October 6, 2022
  • October 6, 2022

Sick roller skating tricks meet deadly shooting action

By on July 26, 2022 0

I was given the chance to preview rollerdrome from Roll7, the team behind the delightfully skillful 2D skateboarding game OlliOlli World. Similar to their latest title, you’re tasked with performing crazy tricks, stringing together combos and racking up high scores, but this time on roller skates, in fully 3D arenas and with firearms.

The game puts you in the shoes of Kara Hassan, a rookie contestant in the rollerdrome Championship Series, a blood sport that pits competitors against house players in a kill-or-kill deathmatch. Your position is based on completing specific challenges, your total time, and most importantly, your survival. You only get second-hand information about your rivals from first-person story sections that allow you to wander through the back rooms of the various arenas. In these sections, you can soak up environmental storytelling from things like promotional materials, open lockers, or overheard conversations.

I was surprised to find that, despite the bizarre concept of a sport based on folk shooting on roller skates, rollerdrome actually has a distinctly serious tone. The Championship Series has tons of rules and regulations; you will find documents that specify strict dress code for competitors and detail insurance payments to house players and their families in the event of death during matches. All of this lends an ominous, dystopian air to procedurals that similar games pit in favor of goofy irreverence. However, that doesn’t stop the gameplay from being noisy and over the top.

There are three gameplay pillars for rollerdrome you constantly juggle during games. The first is just general arena navigation on your skates. Once you push in a certain direction, you’ll automatically continue, allowing you to look around and aim as you please. The ability to drop of acid going down ramps or jumping out of bowls with jumps will help you position Kara exactly where you need her while house players try to get her out.

Gunplay is the second pillar, and it’s extremely generous when it comes to aiming. You’ll auto-lock onto nearby enemies, but can aim freely in slow motion while holding the left trigger, which is essential for dealing with threats in the most tactical way possible.

The last pillar is a rigging system. Kara can grind on rails and climb walls, as well as do airborne flips and tricks, which, in addition to getting you combos and high scores, is the only way to reload your gun ammo. In combat, switching between these pillars feels natural and can easily send you into a state of flux where you cause awesome slow-motion carnage.

I could only check the first six steps of rollerdrome for an overview, but the game wastes no time introducing a variety of challenging enemy types that encourage players to stay alert. You’ll face grunts, snipers, mines, rockets, and more, many of which require specific tactics or weapons in your arsenal.

As the snipers followed me around the arena, I dodged and took aim at the last second to trigger a “super reflex”, an even slower focus state, to deal with other enemies within range while being sure to avoid falling out of bounds or falling into walls. Responding to threats correctly becomes a metagame that is not only essential to success, but also incredibly rewarding.

At first glance, the aesthetics of rollerdrome looks like it will be a highlight. But the novelty of its amazing cel shading effect fades after noticing the similarities in some of its arenas. I also have minor issues with Kara’s clunky animation during certain moves, especially the robotic way she spins. However, there are environmental highlights in the small sample I saw, such as a ski resort and a shopping mall.

I was happy to try rollerdrome After seeing it showcased at PlayStation’s State of Play back in June, and having spent some time with it for a preview, I’m confident it has what it takes to outperform other titles that are easily GIFable but ultimately superficial My friend Peter. With its dark but intriguing setting and high-level gameplay, rollerdrome is a stock to watch. The game will be released on August 16 on PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5 and PC.