OlliOlli World Review – Heaven is a Halfpipe

OlliOlli World Review

After kickflipping audiences into a frenzy with its first two releases, fans have had to wait 7 years for a new entry into the famed franchise. OlliOlli World aims to take the series to lofty heights with a boatload of new content and overhauled visuals but does it stick the landing or faceplant on the ramp?

New to the franchise is the addition of a narrative that gives purpose to your journey through Radlandia. Set in a world built by the skating Gods, you must traverse a variety of landscapes to prove yourself worthy of taking up the mantle of the Skating Wizard. Self-aware and packed with puns, the story adds personality to the game, especially through its recurring cast of quirky characters. Short and unintrusive, dialogue segments occur before runs which adds a nice change of pace to its predecessors.

Landing Bolts

Roll7 has altered various aspects for OlliOlli World but the DNA of the series still remains. You are tasked with completing a range of courses that include a barrage of hazards. Performing gnarly tricks and grinds increases your score and rewards you with numerous and often hilarious cosmetic items. Each stage has several objectives ranging in difficulty and will require multiple runs to clear. This gives the game a delicious more-ish quality that will keep you hooked for hours on end.

New systems are periodically and methodically introduced, increasing the number of ways you can tackle levels. After a small tutorial, you will encounter stages that possess a number of spots for you to develop and combo new moves. Due to this, you have time to master techniques and diversify your arsenal of tricks. 

Each area is masterfully designed housing multiple routes that will allow you to rack up high scores. For some paths, you can simply hit a button to divert, whilst others are more discreet requiring you to grind a particular rail to veer in a new direction and possibly uncover a side mission on the way. As a result, you will constantly experiment to find new content and your perfect run.

A Stunning McTwist

Stepping away from its predecessors, stages are no longer a left-to-right affair. While the game still has the same premise, levels twist and turn and are perfectly accentuated by the dynamic camera. Slowly the viewpoint drifts away, emphasizing the enormity and complexity of the environment. This truly shines in the frantic and more cinematic sequences where the camera follows the action. Similar to that of a Donkey Kong mine cart sequence, platforms can break, requiring you to quickly alter your route. These thrilling segments are incredibly implemented and will keep you on the edge of your seat every time. 

OlliOlli World’s tight and simple control system makes skating a dream. With a flick of the analog stick, you can live out your fantasy of being the Birdman. Anyone can pick up and play, but it takes a high level of skill to truly master the board. Knowing when to grab, grind and manual is key to attaining high scores and due to the intuitive controls, it all boils down to skill. 

Stages become more complex as the game progresses and you will need to master advanced techniques such as wall and stair riding to proceed. Because of this, failure is inevitable, but with a simple press of the button, you can either restart from a checkpoint or re-do the entire level. While there are rewards for completing a stage without using a checkpoint, the inclusion of these is a great way to learn the level and push you towards the finish line.

Baggies and a Hoodie?

From the get-go, Roll7 supplies you with a catalog of customizable options so you can personalize your avatar. There are tons of options, allowing you to alter each aspect of your character. With constant unlocks, you’ll find yourself revisiting your skater to tweak and change their appearance. So you can decide whether you want your character to look like anything from a ‘90s rocker to a used-car salesman. 

OlliOlli World includes an asynchronous multiplayer mode to keep you coming back for more. The Gnarvana Portal lets you determine the parameters of a level, such as the difficulty and length before you hit the course to perfect your craft. With this comes a unique code that can be shared so you can compete across platforms. This is a great way to unlock additional ‘mastery’ objectives on your quest to become the G.O.A.T. As well as this, there is the Gnarvana League where you can skate against others to attain the highest score on a run. Challenges refresh daily and come equipped with some rad cosmetic items.

I’ll be honest, when I saw the reveal trailer, I wasn’t stoked about the art style. The drastic leap from minimalist, pixel-based design to vibrant Cartoon Network-esque characters didn’t sit well with me. However, the moment I saw the game in front of me, all worries bailed. Each asset drips with personality in order to create a wonderful world, viewed under a hallucinogenic lens.

OlliOlli World manages to stay true to its predecessors whilst making verts feel fresh. The multi-faceted levels are an absolute joy, adding experimentation and exploration to the solid foundation. With enough depth to please veterans, yet simple enough to attract newcomers, Roll7 has nailed the mechanics, making the trip to Radlandia essential.

*** An Xbox key provided by the publisher ***

The Good

  • Addictive Gameplay
  • Packed With Objectives
  • Tight Controls

The Bad

  • Campaign Is a Little Short
  • Aesthetics May Not Appeal to Everyone
  • Things Can Get Tricky!