September 29, 2022

Have you ever wanted to skate and shoot at the same time? Blaze around at breakneck speeds and take down your enemies stylishly? Well, worry not, because Roll7, the studio behind the sensational OlliOlli World, allows you to become the hybrid of Tony Hawk and Rambo that you always wanted to be.

AT A GLANCE
GENRE
: Action, Sports
DEVELOPER: Roll7
PUBLISHER: Private Division
RELEASE DATE: 16 Aug 2022
FINAL SCORE: 10/10

Roll7, the English studio responsible for the fantastic arcade skating game OlliOlli, which recently saw the release of OlliOlli World, has applied their expertise in fluid and stylish gameplay in a mashup of two genres that I never thought I would see.

In the year 2030. Large corporations have taken over and society has become a dystopia. One such corporation, Matterhorn hosts a bloodthirsty and brutal sport: the Rollerdrome.

You play as Kara Hassan, a promising newcomer who has become one of the most promising players for the new season of Rollerdrome that is about to begin. Before each of the phases that make up the 2030 championship, we control Kara in the first person just before going out to compete. In these situations, we can explore the environment and interact with different elements to learn more about the story and the universe. The story is told through messages and clippings, never becoming the spotlight of the game, allowing players to experience the meat of the experience, which is excellent gameplay.

And since the gameplay is the main draw, Roll7 has made sure its as polished as it could be. Rollerdrome’s controls feel familiar to anyone who has played any Roll7 game and you can even perform the usual jumps and other stunts riding up walls and performing tricks in mid-air such as grabs, spins, or flips.

But skating is just one half of Rollerdome’s gameplay experience, the other being the gunfights. Because getting points for your skating skills is something completely secondary; the only way to complete any level is to kill all the enemies. You can’t ignore the skating part of course, as the only way to earn ammunition is by performing tricks, and thus you as the player have to strike a balance between fighting and skating, with furious style, speed, and accuracy.

Keeping up with the theme of momentum, you can shoot at any time, whether while rolling or in the middle of a jump. There’s quite a bit of aim assist, but it never takes away the satisfaction of scoring a good kill. Chaining tricks, with stylish kills in the same spectacular combo, feel tremendously rewarding.

Keeping an eye out for your surroundings and maintaining control of the situation is highly important, as the chaos keeps increasing with each level. Your arsenal also sees some upgrades, and with your skills improving over time, the game never stops feeling too easy or too hard, striking the perfect balance for an enjoyable experience. Rollerdrome is the kind of game that requires a lot of practice and mastery, but once mastered, rewards players with satisfying moments.

Truly, my only complaint about the game towards the end was that I couldn’t get enough of it, and I felt it ended too soon. I did drop right in for another playthrough but at that stage, I had already conquered Rollerdome and could rush through the early stages without any hiccups.

But the replayability factor is still there since there are quite a few optional challenges to tackle that challenge your mastery of the game.

The game feels truly unique in all aspects, which includes its visuals. The game utilizes cel-shaded graphics and a striking art style that makes the game stand out even more.


FINAL THOUGHTS
Rollerdrome is one of those games that you pick up and before you know it, way too many hours have passed. It’s addictive, and most importantly it feels fresh. I never thought I would say this, but apparently, guns and skates really go well together.

GAMEPLAY10
VISUALS10
AUDIO10
FINAL SCORE10