In the age of Rocket League, sports games are no longer just for sports people or whoever the target market was for those Mario football games (me, is the answer. I bought both of them). These days, there’s still room for direct realistic simulations but then there’s also room for less serious, casual play, like the aforementioned games but maybe Football with cars isn’t your specific cup of tea, maybe you want a League based experience but a different type of league, one with fewer Rockets and more Lasers. It’s Laser LeagueI. Laser League is the game in question.
Laser League is a competitive game about using lasers to eliminate the opposing team from the field of play – think dodgeball in Tron-world. While it’s hard to explain without just quoting directly from the instruction manual, it is a very simple game to start at but also very difficult to give up. The complexity lies in the multiple different character types, each with their own abilities and customisable extras that can determine what position you play within your team: maybe you’re a Blade who goes for direct attacks, or perhaps you’re more of a support role like a Ghost. Let’s be honest though, you’re probably a Smash.
What’s nice is that there is a good variety of maps, even within the one-screen, future Ice Hockey-style of gameplay. It also helps that the game’s visuals, sound and overall interface are perfectly designed to suit the format. Also, with the Online Multiplayer boom, it’s refreshing to see games where local multiplayer is still as prioritised as online.
While the core gameplay is well-balanced and addictive in short bursts, longer bursts can leave you feeling a hint disappointed that this is all there is. Not every game needs to have an in-depth storyline and honestly, I don’t want to know what kind of tacked on storyline a future sports game could have, but it does feel like more so than a lot of multiplayer games, it is a game with limited appeal. As long as you’re not going in expecting more than just a fun-as-heck multiplayer experience, you’re unlikely to be disappointed. Equally, the AI is very unbalanced, being too easy on Easy and too hard on Medium making offline play somewhat less than entertaining.
Really, I feel like this was the easiest job in the world as a reviewer, you probably knew immediately from the eye-catching headline for this review that if the words ‘Football’ and ‘Lasers’ appeal to you then yes, this is probably going to be your new favourite game or at least till the next thing comes out. It’s not going to revolutionise anything but you’re unlikely to spend very long at all while playing it not having a blast. If you think this appeals to you, it probably does, it’s sport but with lasers and frankly what in life can’t be improved with lasers? If you find something that can’t, well, I don’t want to know that thing.
Laser League is available for PS4, PC & Xbox One now.