Rocket Arena is a new shooter where everything always comes up rockets, and it's lifting off in July.
It's the first project from Final Strike Games, a studio that was formed by a core team of former Halo 5 multiplayer developers, as a collaboration with the EA Originals label. It's a hero shooter where everybody fires rockets but nobody ever dies, fusing old-school shooter tricks like rocket jumping with a Smash Bros.-esque knockout system to make a game where explosions are your friend.
"With the blasting mechanic, our rockets don't damage players the way a traditional shooter does," Final Strike Games CEO Kevin Franklin told me in an interview. "They blast them around the arena. So we had to develop a blast bar, a physics impulse model, make it feel really good the way that players bounce off the environment. We had to build the return system, which allows you to - once you've been knocked out - to fly back into the action. That's all part of our 'Never Say Die' combat loop."
You may have seen Rocket Arena before in a different form; it started life as a free-to-play first-person shooter, but a mid-development retune has seen it return as a premium-priced third-person shooter. The new perspective makes it easier to dodge rockets and, just as importantly, admire your cool skins.
Rocket Arena is coming to PC, PS4, and Xbox One in July, and it's launching with full support for cross-play multiplayer. That will also mean the start of Final Strike Games' live service plan; players can look forward to seasons worth of special events and new content, including new maps, characters, power-ups, and more. All of that will be free for anybody who buys the game, though you'll also be able to pick up season passes and individual microtransactions for cosmetic goodies.
Hopefully the new EA Positive Play Charter will help keep Rocket Arena's community a welcoming place to play.