OlliOlli World is completely unrecognizable from what you’ve come to expect yet still respectful of its humble origins.
Obviously it’s a much more stylish and slick looking game from the gritty, grindy indie that set records and won awards and while that may make some people feel apprehensive, we’re here to assure you that’s totally ok.
The essence remains the same. You’ll be grinding on rails, wall-riding, performing neat tricks, and completing fun side objectives all while trying to stay on your board through a series of increasingly difficult challenges. Controls are also familiar, as you’re using the analog sticks to keep steady and change positions. It all works brilliantly well, with such easy gestures and motions making you feel like an absolute wheel wizard.
A lick of paint really does help OlliOlli World stand out, of course. You can tell from the environment, the world you’ll explore and the characters you’ll meet that everything’s had a complete refresh and reset. And there’s so much more customization now, with side quests to tackle, heroes to challenge, and photo modes with filters. It’s easier than ever to compare your scores with friends and the avatar creation options are just ridiculous.
We all knew the core game and loop was great. Roll7 nailed it on the first try and they certainly haven’t tripped themselves up here with the flow of the game feeling more silky smooth than ever. But as cool as the retro-esque charm of the original was, this feels like a natural evolution for the franchise.
And it does feel necessary. Like we said, we already knew Roll7 could make a great skater but the next step was always trying to show that on a bigger stage, proving it to a larger audience. OlliOlli World is that platform, especially following the recent remasters of Tony Hawks which went down so well. There’s a love of skating games again and OlliOlli World completely scratches that itch for those looking for the next thing.
The cel-shaded like presentation is beautifully coloured and designed, the UI feels responsive and accessible, you can cycle between musical tracks at the click of a button, there’s even some fun, light-hearted humour in-between sections as you chat amongst a group of half-hearted skaters.
And PS5 players have the added bonus of some wonderfully immersive DualSense sounds and sensations as you roll over grinds, switch lanes, and sail through collectibles and objectives. It really added to the experience for me, giving this neat surround sound effect. Though it does continue to present an interesting conundrum for people who are torn between the improved third party performance on Series X with Dolby vs the unique opportunities available through the PS5 controller.
Oh, and don’t worry about whether the more cutesy presentation makes for an easier game, because World will quickly start kicking your ass. You’ll get time to familiarise yourself with the basics, train with them, test them out, but you’ll soon be thrown in at the deep end with long leaps over vast chasms, awkward obstacles, and the need to perform certain tricks or hit a certain score threshold.
Though, OlliOlli World does do a very good job of gradually introducing you to its mechanics, so you’ll still be learning ways to keep the game fresh deep in, but also have a firm handle of how to play from the off. Each time you complete one of its five worlds, you’ll also be able to try out randomly generated courses themed within that environment which is sure to make the game imminently replayable while providing cool opportunities for practice.
Another interesting thing to note are the encounters you can have during your runs. Occasionally you might bump into someone who opens up another area of the map or you might have an area which you can’t access right away. There’s lots of secrets scurried away but OlliOlli World still manages to stay fresh through its different areas as you keep progressing.
Speaking of the worlds, they’re all lovingly designed, Cloverbrook especially being a real favourite of mine with its lush greenery and massive buzzing bees that have a penchant for advertising. The humour here is so universal, which was also another of the game’s biggest surprises because OlliOlli wasn’t a game I necessary pegged for its sense of humour, yet World really leans into the puns, occasionally raises a smile, and even manages to tie a story together about skating gods. Because what else would it be about?
And then we come to the character customisation, which is one of the most impressive things I’ve seen in an indie release. Ever. The base amount of content is already substantial across the boards, headwear, and tone, but you can also adjust rails, your start run, knee pads and more. You’ll even get to unlock more items as you beat more courses and complete side quests, which just offers a ridiculous amount of options, quite honestly.
Best of all, Roll7 let you design your skater the way you want to design them, with no restrictions. It’s just such a complete breath of fresh air.
OlliOlli World is a blast. It’s fulfilling, thrilling, and absolutely full of things to see and do. There’s a ton of replayability with the multiplayer options and randomly generated content, some fab musical tracks to jam out to and a ton more content coming throughout the year to go with the substantial amount that’s already there.
This is an exciting new direction for the franchise and easily the definitive edition of an already fantastic skating game. OlliOlli World looks, feels, and plays like a dream whether you’re looking for the next fix following Tony Hawks or it’s the first time you’re hopping on a board. Roll7 and Private Division make an excellent team and I’m so excited to see what else they’ll bring to the game in the months and years ahead.
+ Beautiful visual revitalization and presentation
+ Play and flow feels fantastic
+ Tons of unlockables, side quests and optional activity
+ Seamless multiplayer transitions
– Difficulty may play some people out early
– Prone to some course repetition
OlliOlli World is now available on Xbox, Switch, PC and PlayStation
Played on PlayStation 5
Code Kindly Provided by Private Divison