Speedball was a classic on the old Amiga systems. Mixing violence and competitive sport (in this case a futuristic version of handball), it achieved a popularity that most games of its ilk struggle to reach. Soccer Rage, developed by Stamina Games, looks to apply the same sort of setting and disregard for rules to football.
Your team is a group of robots. Painted in national colours, they are disposable humanoid wrecking balls who have two goals in life – score goals and destroy the opposition.
Each robot will have their own individual health bar, which, once empty, will result in their destruction, leaving them strewn around the pitch waiting for a recycling crew.
Violence aside, it’s still based around football, albeit with an arcade-style presentation. The aim is still to score more goals than the opposing team – it’s just that there’s no rules otherwise. There’s no need for advanced tactical nouse, either. Dropping the defensive line deeper or employing gegen-pressing won’t do much, but eliminating half of the enemy team before strolling to victory sure will!
Stamina Games have taken inspiration from fighting games and spectacle fighters, too, by adding a move mechanic. Accessed through the pause menu, a list of button combinations for manoeuvres can be found, giving your robots flashier ways to score and dismantle the opposition.
Release Date: 02/06/2015
Available on: Windows, PC Download
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The actual sport itself is perhaps Soccer Rage’s weak spot. Most of us by now will be used to games like FIFA and PES where there’s some passing and shooting assistance. Even Sensible Soccer had a little bit of it. Soccer Rage really doesn’t. The game won’t twig that you’re trying to pass the ball square to a teammate, so getting it to go directly to them is more down to luck than skill.
Shooting too is totally player controlled – hammer shoot won’t automatically clear the ball – so be careful when facing toward your own goal!
Soccer Rage is a game that’s fun all on its own – it needs human competition otherwise it quickly becomes stale. That being said, losing can be an infuriating experience thanks primarily to how loosely the game interprets your commands.
Soccer Rage is still in Early Access, however updates are coming at a fairly frequent pace and developer interaction with the community seems to be pretty good. It’s currently available for €9.99 on Steam. I wouldn’t recommend it at the moment, but it is shaping up to be a good game on release.
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Soccer Rage is developed by Stamina Games.