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Rollerdrome review: dystopian blood sports on wheels

Games that require physical movement, such as Nintendo Switch Sportsit’s been a while since we’ve reviewed a game that actually made us sweat rollerdrome.

True to its name, developer Roll7 is doing well, having already launched a blinder earlier this year with OlliOlli World. But if that game felt like a wonderfully welcoming and wholesome escape that nevertheless retains its hardcore 2D skatesim roots, then this kicks the gear in the opposite direction and transports us to a fully 3D dystopian future filled with relentless ultra-violent action with barely a time to catch your breath.

With a cel-shaded look that reminds us of last year’s saber but with none of the chill vibes, as underlined by the dark synth-wave soundtrack, think Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater with guns and where everyone is trying to kill you and that would sum up this blood sport of the near future (2030 to be exact). Right out of the tutorial gate, this game has you on the edge of your seat as you try to make your way to the top like a Rollerdrome champion. But can you keep up?

trick shots

A Rollerdrome match set in various deadly arenas around the world where you traverse on third-person roller skates will require you to kill plucky upstart Kara Hassan other human enemies who gradually try to come out to eliminate you. They come in a variety of variations, from melee grunts to heavys that generate shields right after being hit, not to mention the nasty ones that try to snipe you from a distance.

Since you don’t have to aim to fire (except for a certain weapon that will be unlocked later) and you don’t have to worry about getting a perfect landing like in OlliOlli, the combination of skating and shooting might sound pretty simple, especially since you don’t have to. You can also slow down time by holding the left trigger to fine-tune your target when multiple enemies, projectiles, or traps are in your sights. Ammunition is limited though, and you’ll often run out after unloading on one tough enemy.

But then the skate element comes into play, as the only way to refill your ammo is by performing tricks in the arena. These could be air spins and flips or perhaps the easiest just grind on the rails available, and of course the more tricks you can perform the more you’ll top up. Even more useful is to perform a perfect dodge to dodge an attack, then press the left trigger to activate Reflex mode. In this slowed state, you not only get a refill, but your attacks also get a boost, allowing even your dual pistols to knock out a brute’s riot shield, leaving them visible.

Too much, too soon

When your brain can keep up with the demanding momentum, blast away grunts, catch some air that fills just enough to take down a sniper on higher ground before dodging the stump of a brute’s shield and emptying your clip and then frantically seeking the next trick, Rollerdrome reloads a breathless kinetic rush. That sense of living on the edge also comes from committing murder with vanquished enemies dropping health refills, a bit like the new demise games, giving you just enough to advance if your own health bar is in the danger zone.

The problem is, it all comes overwhelmingly fast as the obstacles mount, from dodging snipers’ laser sights to sending missiles at your tail, or the proximity mines suddenly falling in front of you. Of course you can dodge these, but we also prefer the ability to spin much tighter than Hassan’s skates allow, resulting in too many moments where you fall out of bounds or are unable to spin to take on an opponent . Just by trying to survive wave after wave of the relentless onslaught, we also find ourselves routinely forgetting to perform tricks or also switch to a more capable weapon, if at the time we even have the ammunition to use it. to make.

Survival alone isn’t enough either, as you also need to complete a certain number of challenges in each stage before you can progress through the championship, which encourages replaying levels to do better (we were definitely lucky if we even got a C could scrape digit on our first try) and tick off challenges like hitting a set of combo kill, grabbing all collectibles, or being able to perform a trick or kill in a specific way. Luckily, you don’t have to redo the entire gauntlet, because once you earn a checkmark for one challenge, you’ll keep it, even if you decide to finish the level immediately after.

Every little bit helps

The world of rollerdromeSeen occasionally through Hassan’s eyes in all-too-short snatches between stages, can be tough and care little about who gets eliminated in this dangerous blood sport, but the game itself is thankfully more lenient. Indeed, players who have played OlliOlli World will be happy to know that there are just as many accessibility options, including special difficulty modifiers, so that the action is more manageable.

Do you want to adapt to take less damage from enemy attacks, or just be invincible? Want to have infinite ammo instead of pulling stunts every time, or not have a timer to go into slow motion? You can do that and more, and even set it so that you don’t have to complete the stated goal of challenges to make it to the championship to the end. It’s certainly gratifying to have these options, though customization is lacking elsewhere, as you play a regular character and are very much prescribed with the kill or be killed mantra.

Still, thrill seekers who love the devil will enjoy the challenges the game presents, especially when you get to the post-game, which offers a new championship season in the form of a Nightmare mode. Honestly, it’s hard to imagine mere mortals surviving this mode without even a little help, but whether a level ends with the camera slicing towards the screen and turning yellow when the last enemy falls or turning blood red when it’s facing the enemy go who landed the kill shot, only after you see either one can you catch your breath again.

Rollerdrome pronunciation

As the second title to come from Roll7 this year, rollerdrome has an almost fast and dirty sense of something very focused on what it wants to be, in this case a hardcore adrenaline-pumping ultra-stylish, ultra-violent new sport of the future.

While the range of accessibility and difficulty levels means you won’t necessarily see the Disabled screen and have a chance to adjust to this brave new world, we still have to consider the game on its default setting. With that in mind, it pulls a little too much every second from every direction, often faster than you have time to react or understand all the mechanics at your disposal.

There are some great ideas here taken from some of the most stylish and coolest action games out there, and hitting the zone is one of the most exciting games you’ll be playing this year that will leave you on the edge. loves your seat. For those who are still in love with OlliOlli World but maybe you’d rather stay in Radlandia a little longer than face this dystopia.


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