Roll7 reinvigorated the skateboarding genre with the incredible OlliOlli series. Its addictive, free-flowing gameplay allowed for wannabe-skaters around the world to live out their fantasies. After nailing the landing with OlliOlli World, Roll7 looks to apply its unique design philosophy to another wheel-based sport. Rollerdrome combines the high-octane nature of roller derby, the tricks synonymous with the X Games and the violent competition of The Running Man to create a truly fascinating experience.
Set in the not-too-distant future, you play as Kara Hassan, a competitor in the Rollerdrome. As a way to distract the public from the corruption that imbues conglomerates, a bloodthirsty sport is at the forefront of the media. Your aim is to progress through the various stages to become the champion and also discover the secrets behind the evil corporation. While the plot isn’t at the forefront of the game, it’s great to have a subtle narrative thread that lingers throughout. Story segments are in the first person perspective. Here you can explore small areas and interact with items to learn about the world.
A Stylish Shooter
Rollerdrome is a slick, cinematic experience. With ease, you can fly through the air like Tony Hawk and headshot foes like John Wick. Similar to OlliOlli, you have a list of objectives to complete in your run. These vary from performing particular tricks in specific scenarios to score-based challenges. Due to these, the incentive to replay levels is enormous and you’ll find yourself revisiting to tick off each task.
Your main goal is to clear the number of enemies that spawn, however, it is how you do this which makes the game great. As you gain ammo from tricks, you will constantly look to combine style with violence. You can trigger a slow down to perform the perfect shot and link this into gnarly grind in one swift movement. The combo meter encourages a breakneck speed so you will always look for the next opportunity to rack up those points.
The range of enemies means that you will need to vary your attack. Over time, you will have several guns at your disposal. Each of these feels different which is partly due to the excellent implementation of haptic feedback. You will need to experiment to work out which weapon has an advantage over certain opponents and switch accordingly. The dual pistol can quickly pepper people while the shotgun has a timing-based blast that can eviscerate tanks. From snipers to melee fighters, a range of enemy types make you bolt around the arena. If you flawlessly time a dodge, you can initiate a boosted attack to help clear the mass. It’s an absolute thrill to try to avoid the number of attacks and stagger brutes while performing a 720 Method.
This is not a simple stroll, Rollerdrome is tough. You’ll have to juggle skills and kills in order to climb the leaderboard. If you go out of bounds, fail to chain attacks or lack variety with tricks, your rank will be low. To help you out, you can visit the ‘Tricktionary’ and learn all tricks available to diversify your run.
The retro-future aesthetic is beautiful. 80s synth-wave sounds pump behind gorgeous cel-shaded graphics to make a finger-licking blend. This alluring design is distinct and helps the game find its own identity. In addition to this, environments also shift from indoor courts to snowy rooftops with hidden areas. There’s a lovely range of verticality too which helps to broaden your options to strike.
Rollerdrome is shaping up to be an incredible and unique experience. The combination of addictive gameplay, stylish visuals, and synth soundtrack makes this a stunning package. Due to be released on the 16th of August, I personally can’t wait to dive back into this pulse-racing, sport-based shooter.
*** A PlayStation 5 key provided by the publisher ***