Rollerdrome has a locker-full of potential

There are some game pitches that just work no matter how many twists and flips you try to stick before the landing.

Rollerdrome plays exactly as you would imagine it would. It’s kind of Tony Hawks but with Rollerblades, and it’s sort of got gunplay like Max Payne but you need to perform tricks to reload your guns.

Just like Tony Hawks each level has a series of challenges for you to complete, like performing x amount of combos or grinding on various surfaces, and just like Max Payne you’ve got bullet time to slow down the action and add some finesse and style to your shooting as you perform those objectives

The goal is simple: survive, and to do that you’ll need to deftly avoid sniper’s trails of fire and up-close clubbing from grunts to see you through each skatepark themed course.

It’s fast-paced, often frantic, but on the whole seems to be very good fun from the moment the timer hits to the second you fire the last shot.

We got a sneak peek of the game ahead of its full release on August 16, able to check out the tutorial and early levels to see how it fares. For the most part, I came away with a really strong impression and high hopes for Roll 7’s latest. They’ve got something very different on their hands, and equally, a game that has real potential to be a long-term hit, provided the content holds up.

The comic book art style is simply beautiful and compliments the grittiness of this dystopian 2030s world perfectly. It immediately reminded me of games like XIII (no, not the remaster…) and the ever brilliant Comix Zone. The level of detail is of the highest quality, from the faraway settings you’re blasting your way through, to opening up other competitors’ lockers to get a sneak peek at their deepest, darkest secrets.

There was barely a stutter or stammer to be found on Steam with my laptop coping with the game’s action very well. And flow is so important to a game like Rollerdrome with barely a moment to stop for breath. But whether I was smashing through windows, grinding on rails or doing a last minute dodge before a headshot, everything ran smooth as butter.

What remains to be seen is how the game handles its environments and enemy types later on to keep things feeling fresh. While I definitely enjoyed Rollerdrome, I started to feel myself getting overly comfortable moving between stages and noticed some were more satisfied being chaotic with more enemies and respawning as opposed to creative with positioning and area design.

As we mentioned, there’s a set of objectives for each course, and there’s also different enemy types to contend against, each requiring their own unique strategies. So it’ll be interesting to see how the game leans into this beyond the initial stages we got to sample.

All told, Rollerdrome is a game you should be very excited about it. There’s skates of potential, it plays like a dream, and it’s pretty clear already it has the Roll 7 Seal of Quality you’ve come to expect from the brilliant OlliOlli.

Definitely one to watch.

Rollerdrome launches on PC and PS on August 16

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