‘Knockout City’ is a cross-platform dodgeball brawler from Velan and EA


Knockout City That’s what happens when the community centre’s weekly adult dodgeball session takes control of an entire metropolitan area. It is a fast-paced online game built around the mechanics of throwing and catching balls, taking inspiration from online shooters, fighting games and brawlers. It comes from EA and Velan Studios, the developer behind Mario Kart Live: Home circuit.

Knockout City is heading to PC, Switch, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PS5, and Xbox Series X / S on May 21, with cross-play, shared progression, and built-in voice chat across all platforms. It is online-only, competitive, and supports clan-style teams of up to 32 players. Launch day will mark the start of the first season, each season for nine weeks. The game costs $ 20 up front, and players only need to purchase it once to access new seasons as they unfold. There will also be a free, limited-time trial of the full game at launch.

There are three levels of play: Street Play (casual), League Play (competitive) and private matches. First day, Knockout City will feature five locations for dodge ball fights, plus the hideout, which acts as a lobby. It will have six types of balls, five game modes, and a Street Rank progression system that unlocks hundreds of cosmetic options.

Yes, hundreds accessories, hairstyles, vehicles and clothing options. The Crew system emphasizes team building with matching logos and accessories, meaning members will need to coordinate their appearance item by item. Of course, there is a digital store in Knockout City, the Brawl Store, where players can purchase items using the in-game currency, HoloBucks. Or, of course, they can just throw in real money.

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“All items in the Brawl Store can be purchased with HoloBucks,” Velan Studios CEO Karthik Bala said. “HoloBucks can be won while playing – or purchased for real money if players choose to do so. Although his voice became noticeably quieter in the second half of this sentence, Bala made it clear that the Brawl Shop only contains cosmetic items and no skill-enhancing accessories.

Knockout City is designed so that everyone is on an equal footing, where there is no way to buy an advantage and that practicing your skills, individually and as a team, can give you an advantage over your opponents, ”a he declared.

Knockout City

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There is no shooting in the game and no weapon at all. It’s entirely ball-based, and like a solid fighting game, players must rely on timing and positioning to take out their opponents. There is no aiming mechanic; bullets automatically lock onto enemies, as long as you fire your shot at the right time. Players can catch an incoming ball and return fire as quickly as they want, or latch onto it and strategize for a lethal throw.

It requires a fair amount of physical processing, especially with dozens of players on a map and lots of balls flying through the air. The developers at Velan have built a unique game engine, Viper, and a programming language, V-script, to handle the load.

“It all starts with a V here,” Bala said. Speaking specifically of V-script, he continued, “Every line of code can run both backward and forward, so all of our simulation is handled that way to handle internet latency. It’s pretty unique. “

Latency between networks and platforms was one of Velan’s main concerns. For example, a mechanic in the game allows opponents to ‘rally’, or repeatedly throw a ball back and forth, speeding up with each pass until someone flinches and grabs it in the face. . Latency mismatches can completely shatter this mechanism, and Bala said he was happy with the way Viper and V-script are handling the problem.

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