Knockout City Looks Like the Dodgeball Game We’ve Always Wanted
After the reveal of Knockout City, one thing is for certain: it looks like an excitingly fun time. There’s been a few dodgeball games here and there, but the one most people think of is the arcade game Super Dodge Ball. With the upcoming release of Knockout City, will this stylized “balls to the wall” dodgeball game be exactly what we dreamed of as children?
What Exactly Is Knockout City?
On the surface, Knockout City is a 3v3 multiplayer dodgeball game, utilizing the classic rules of dodgeball. But it seems that the minds at Velan Studios, the developers behind the Mario Kart Live toy, have put a more entertaining spin on one of the classic gymnasium stress relievers.
There’s still the classic rules, hit someone with the ball they’re out, catching the ball doesn’t count as a knockout and you can throw it back, but the fun lies in what the gameplay is all about. The game allows you to curve the balls, jump from high heights and spike the ball down, use a dodge move to zip from side to side, just like you imagined doing in your childhood daydreams on the bench after getting hit the first time. You can even fake out a throw to trick the enemy into letting their guard down so you can hit them when they least expect it. You can even tackle enemies who are holding a ball to knock it out of their hands, allowing you to snatch the ball and throw back at them.
On top of the introduction of new ways to throw the ball, there’s also new balls to try out. Consider the ticking bomb ball, one that explodes after a set amount of time, and play some hot potato with the enemy. Or on top of all of that, you and your teammates can “ball up” and be used as a projectile to flatten your foes.
Gliding is also included to add some verticality to the gameplay, as well as environmental dangers. The world of Knockout City, a mix between the stylish Inkopolis from Splatoon and the neon lights and colorful scenery from Cyberpunk 2077, even has a hint of Jet Set Radio in the game with the announcer being a DJ who’s taken over the airwaves.
On top of all of that, customization is key for players of the game. If you’re going to throw down (literally) with your enemies, why not look your best doing so? With myriads of customization options, it appears that the sky is the limit for players who decide to take the plunge into Knockout city.
Team Deathmatch (Called “Team Knockout” in the game) isn’t the only option for Knockout City’s fantastical take on dodgeball. For the upcoming Cross-Play beta on April 2nd, there’s also the introduction of a 1v1 mode, as well as the classic free-for-all mode.
Does the Game Have Esports Potential?
Whether or not Knockout city has the potential to become an esports title is something a lot of us here have been discussing. It all depends on the game modes and if cooperation is key to winning in Knockout City. From what the trailers and the website claim, cooperation seems to be at the forefront of the game. The game modes also need to be able to keep everything not only fresh, but competitive enough to entice people to want to play competitively. Hopefully, EA will consider pushing a more competitive side to Knockout City, but that depends on their goals for the game, as well as the player base’s interest in competition.
What’s on the Horizon for Knockout City?
What could the future for Knockout City hold? There’s not much to say about the game since it’s not released yet, but what can be done is speculate on the potential that Knockout City has. For one, I’m already hooked, and I cannot wait to give this game a try. I think it’s not only fun, but a breath of fresh air that’s needed for multiplayer games these days.
While most multiplayer games I’ve played have been shooters, there’s always that diamond in the rough that spices it up to the point that makes me want to give it a go. What matters for games like this is the gameplay loop itself: a game should be easy to learn and hard to master. If I make a mistake and get knocked out, every time should feel like my fault, not the game’s. That inspires players to grow, and why games like Fortnite seem to do so well. Skill triumphs over all.
From what EA has decided to show us, this does prove to be a game that could be up to the task. However, With EA as the publisher, and customization being at the forefront of player identity, it might be difficult to say whether the company will be rearing its greedier side when it comes to dressing up your character or not. Along with the fact that Knockout City is a new IP, one can only cross their fingers that this will not be the case, and that they’ve learned their lesson from the Battlefront 2 scandal all those years back.
Lastly, content for the game needs to be enough to hook the player. Many a multiplayer game have found themselves lacking content and not being able to draw in players for extended periods of time. With most players gravitating towards the easy-to-understand Team Knockout mode, having multiple maps, as well as multiple fun and engaging game modes, will be at the forefront of determining Knockout City’s success.
When Can You Play?
If you’re looking to get your hands on Knockout City, the game will be coming out on May 21st, 2021. But if you are lucky, you might be able to get into the Cross-Play beta going on April 2nd-4th, giving you a whole extra month to give the game a shot before deciding if you want to add it to your collection.