October 6, 2022
  • October 6, 2022

Rollerdrome Review – IGN

By on August 22, 2022 0

I wouldn’t expect roller skating and third-person shooting to be a chocolate and peanut butter situation, but Rollerdrome proves it can be just that. Essentially inventing a new single-player sport, developer OlliOlli World Roll7 has found enough ways to make both sides of this unique piece shine without being overwhelming. Wrap that package up in an intriguing world with more beyond sports than you might think, and I found myself losing game after game of skate-shooting mayhem.

It’s 2030 and you enter the Rollerdrome as a new skater, Kara Hassan. This dystopian and brutally intelligent future bloodsport has participants skating and shooting for their lives against waves of “house players” – i.e. perfectly identifiable classes of enemies that range from easy melee fighters to mini -mechs with homing missiles. Most of the time you’re chasing high scores and completing optional challenges at each stage, but Kara’s quest to become Rollerdrome Champion isn’t just about dressing up between the action – in fact, this story reveals an image convincing of the rather dark reality in which it takes place.

First-person sections dotted throughout the campaign allow you to explore locker rooms, office spaces, and a few other locations before heading into the arena. While they offer the nifty advantage of jumping directly from first-person to third-person when entering a match, these sections are also a chance to better understand the part you play in your employer’s machinations. Rollerdrome doesn’t require you to wade through documents or overhear conversations – you can run straight through the door and enter the battle – but I’m glad I chose to do that, as I found a surprisingly sharp commentary on quite relevant topics such as the surprising control over all aspects of life that a few companies can exercise.

However, if you’re here just for the action, Rollerdrome absolutely delivers. Roll7 has a knack for creating finely tuned mechanics related to extreme sports (look at OlliOlli World for further evidence from this year alone). Because the skating and the shooter happen simultaneously, the developers have found some clever and, frankly, necessary places to reduce complexity to ensure these two halves fit together well. While skating, you don’t have to worry about your speed unless you stop or an enemy does. Conversely, aiming your weapons is also relatively forgiving: as long as you’re in range and your reticle is close enough to your mark, an auto-lock will appear. That doesn’t mean you can’t be precise with your shots, and even hit enemies from further away without auto-lock, but some clever concessions ensure that skating and shooting are fun and accessible while still leaving room for be mastered. time.

Slideshow Rollerdrome

Rollerdrome isn’t aiming to be the most complex skate simulator or shooter out there, but there are still plenty of challenges. I was always thrilled with how it played out wave after wave of increasingly difficult enemies, while I also tried to complete a list of Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater-like optional tasks. It could be collecting a set of hidden tokens, landing a specific trick, or killing a giant enemy with your meager pistols… okay, maybe that last one isn’t quite like Tony Hawk. Taking down enemies is the bulk of what you’ll do, with each run a chance to string together some cool kills and sick skating stuff as you learn to improve your flow through a given stage on each try. Enemy placement isn’t random, so you’ll quickly find better paths to maintain momentum and better ways to take out some of those fun objectives on later attempts.

The arenas themselves are also beautiful thanks to Rollerdrome’s bright and colorful art design. There are a handful of different types of environments a level can be themed around, all of which take place in somewhat pedestrian locations like a barren canyon in the American desert or a mall in the Midwest. But that banality is by design if you’ve just come to understand the fascinating world of Rollerdrome, and their everyday nature doesn’t take away from the pops of color, harsh angular lines, and intriguing retro-quasi-futuristic design. These locations are also complemented by composer Electric Dragon’s rock soundtrack, which never stops as it takes the 70s disco beat, mixes it with 80s synth sounds and tilts it just enough to have futuristic sound.

Rollerdrome’s focus on the momentum of the action takes inspiration from the visuals and soundtrack around you and incorporates that tempo into its mechanics. Each kill increases your score multiplier, and even just shooting an enemy will allow you to prevent that multiplier from going out if you’re unable to finish them off. This happened to me most often because my clip wasn’t full, but Rollerdrome’s creative take on ammo refills meant more bullets were always within reach. Each successful round reloads your weapons, and your four weapons share a collective amount of ammo (which discouraged me the first few times I switched between them). This means you can run past an enemy, reload your clip on the move so you don’t give them the chance to throw a defensive shield or attack between shots. I switched between pistols and shotguns depending on enemy type, chaining shots between rounds and falling in an almost zen-like rhythm into its flow. Even if you fail, you can learn how a different weapon choice or another path might have gone better.

Learning the level while constantly moving, shooting and reloading is at the heart of mastering Rollerdrome, but there’s also plenty of room for improvisation. The campaign slowly but cleverly hands out new enemy types with unique abilities, as well as new weapons, so I never felt too overwhelmed as I progressed. It’s one thing to take on a guard with a riot shield that’s weakest against a shotgun blast, but do it while two bat-wielding enemies are rushing you and three missiles are closing in requires quick thinking, so it’s good that Rollerdrome eases you into the deep end rather than throwing you head first. To help you catch your breath and look cool while doing it, you can also temporarily slow down time when pressing the left trigger to aim. Slo-mo might be well-worn territory right now, but Rollerdrome’s odd combination of genres makes it feel fresh again, turning nearly every slowed-down attack into a screenshot-worthy moment.

Slow motion may be well-worn territory, but Rollerdrome’s use of it turns nearly every slowed attack into a screenshot-worthy moment.

Even when you’re bombarded with sniper beams, homing missiles, landmines, and more, Rollerdrome offers a chance to dodge and activate a Super Reflex mode, which slows down time even further while increasing the power of your shots. It’s a consistently satisfying reward, but it never feels overpowered thanks to the limited (but fair) amount of ammo you have before you have to pull off any more tricks. You’ll definitely need to make good use of this ability by the end too – nearly every enemy in Rollerdrome tries to stop you in its last two stages, and I barely managed to get out of those fights on my first two tries. . There’s almost too much going on at first glance, but a replay or two later and I felt much more comfortable with those deceptively difficult final fights.

The biggest diversions from its regular campaign levels are a pair of boss battles that are both a highlight and a disappointment. They cleverly tweak the usual mechanics, forcing you to take on a single massive enemy rather than waves of smaller ones, and ripping through that first monster is a blast. But the ensuing boss fight doesn’t change that formula much, so it didn’t feel like a noticeably different challenge. Seeing ingenuity at hand originally, I had hoped for a few more turns in the second boss fight, or even some other cool takes on bigger enemies before the end.

But it’s more of a temporary halt to the thrilling experience of Rollerdrome. And if you’re having as much fun as I did at the end of the roughly 5-hour campaign (with a few more hours already spent replaying levels), there’s a brutal and surprising new option that opens up afterwards. The “Out for Blood” campaign features remixed versions of previous levels with all enemy types available from the first battle (and a remix of the awesome accompanying soundtrack). I’ve tried the former and it’s no joke, especially if you consider any of the base levels difficult, but they should make for an even more rewarding testing ground if you can survive.