Initially, I set out to create a Video Game Video Review for the new game Rollerdrome.
Instead, I ended up creating what I would describe as a hype video:
Rollerdrome is a bit of Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater meets a fast-paced shooter, like Splitgate.
“Rollerdrome is the original hybrid shooter-skater that blends high octane, visceral combat with fluid movement and tricking mechanics into one complementary and challenging whole.”-from game publisher, Private Division
Rollerdrome was developed by the team behind the award-winning OlliOlli series, and the visuals are very closely inspired by the latest entry, OlliOlli World. Both games, OlliOlli World and Rollerdrome, feature the same sort of hand-drawn art principles, but with two different styles. While OlliOlli World features more of an Adventure Time cartoon style, Rollerdrome boasts a more realistic, comic book style.
Let’s take a journey through the different art styles of the OlliOlli series of games:
What I loved about the OlliOlli games is how the art style continued to evolve from game to game, while the gameplay still managed to capture that same OlliOlli spirit. Now, with Rollerdrome I’m getting some OlliOlli vibes, but in a completely different game. I’m now curious to see how a Rollerdrome 2 would look and feel.
I’m a huge fan of the way that each match in Rollerdrome begins, with the name and date being brought up on screen in a huge font — I love that design choice. It reminds me of the location changes in the recent James Bond 007 movies, where the location pops up on the screen over some beautiful shot. Some levels even have some first-person narrative pre-match exploration, which also highlight this lovely art style while giving us some back story.
Skate, Dodge, Shoot
Skating and performing tricks in Rollerdrome feels on par with last year’s Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 1 + 2, even though it’s mostly grabs, grinds, spins and flips. The addition of gun combat, dodging enemy House Players, and slowing time is not something I ever knew I needed in an extreme sports action game.
It’s like the creative team was sitting in a room one day — possibly playing Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 1 + 2 — thinking, We love skating and extreme sports games, how can we make them even cooler? Guns? Bad Guys? Roller Skates? The Future?
The gameplay is very addicting and gives players that “one more run” mentality, when you know it’s time for bed but you just have to keep trying to beat one last match. Before you know it two hours have gone by and now it’s really time for bed.
House Players & Unexpected Bosses
Taking out and dodging House Players is so much fun and quite rewarding, especially when done in slow motion. The slow motion in this game feels like today’s version of “bullet time” from the Max Payne games. There are a few House Players that I feel were specifically designed to ruin a player’s flow in a match.
Each match in Rollerdrome is all about flow. It’s about completing the objectives under a certain amount of time (if possible), and building combos by chaining your tricks and kills to gain the highest score possible.
Each House Player has their own method of attacks and defenses. Grunts and Snipers are the easiest to take out, but the others are a bit trickier. Warheads and Riot Guards have their unique defensive techniques, but once learned are easier to handle.
The two House Players that gave me the most trouble were the Poly Beams and Stompers. Poly Beams with their blue beam that continuously follows you as you attempt to get away, and Stompers that come out of nowhere with their large green goop stomps.
The matches progress by sprinkling in a few new House Players at a time, but the most surprising was when I thought I had completed a match and was taken to a boss fight against a giant spider tank. It caught me off guard since I hadn’t seen any boss fights before this, but it was a very welcome change in pace from the original gameplay.
Levels + Objectives
There are two different ways to go about Rollerdrome: (1) you can attempt to beat each match by taking out each of the House Players (I’ll call that “Survival” Mode), or (2) you can go after every objective (I’ll call that “Hall of Fame” Mode). The game features a campaign mode, Survival and Hall of Fame are something I created in my head while playing the campaign mode.
Each stage has certain objectives (or challenges) to complete.
Will I aim to 100% all of the objectives? I’m not sure yet, but I realized that going back to the first stage with my Rollerdrome knowledge as a semi-finalist, I easily cleared the missing objectives. Perhaps I will go for the Rollerdrome platinum trophy. Who knows?
I started off playing in “Survival” mode, where I just wanted to make it to the finals and become the 2030 Rollerdrome champion. However, after completing the semi-finals, I realized that I still needed to beat a few more objectives to unlock the Final match. So, I ended up having to go back to previous matches to complete more objectives.
The campaign mode in Rollerdrome only features a couple of rounds with a few stages in each. The replayability comes from going after objectives/challenges, and attempting to beat your (and other players’) high scores. After completing my first stage in Rollerdrome, I checked the leaderboards and noticed a friend of mine had earned a higher score, which pushed me to go back and try again.
I’m also curious about Out for Blood mode, which unlocks once you complete the campaign in Rollerdrome.
Rollerdrome is out now on PlayStation consoles and PC.
*myVGBC.com was provided a review code for Rollerdrome by the game publisher.