Sleek art, combat, and fast pace are hallmarks of the new Rollerdrome Skating Game |
It’s the year 2030 and the hottest new blood sport on the airwaves is Rollerdrome, a competition where skilled fighters on roller skates race against the clock to outlast their enemies and beat the times of other competitors. Equipped with an arsenal of deadly weaponry ranging from dual pistols (wielding akimbo style) to a futuristic railgun, players will need to be fast on the draw, even faster on their wheels and more stylish in the air to perform tricks – everything this to survive in the video game reviewed here: Rollerdrome, developed by London-based game developer Roll7 and published by Private Division.
The initial draw of Rollerdrome for me was the cell-shaded art style, sleek combat, and fast-paced gameplay. I was also a fan of Roll7’s previous work, OlliOlli World, which came out earlier this year. Like OlliOlliWorld, Rollerdrome is definitely one of those games that’s easy to learn, but harder to master.
The game begins with tutorials, to help familiarize the player with the mechanics and controls of the game. This was both necessary and important as each set of levels builds on the skills the game has taught the player up to. ‘now.
Without a doubt, the most important aspect of Rollerdrome gameplay is movement and traversal. With House players, the game’s enemies, trained to shoot you on sight, it’s important to always move, gain speed and momentum. Performing tricks, grinding on rails, and rolling down walls can help maintain momentum when off the ground. If you can do all of this, you will be able to reload your weapon. Having this as a mechanic instead of the traditional button press makes the reloading action more dynamic, innovative, and fun.
Lining up high-velocity shots to take out enemies seems difficult. Luckily, targeting lock is key when shooting in the game. When your weapon is in range to shoot your opponent, lock boxes appear white or red when the shot can be fired to hurt your opponent. Conversely, enemies will target you and place explosives on the ground in an attempt to kill you, first appearing red and then white when locked.
Since this happens at such high speeds, dodge and reflex time have been added so you can know when to dodge attacks from house enemies. Reflex Time allows players to slow down time so they can properly gauge when to dodge bullets, explosions, and missiles coming your way.
On startup, the default weapons are dual pistols. As you progress through each set of levels, you get new deadly weapons added to your arsenal like a shotgun, grenade launcher, and railgun. With each weapon added to your arsenal, the number of enemies increases. As I progressed through the campaign, I noticed that certain weapons were better suited against certain types of enemies than others. It’s important to keep this in mind when facing certain enemies.
To progress through each series of levels, players must complete a number of challenges assigned at the start of each level. It is possible to disable this feature in the options menu, but this disables the player’s ability to appear on the leaderboard. This feature of completing challenges to advance to the next stage of levels encourages players to improve in game mechanics and be more skilled in the game itself. At first, I didn’t know this feature was available and I have benefited immensely from it. Highly recommend going through the campaign with challenges though.
On your first run, it’s hard to build momentum and maintain a fast, consistent pace, but with practice and experimentation with the controls/mechanics, it got easier. Like I said, Rollerdrome is easy to learn, but hard to master. There were several times in my game where I died because I didn’t dodge at the right time, or because I got stuck in a section of the arena, or because I didn’t have enough ammunition to take down an opponent. But even when I lost, I still wanted to pick up the controller and try the level again. The game didn’t make me feel too frustrated when I lost. Due to the way the game mechanics are laid out and the way the player is introduced to new weapons and enemy types, this helped balance out the game’s skill gap from a way that gives players new strategies and tactics to eliminate different types of enemies.
The three different aspects of gameplay: shooting enemies, performing tricks, gaining and maintaining momentum combine to form a harmonious rhythm of movement.
With about ten hours under my belt, I would definitely recommend this game to anyone who is a fan of games that focus on stylized skill-based gameplay, where you are rewarded for your skill and mastery of game controls.