Knockout City Review – Dodge, Duck, Dip, Dive, And Dodge

Knockout City’s colorful, cartoonish aesthetic plays host to a relatively straightforward game of dodgeball, putting two teams against each other in a war waged with red rubber balls. But once you start factoring in deployable gliders, balls that can trap opponents in cages, and throwing techniques that can bend your shots around corners, Knockout City’s identity starts to bubble to the surface. In between the satisfying thunks of direct hits and the grace of each character’s movements, Knockout City features a satisfying level of depth that balances its pickup-and-play nature with a compelling competitive element that’s difficult to walk away from.

Each of Knockout City’s rotating modes rests on the fundamentals of finding a ball and trying to hit opposing players twice with it for a knockout, racking up your team’s score in the process. Knockout City makes this both simple and satisfying by automatically targeting enemies for you, but giving you control over the distance and power of each throw. You can take a longer time to charge up for a faster swing of the arm but expose yourself in the process by limiting your movement speed to do so. Judging how much power to put behind a shot and balancing that with the distance between you and another player is critical, and just one of the many micro-decisions you’ll need to make during each skirmish.

The balance between the two creates a dynamic that allows Knockout City to be approachable enough for casual play but still retain smaller complexities for competitive play to leverage. And when you start coming up against more savvy foes, additional mechanics start becoming more important. Just like in the real game of dodgeball, you can catch balls tossed your way to avoid taking a hit. In Knockout City, this applies a stacking effect to the ball, causing it to travel faster if thrown again quickly after being caught. You can quickly find yourself in an escalating ping pong match with another player, adjusting to shrinking catch timing windows with each exchange. Without the need to manually target enemies, Knockout City allows you to focus on timing and positioning instead, which makes its fast-paced action more manageable.

Continue Reading at GameSpot

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