Emmett Watkins Jr. – All-Star Brawler

Knockout City

Knockout City - Top Games of 2021

I’m sure many reading this know me as either the massive Kendrick Lamar fan, the Titanfall 2 fan, or the PlayStation All-Stars fan. But there are 3 things I also love that I really don’t talk about often enough: crab walking, karaoke, and dodgeball. So, when Knockout City was revealed during a Nintendo Direct earlier this year, it instantly captivated me. The promise of cross saves & cross-play and the vibrant art style had me excited to play the final product, but I wasn’t prepared for just how well it would land once it was released.

I already got the vibe from it that it would be a niche title, so I was fully ready to play it for a few weeks before it would lose its player base and support soon after. But that was not the case, as millions of new faces hopped into the game within the first week, and many of them stuck around for way longer. Turns out, the novelty of multiplayer dodgeball is novel enough to attract more than just me. It compelling combines the Arena pacing of Quake Live and the accessible, yet deep, mechanics of Smash Bros to make a not-quite-shooter unlike anything on the market.

My biggest concern in my review was that the player base wouldn’t stick around, but throughout the entirety of the game’s first season, finding matches have been easy and buzz around the game has remained positive. But with the game’s second season of content, complete with a Movie Theater theme, new map, and new ball, we shall see if this is enough to keep people coming back as 2021 floods us with more new titles. But regardless of player retention, the folks over at Velan Studios have made a remarkable dodgeball game, and it’ll be one that, surprisingly, sticks in my mind for way longer than any of the haunted castles or alternate dimensions I’ve visited this year…at least so far.

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