June 2, 2021

Knockout City review - not quite knockout enough

There's something about spawning in against opponents with identical hairdos and outfits that makes my heart sink.

Before a single ball is thrown, I know we're going to lose. In fact, I'm pretty sure we're going to be crushed. This is only my fifth match - my induction into Knockout City thus far has given me an even win/lose split - but with matching greased-back quiffs, shades, and Letterman jackets - kind of like the T-Birds from Grease, only with considerably younger faces and less cigarette smoke - it's screamingly obvious that this is a team that's Taking Things Very Seriously Indeed. My trio of randos? Hmm. Not so much.

While I know that the skill-level of the players you match against can make or break many a multiplayer experience (I've been back on Destiny 2 lately, and have developed a love/hate thing with Gambit that ebbs and flows in direct correlation to the careful coordination of my opponents), there is no gentle learning curve in EA's new dodgeball-inspired action game, Knockout City. Yes, there are a handful of insightful tutorials to get you going - work through them all, and you'll learn not just the basics but also everything you need to know about trick shots and special balls and how best to move around the map - but nothing in those gentle training exercises will adequately prepare you for the frantic pace of a 3v3 deathmatch.

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