'Knockout City' May Become Your Next Multiplayer Addiction

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Electronic Arts

If there’s one activity from gym class that energized you as soon as you heard it was on the agenda, it was definitely dodgeball. The simple act of picking up a ball and launching it as hard as possible at the rival team’s players was just too damn amusing. Was it the safest sport to play with a bunch of grade school kids hopped up on way too much sugar? Not exactly. But was it always worth participating in? Yep!

In the world of video games, there have been a few decent to great dodgeball experiences worth delving into. The Super Dodge Ball series that mostly thrived on Nintendo’s home and handheld consoles is the finest of ‘em all. Oh and shout out to Lupinball, which is a completely bonkers version of everyone’s favorite childhood sport. Now in 2021, we have a new contender in the dodgeball gaming subgenre worth celebrating - Knockout City. Published by Electronic Arts and developed by Velan Studios, this new IP takes the simple concept of dodgeball and helps it reach new heights thanks to a wealth of gameplay changing mechanics. And by the looks of it, it has the potential to become a breakout multiplayer hit and possibly a new esports trend.

Knockout City excels as it takes the act of assaulting someone with a ball and adds enough extra wrinkles to it to make it shine as a video game. One of the main aspects that makes it so enthralling is the different types of balls you can get your hands on. For instance, there’s a Bomb Ball that instantly takes out whoever’s unlucky enough to get smacked by it. Then there’s the Moon Ball, which gives the player holding it the ability to jump way higher than everyone else. Plus you can even morph yourself into a ball and allow one of your teammates to fling you at opposing players for the win.

Throwing the ball itself isn’t just some brain-dead activity, either - you can launch it as quickly as possible or charge it as long as you’d like in order to pull off a more accurate and devastating shot. Faking out your opponent is another tactic that increases the fun complexity of it all. Of course, you can catch the ball if you’re skilled enough, tackle anyone that’s in control of the ball, and simply move out of the way when you’re on the defensive. All of those elements make Knockout City a deeper experience than you’d think at first glance.

As a spectator sport, Knockout City is pretty damned entertaining. Watching heated dodgeball games in real life is always a good time, so it comes as no surprise that this outlandish take on the schoolyard sport is just as fun to watch. The constant mind games, landed clutch shots, and parkour-inspired exploration of the game’s spacious maps all combine to produce a game that could easily become the next esports fad. It has the flashy cartoony art style that games like Overwatch thrives by. Plus it has the bombastic action that Rocket League is known for. Reactions to Knockout City have largely been positive thus far, plus the game’s developers have made it abundantly clear that substantial updates are on the way (we’re in Season 1 of the game’s lifecycle, after all).

Last I checked, Knockout City managed to amass 16.1K Viewers and 24.4K Followers on Twitch. That huge surge in viewership is due in part to it just coming out, of course. Here’s hoping that it maintains or even increases its viewing numbers over time - Knockout City is a brand new IP that has a lot going for it, so watching it continue to prosper would be awesome. Rocket Arena looked to be the sort of multiplayer game that could have reached Knockout City’s commendable levels of success among critics, fans, and curious onlookers. But a lack of content tripped up that promising shooter. But unlike Rocket Arena, Knockout City launched right out the gate with a substantial amount of worthwhile content to enjoy. And with the promise of even more goodies in the future, it can only get better from here.

Knockout City is out right now - if you’re still on the fence about it, you can check out the trial version of it from May 21 to May 30. And if you happen to have an Xbox Game Pass subscription (which includes EA Play, by the way), then you can hop right into the full version free of charge. There aren’t a whole lot of barriers keeping you from giving Knockout City a try, so you might as well see what all the hype is about.

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