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Rollerdrome Review: Skates and guns in arcade sauce

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We hit the track to play Rollerdrome, the fast-paced arcade shooter from the creators of OlliOlli World, available only on PC and PlayStation.

Rollerdrome Review: Skates and guns in arcade sauce

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Summer is probably the best time of year for smaller teams to go out, as industry giants concentrate their products between the end of the year and the first months of the next. In this hot window of time, titles such as Cult of the Lamb (have you already read our Cult of the Lamb review?) Can carve out a space in the gamers’ library and get talked about without some triple A’s putting the sticks between them. wheels.

One of the games of August 2022 is Rollerdrome, the latest effort by the creators of OlliOlli World (did you miss it? Here is the review of OlliOlli World) which only apparently distances itself from the previous works of the software house based in London. We can finally tell you that we have spent the last few weeks in the company of the final version of the game, to learn the best of the gameplay mechanics and discover the secrets of each arena. So let’s put on the skates, load the guns and go out on the track.

Killing in style

In perfect Roll7 style, Rollerdrome does not get too lost in chatter and the very short introduction has the sole purpose of contextualizing the frantic shootings in which the player is called to dive. The events are set in 2030, in a society that reflects all the canons of dystopian retrofuturism (everything refers to the dear, old ’70s), with multinationals that have now taken total control over every fundamental aspect of society.

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To escape the rampant poverty, some fearless figures decide to give a risky turn to their existence by taking part in theInternational Rollerdrome Federation, a company that organizes violent shows that are regularly broadcast in the homes of the entire population like modern gladiator games. It is in this context that the adventure of Kara Hassana girl who aspires to revolutionize her life by participating in bloody sport.

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Let’s be clear, Rollerdrome is a product focused on gameplay, but the developers wanted to deepen the context in which the brutal races take place, thanks to a handful of first person sequences that precede the entrance to the arenas. Talk about a real e

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own story is wrong, since the plot is rather bland and the focus is more on lore: by exploring the areas outside the races it is possible to read documents and find clues that help us understand the mechanics that regulate the sport and all the flaws that lie behind it. In short, nothing transcendental, but the fact that the team has thought to deepen this aspect is appreciable. The title allows us to experience the entire adventure of Kara Hassan in the IRF, starting from the training up to the final. In fact, only one participant wins the competition and, unless someone decides to retire, the only way to qualify for the next round is to not let go. This premise allows to justify the growing level of challenge in the arenas, populated by increasingly fierce opponents that require the player to have a fair amount of skill in managing movements and phases of fire.

Both components of the gameplay they blend perfectly and one cannot exist without the other: whether it is wall ride, grind or flips, all tricks contribute to both the score multiplier and the reloading of the ammo bar, which is unique for all four mouths by fire (with the only and substantial difference that concerns the level of consumption of this indicator).

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Despite being on a pair of skates, the movements of the protagonist are really similar to those of an arcade skateboarding experience (here the review of OlliOlli World) and it only takes a few minutes to learn how to perform the vast majority of stunts, generating on the screen a series of spectacular actions both to see and to experience. The bullet timethanks to which it is possible to slow down the passage of time to your liking, perhaps while Kara is suspended over an enemy to make sure that she is hit with a barrage of bullets.

We know it’s hard to believe, but gunplay also enjoys the same immediacy as motion controls and you don’t need to have great aiming skills at all (in fact, it’s almost useless). Unless you decide to use the fourth and final weapon, a loaded beam rifle that allows you to strike freely, Rollerdrome’s guns automatically lock onto the closest target and you don’t need to waste precious moments to aim the weapon at him with precision.

A lot of quality, but little quantity

Rollerdrome is unfortunately not a defect-free product. In fact, alongside a gameplay that we would define as almost flawless, we do not find an adequate game structure.

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The Roll7 production campaign consists of only 11 arenas that complete in minutes, and as replayable as they are over and over again to climb the global leaderboards and complete challenges, there’s no denying there isn’t enough reason to spend too much time in them after hitting the credits.

The same endgame mode that unlocks upon completing races – let’s talk about Thirst for Blood – it is nothing more than a remix of the basic levels, which however are re-proposed with an even higher difficulty and a greater number of opponents. Although appreciable, it is on balance a somewhat superficial way to add to longevity and that is why we would have liked the presence of time trials, trick-based competitions or maybe a horde mode in which to face contenders. increasingly aggressive.

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The other problem of Rollerdrome concerns precisely the lack of variety of the opponents. Although well differentiated by characteristics that push us to adopt different approaches in the various matches, the types of opponents willing to snatch the cup from our hands are few, which is why we would have appreciated a greater effort in this regard. especially in the matter of bosses. We do not know why, but know that you will meet a single major challenger (twice), in clashes without any distinctive trait.

A cartoon in motion

Without a doubt, it is graphic style of Rollerdrome is really peculiar and immediately stands out to the eye. As you can read in the

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our interview with the creative director of Rollerdrome, the development team was also and above all inspired by the French comics of the 70s and just watch the game in motion for a few moments to be captivated by this explosion of bright colors, the use of cel-shading and the incredibly subtle black outlines compared to other productions that sport a similar artistic direction. This visual and at times minimal solution works without showing overly detailed models and scenarios, while promoting performance, essential for playing accurately and avoiding any kind of stumbling block that could reset the score multiplier. If the graphic options screen is reduced to the bone, we certainly cannot say that Roll7 has held back in terms of settings related to theaccessibility.

Rollerdrome is not a simple game and requires a certain commitment to progress: hence the desire to guarantee the right amount of fun to anyone, regardless of gamer skills or physical constraints. From infinite ammo to immortality, the accessibility screen is truly rich and allows you to shape the experience to your liking.

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