as the grief button. Dashing into your opponents will make your character hit them with an elbow uppercut, momentarily stunning and pushing them back. Things get really annoying if the entire enemy roster decides to ditch the dodgeball and quite literally elbow you out of the map. P.S. – If you dash into an incoming dodgeball, you will deflect it and receive no damage. So in case you’re in a messed up situation, dash your way out.
So I hope you had been paying attention since whatever you just read needs to be combined and put into use in an official match of Knockout city. Traditionally the game is based on a 3v3 Team Deathmatch, in a race to the first 10 Kills. You will be deployed in the opposite parts of the map, and you have to search for the dodgeballs which spawn in specific areas. Before the start of each game, a roll will decide which special ball will also be included. Hence you’ll be dealing with a special ball, default dodgeball, and of course Human Dodgeballs. Passing will play an essential role, holding down the middle-mouse button you can pass your dodgeball or trade it with your teammates giving an instant Tier 1 charge and basically the best way to bamboozle your enemies.
Knockout City is not an aim-based game, since the dodgeball will propel like a homing missile once you’re locked on to your enemies. The game is fast-paced, requires muscle memory and teamwork to make the dream work. Pass the balls, inhibit various throwing patterns, use the map to your advantage and you’ll be topping the charts soon enough.
Lastly, the graphic design is what the GenZ kids call ‘Fortniteish’. But trust me the color palette, character design, outfits, holograms, and level design are very commendable. The game features a casual funk-pop theme, in a cybercity environment. Hence, the flashy designs, and outfits suit the job as you arrive in your retro flying low-riders to every brawl.
Knockout City is the freshest game I have come across in a while. It takes an already known sport but adds its own twist, fun elements, beautiful maps and I hate to admit it – really good cosmetics as well. The game is all about putting your muscle memory, decision-making, and teamwork in the best way possible to be the best brawler in Knockout City. I personally found this game an escape from everything and has made me become slightly addicted to it. Even if you don’t like the graphic style, I highly recommend playing the trial version of the game. And if you have friends who can play with you, you guys might just have a blast.