Stop throwing your friends at me!
By George Foster
Published May 30, 2021
I’ve previously talked about Knockout City’s excellent gameplay mechanics and how they work so well because of the mind-games they result in. Now that I’ve hit rank 60 (someone, please help me), all of that rings even truer than before. Mechanically Knockout City is nearly flawless, but there’s one big stain on them that needs to be tweaked – the insta-kill friend throw.
That’s not the official name for it, for the record, but it’s pretty apt considering how it works. You and other players can turn themselves into a ball and be used as ammo when there aren’t any balls around. Hitting an enemy with one of these friend bombs will knock them out instantly, which is something that no other move in the game can do. The idea is great on paper, but in practice, it’s far too overpowered and needs some tweaking.
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Things get even more annoying when you charge the move up. Doing so will cause the bomb to be thrown from above, where it’s more like a missile than anything else, causing a small explosion when it lands that will knock out whoever is caught in the radius. The number of matches I’ve had ruined by these annoying bombs is too many to count, and it stands out in a game that’s so mechanically well thought out in every other way.
Similar to the un-charged version, on paper, this is a cool idea that balances risk and reward quite nicely and lets players mess with the mechanics in cool ways. That’s what Knockout City is all about. As it stands right now, though, it’s one of the game’s more frustrating mechanics and one that could easily be tweaked to be great.
The big change that needs to be made to this mechanic is how much damage can be done from it. Let’s start with the big guns first – the charged throw. Honestly, I’d be pretty happy seeing this removed completely, but if it’s going to stay, there are some changes that need to be made. Firstly, it needs to have a longer charging time, so that players are more at risk It also needs to cause one bit of damage and give the player more recovery time after landing, especially if they don’t actually hit anything. It could still hit multiple enemies and drive players to run in fear, but it doesn’t need to take them out instantly.
At the very least, there needs to be some kind of catching mechanic for the charged version. You can catch anything in Knockout City except these charged throws, so being able to catch it would tie the game’s mechanics in a nice little bow. It’d also look incredibly cool, so bonus point there.
Less work needs to be done to the normal friend throw. As it stands right now, there’s plenty of risk and reward by doing this move since the other team can catch you and use you as ammo too, but right now it’s far too easy to abuse and definitely needs to see a damage reduction. Turning into ammo is enough of a benefit without also being an insta-kill move too.
This is all so important to Knockout City’s continued success because it seems to be shaping into a game that is super skill-focused. Matches are won by fast reactions and fast thinking, and every move can be countered in some fashion. Every move except the charged friend bomb that is. So please Knockout City, stop making me chuck my friends to win thanks.
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About The Author
(261 Articles Published)
George is a news editor for TheGamer and a part of the all-mighty weekend crew.
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