Velan Studios, the studio behind mixed reality races Mario Kart Live: Home Circuit, has revealed its next title: Knockout City, a team-based dodgeball game online. And it’s coming soon, as the game will be released on May 21 on Origin, Steam, Playstation 4, Xbox One and Nintendo Switch, with improvements for the PS5 and Xbox Series X. EA is releasing the game under its EA Originals brand. .
Knockout City‘s take on dodgeball is similar to what you probably played in gym class. You and your team try to hit your opponents with balls while avoiding and catching the balls thrown at you. In addition to straight throws, you can curve your shots, lobbies over obstacles and even false throws to try to catch your opponent off balance.
But there’s quite a lot you probably did not have to deal with when you played dodgeball as a child. There are balls with special powers, like a bomb that will explode (hopefully not in your hands). You can also turn around yourself into a ball, and your teammates can pass you around, throw you at enemies or even use your run-up form for a special attack.
You automatically lock opponents nearby, which means you do not have to worry as much about aiming as you would in other team-based games. Instead, Knockout City seems to be more about strategic timing of your throws or coordination with your teammates to get a good angle on someone.
The game also has a sleek street-inspired style that helps by the huge variety of cosmetics in the game that are available. You can unlock new cosmetics by completing certain tasks or by purchasing them with Holobux, Knockout City currency in the game. And from what I could tell, the game seems to have a great soundtrack. During a preview, I heard a jazzy big-band song that would feel at home in one incredible film.
Knockout City the welcoming look of the dodgeball and its distinctive style reminded me a lot Splatoon, which put a Nintendo spin on the team-based shooting genre with great results. I have not been able to try Knockout City even yet, but I look forward to giving it a shot.
The game costs $ 19.99, and the fixed fee gives you access to all of the game’s nine-week seasons. Velan Studios plans to offer a free trial of the entire game when it launches, but it has not announced how long the trial period will last. There will also be a closed beta on PC on February 20th and 21st.
The game will also have cross games and cross progression between platforms, but you have to buy Knockout City for each platform you want to play it on. It can be a tough pill to swallow if you are used to playing games like Fortnite or Rocket League on which device you happen to be using at the time without having to buy the game directly.