I don’t say this lightly, but Rollerdrome is one of the best games of the year. Normally, I’d build up the game by talking about the developers or the concept, drop a few teases as to what you can do or where the issues might be, but I’m coming right out of the gate to tell you that Roll7’s high octane blood sport shooter is sublime in every way possible. It’s a departure from OlliOlli, but it still shares that core attraction of replaying every stage until you’ve done everything you can before moving on to the next bit. People, I adore this game.
Taking place in the year 2030, you play as Kara Hassan, a new participant in Matterhorn’s popular sport, Rollerdrome. The corporation behind the violence and blood has its hands in a number of shady pies, and as you play through the various stages, you’re drip-fed details as to what’s happening elsewhere in the world regarding their actual intentions. If you’re intrigued, the story is there, but it is what happens inside the different arenas that make Rollerdrome so utterly addictive.
Rollerdrome: A perfect challenge
Think of the levels like Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater. Each one takes place in a new area, whether its in a shopping mall, a ski resort, or the desert. You’re given various challenges to complete, such as pulling off particular tricks, collecting tokens, killing enemies with specific weapons, or beating another participants high score. The main difference, if not obvious by my use of the word ‘killing’ in the previous sentence, if that you’ll do a lot of shooting.
You start off with a set of dual pistols, and as you progress you’ll get a shotgun, a powerful rifle known as the Z-11, and a grenade launcher. In order to refill your ammo, you’ll need to pull off various tricks. They work in pretty much the same way as they do in Tony Hawk’s. Hold in “cross” at the base of a ramp or half-pipe, and release to jump. Then, by pressing directional combinations and square, a different grab will initiate. Grinding can also be done across any lip or rail, and this too will help you refill your ammunition.
So satisfying to play
Movement feels so satisfying, and when you’re mixing gunplay with jumps, wall riding, and tricks, the results are beautiful. Killing enemies will cause them to drop health refills. Towards the latter part of the campaign, waves of enemies will spawn with a range of different weapons, and it does begin to get difficult as you try to eliminate them all. Snipers, guards with riot shields, and even military mechs will end up spawning, each requiring a different way to attack. Certain skills help to make things easier. Bullet time (or Reflex Time as it’s known in Rollerdrome) allows you to slow things down to fire off your shots.
If you dodge at the perfect time and quickly initiate Reflex Time, you’ll enter Super Reflex, and here, for a short time, you’ll be able to take out enemies quicker. Roll7 has added some aids if you’re struggling in the later stages. If you’re finding it difficult to pull off tricks to refill ammo, you can give yourself an infinite amount. Reflex Time can also be endless. Your score won’t be uploaded to the leaderboards, but it does make it a lot more fun giving you a free supply of ammo and time.
Rollerdrome: Thrill a minute
As you beat each stage, you’ll eventually reach the next level of the competition, but a certain amount of challenges need to be completed. I enjoyed this structure as it makes you replay areas with a fresh game plan. You might want to go through a stage and kill everything as fast as possible, then replay attempting to complete the challenges. It’s never a chore in doing so due to how well the game has been designed, and when it looks as good as it does, you’ll find it difficult to put the controller down.
Rollerdrome is a stylish and highly polished shooter that blends seamless gameplay with its fluid movement and shooting. Everything about it oozes style, from the unique art style to the enemy and level designs. The challenges drive you onwards, and even pulling off new skills as you play through give plenty of reasons to keep replaying. It’s pretty hardcore, and even after the finals, you can jump into a new mode called ‘Out for Blood’ that ramps up the difficulty for an added challenge.
Exceptional movement and combat
Tons of replayability
Does get difficult