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Knockout City Review – Dodgeball Delight

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Stepping onto the pitch for a dodge ball match would fill you with excitement or dread depending on your position in the gym class pecking order. The same could be said of multiplayer shooters, as ill-suited games yield feast or famine results depending on your skill level. Knockout City masterfully combines the best of dodgeball and multiplayer shooters to create a frenetic, fun and welcoming experience for players of all skill levels.

Joining a match isn’t a daunting affair thanks to Knockout City’s streamlined gameplay. All you need to know at the start is that you find a ball on the map and then find someone to throw it at; the game automatically locks onto targets making the action less elitist than your aim and more on the approach strategy of each rubber ball shootout. Once you have the basics, you can learn different types of tricky shots, ways to capitalize on the different special balls, and how to master when to catch incoming balls. These matches get fast-paced, so gaining a keen awareness of when you’re being targeted (as indicated by a red outline on your screen) and learning to read when the balls come your way is where most of the improvements happen.

As I learned to contextualize the action and string together effective games, the excitement intensified. In a chaotic streak, I was at a two-to-one disadvantage, and both opponents had a ball. When the first shot me, I timed my catch perfectly, which immediately gave me a preloaded throw, allowing me to strike back at the launcher at full speed before they knew what hit them, them. stunning. Then I rushed to dodge the second inbound pitch, hooked another ball nearby and did a spinning motion to put a curve on my pitch, wrapping it around a post and hitting it. second opponent from an unexpected angle. Times like this, when you switch from a satisfying move to a following instinct, are extremely rewarding, making you feel like a dodgeball master.

Despite times like these, all modes (except the tense one-on-one mode) put you in two teams of three. However, teams more than level the playing field, as you can interact with your teammates to perform more powerful attacks. Bullets gain instant charge when passing them to a teammate, allowing your friends to immediately fire them at full speed to land the final blow to an enemy player. Players can even transform themselves into a ball, allowing teammates to scoop up and pounce on enemies, or perform an ultimate attack that turns the held teammate into a bomb that rains down an area explosion. effect on targeted players.

The five maps of Knockout City are entertaining playgrounds filled with focused battlefields, naturally flowing lanes, and unique obstacles. I loved the rotating central structure of the Galaxy Burger board, while the opposing skyscrapers of Rooftop Rumble create an intriguing dynamic with the two teams. The maps are also well populated with bullets, which means you rarely have a hard time finding something to get in the way of your opponents.

Scattered in traditional matches, special bullets augment your hunting bullets so that they explode, gain distance and speed, and move with lunar gravity. These power-ups are rare in most modes, but they take center stage in the K.O. Party Super Team where all standard balls are replaced with special balls. These matches are exciting and unpredictable, but the chaos can be a bit too much at times, and during a typical play session I would switch back to the standard KO squad after a few party matches.

Each action you take counts towards a series of goals listed in the menu. These goals range from knockouts with a particular type of throw to assisting your teammates in different ways. As you complete the goals and level up, you earn cosmetic and Holobux rewards, which can be redeemed for rewards like new outfits, emotes, and gliders. Fortunately, all upgrades are cosmetic, which means no one has a competitive edge to unlock.

Outside of accessible gameplay, the biggest perk in making sure everyone can enjoy Knockout City together is the fact that the title supports cross-play and cross-progression. Without any issues, I was able to party with PC gamers while playing on my Xbox. I still needed to find the name of every player in the game, but the intuitive social menu makes it easy to connect with friends and recent players. You can also join a crew, a unique variation of the traditional clan system, allowing you to further customize your character with a logo, a vehicle to enter the match, and more. You also gain additional rewards and experience when playing with your teammates.

Unfortunately, Knockout City lacks meaningful content at launch. The game contains four basic modes and only five maps. Developer Velan Studios has ambitious plans for post-launch life, including new maps, modes, and playlists, but it’s all yet to come. The existing content is strong, but I got bored of what was originally offered after a few hours.

Content issues aside, Knockout City has a great base to build on. With gameplay that makes it easy and then encourages you to experiment with these mechanics to increase your proficiency, Knockout City offers a refreshing take on the multiplayer shooter and classic dodge ball game.

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