Knockout City Review | voxel

Knockout City is the new game from Electronic Arts for PS4, PS5, OneXbox One, Xbox Series S/X and PC. The game is a futuristic reproduction of Queimada, a childhood game for many here in Brazil, and a sport in some countries. The modality is nothing new in the gaming world, since since the 8-bit era there are titles that reproduce it on consoles.

Joining this game so popular with a frenetic and very accessible multiplayer was the bet of EA to try to create a new successful franchise. The shot could have been very accurate, however, some slips made the game fun, but somewhat repetitive and unsalted. Understand the reasons in the full review!

jackpot on them

If you’ve never heard of Queimada, know that it’s basically a game in which you need to hit a jackpot on your opponent, while you need to protect yourself from being hit. Although it’s simple, there’s a lot of strategy in the game, like trying to catch your opponent’s pitch, risking dropping the ball and getting you eliminated.

Knockout City leads to Burnouts for consoles and PCSource:  Steam

On top of this premise, Knockout City places players in large urban and futuristic arenas, where they need to catch a ball, special or not, in order to eliminate their opponents. The big difference between the real rules is that, for an opponent to be defeated, he must take two jackpots. Plus the possibility of bumping into your opponents to remove the ball from your possession – or even throwing it off the map.

And the gameplay works well in making it simple and effective. Regarding the commands, you basically have a jump, a push command, one to grab and, of course, another to throw the ball. It is also possible to throw your own teammate, as there is also a command where you can serve as the ball in an attempt to eliminate an opponent.

Knockout City brings simple gameplayKnockout City brings simple gameplaySource:  Steam

As limited as they may seem, the controls are good enough to mix hardcore level players with those who are still confused by pressing buttons and keys. In other words, it’s a rare game where even those without video game intimacies can succeed in matches.

Experience counts much more when you create strategies with a team of acquaintances. And they range from focusing on a particular target, protecting a spot where there are plenty of balls, or taking cover on a limited platform ideal for pushing your opponents. This is undoubtedly the great icing on the tasty cake, but it doesn’t have the most attractive appearance.

fun has limits

The point I want to reach is: however much Knockout City be simple and fun, it still lacks elements that make it an attractive game. Perhaps the limited amount of players in a single game, which has a maximum of four in each group in certain modes, or perhaps the limited customization, and lack of other elements to make the games more immersive.

Knockout City amuses but gets sick fastKnockout City amuses but gets sick fastSource:  Diego Borges / Reproduction

The first dozen matches were enthusiastic. My desire was to bring together childhood friends who played “Queimada real” with me so that together we could form a team. But a few hours later, even that obsession with always looking for a higher level of experience didn’t get me excited. Simple and fun had become common and monotonous.

What could change this scenario? Maybe partnerships with some other games, the famous “crossover” that fornitand knows how to do like no one else, and that has been inspiring other similar games. I travel here thinking of some action with FIFA 21, like player skins, teams, something that makes you feel excited to keep bouncing balls back and forth.

Betting on a Knockout City could be a strategy to extend the life of the gameBetting on a Knockout City could be a strategy to extend the life of the gameSource:  Diego Borges / Reproduction

Going further, why not surrender to the great fever that never seems to end: the Battle Royale? Although crazy to imagine 100 players throwing balls from one side to another in a gigantic scenario, until a few years ago, many also thought crazy a game that had the premise of reliving the Burns on current consoles. EA needs to be bold, otherwise it will be another game with potential, but one that had a shorter life span than we could imagine.

Simple and unattractive look

In a game like Knockout City, obviously we cannot expect graphics and scenarios with a high level of realism. However, this does not mean giving up a look that makes you at least attractive. For example, a game in 2021 in which characters have the same bases, changing only their clothes and accessories, really bothers me.

Moving on to the sets, although the entire setting is a mix of the 80s with a futuristic world, this doesn’t stick as an excuse for having sets so lacking in details. Playing the PC version of the game, equipped with a GeForce RTX 2080 Ti and with all visual options at maximum, there was little difference in playing in lower options. The good thing is that it opens up space for gamers with modest PCs to share the game, however, it is one more element that implies the simplicity of the game.

Knockout City's look leaves something to be desiredKnockout City’s look leaves something to be desiredSource:  Diego Borges / Reproduction

The praise ends up going to the character customization options, in which it is possible to create anything from an Elvis Presley cosplay with a beautiful and shiny leather jacket, to a soldier with a painted face, with a characteristic ball costume from the Times of the Brilliance.

Modes for all tastes

the great attraction of Knockout City is up to its varied game modes. Divided into three types of games: Public, Ranked and Private, each of them has different battle modes. Among them we have the traditional Team Knockout, which puts three players on each team, where whoever takes two rounds first wins. And the exotic Flip-Ball Combat where there are no balls in the game, needing to throw your allies or opponents to perform the knockouts.

There are also other, simpler modes, such as a limited All Vs All to four players, and Coin Picker, where each player has three coins that are lost with each knockout, beating the team that gathers eight first.

Knockout City features a wide variety of matchesKnockout City features a wide variety of matchesSource:  Diego Borges / Reproduction

The modes are surprising for the way they differentiate the matches a lot. Even the strategy mentioned at the beginning of the text changes a lot for each modality, which avoids leaving the game as a simple “Queimada simulator”.

The variety of balls are also largely responsible for creating a certain dynamic in the matches. Each of them has a special power, for example, Lunar Ball allows you to float in the air to make a throw, while Bomb Ball has a counter that explodes whoever is in possession as soon as time runs out. They are present at certain points on the maps and, after being used, take a certain time to return to the game.

Knockout City brings a small amount of mapsKnockout City brings a small amount of mapsSource:  Diego Borges / Reproduction

And about the maps, to date, Knockout City it has only six arenas. Although some have elements to contribute to the game’s dynamics, such as moving cars that can run you over, more things could be added to add to the battles.

Worth it?

Knockout City is a simple and fun game. An excellent title to put side by side, in a very level way, hardcore players and those who are still in the world of video games. Its game modes are attractive and manage to make a limited game so well explored, however, its scenarios are poorly used and with simple graphics. To top it off, the title quickly becomes cloying because it doesn’t have a “key element” that holds the player in a short period of time. It remains to be seen what the company will do so that its audience does not evaporate until the end of the year.

Hitting your opponents is fun, but it takes more than that!

Voxel Grade: 62


  • Quick Learning Line
  • Variety of Game Modes
  • simple gameplay

Negative points

  • Simple and underutilized scenarios
  • get sick fast
  • lack of attractions

Knockout City was kindly provided by Electronic Arts to carry out this review.

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