Heatseeker will be returning to our screens at the end of May, but is it the best limited time game mode we have ever had?

17:00, 03 May 2020

Rocket League has had some very creative limited-time game modes in the past, which have varied in success. Some have flopped, and some have proven worthy of being made permanent. But where does Heatseeker fall on the spectrum, and what should Psyonix do with it in the future?

Heatseeker is also due to return to Rocket League from the 21st – 26th May, so if you missed your chance to play it when it was live in April, you’ll be sure to play it this time round. It returns as part of the ‘Modes of May’ event which will have a different limited-time game mode every weekend. Here’s the schedule:

  • 1st – 4th May: Dropshot Rumble
  • 7th – 11th May: Beach Ball
  • 14th – 18th May: Boomer Ball
  • 21st – 26th May: Heatseeker

Heatseeker was thoroughly entertaining, as a break from getting air-dribbled all over on ranked mode. The high-intensity reaction game had a great appeal to it by keeping players on a certain level of ‘hype’. It’s very rare that a limited-time game mode has come in and been able to keep people gripped for more than two or three games.

The progressive nature of the ball speeding up meant that people could strive to beat their best rallies and deal with the ball at different speeds, along with wanting to win the game, having an extra self-motivating competitive edge has meant that Heatseeker became a fan favourite.

If we compare it to previous game modes, you can see why people have favoured Heatseeker. Dropshot has been the most successful game mode and is now a permanent feature within Rocket League, however, combined with Rumble, this game mode sounds like pure anarchy. There will be no strategic element to Dropshot Rumble, and it will quickly become a free for all with an expiration date. After two or three games of this, you will be wanting to rip your hair out.

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Beach Ball and Boomer Ball have both been trialled in the past, and, whilst quite entertaining, they are renditions of the normal mode, which limits how successful they can be. It is common for people to quickly revert to a normal mode after playing these as there isn’t much difference.

The most accurate comparison for the success of Heatseeker would be looking at Spike Rush. Whilst Spike Rush may not be everyone’s cup of tea, the mode is significantly different from a standard game, offering a different style of movement and dynamics needed to win. Spike Rush is perfect for ‘ball chasers’ as they can constantly chase the ball and hope they can get attached to it. Whereas Heatseeker will require positional awareness and aerial abilities. In the current dynamics of Rocket League with aerial abilities being at their peak, Heatseeker definitely compliments that with the need to be quick to ball and have good in-air control. Heatseeker has proven more popular than Spike Rush though, meaning that we could have the best limited-time game mode on our hands.

Heatseeker has the qualities to stand the test of time, with the ability to keep people entertained through multiple games and allow you to improve certain aspects of your overall game, much like the original Dropshot mode does. For that reason, it will be no surprise if Psyonix make Heatseeker a permanent feature after the ‘Modes of May’ event has concluded.

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Image via the official Rocket League Website

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