Hands-On with OlliOlli World - The Skateboarding World I Want to Live in
Post by Steve Farrelly @ 01:58pm 21/06/21 | Comments
Our hands-on video preview of Roll7's OlliOlli World. Read on and watch for our full thoughts...
From UK-based Roll7, OlliOlli World represents a massive boost in the OlliOlli videogame skateboarding world (heh), where a seemingly huge amount of energy has been poured into the creation of an all-skate encompassing game-world park that is both aesthetically a step above, and simply super-inviting to all.
We had access to an early PC demo of the game in pre-E3 form, and managed to capture said video in order to put together the below video package, but in the interest of readers not being able to watch, we’ve also supplied the script that went along with it. Check it all out below…
What is up, Crew!
Welcome to OlliOlli World, the dev-described: “bold new skateboarding action-platformer” that prescribes a colourful answer to the question: do we want more skateboarding in our videogames libraries?
The answer, of course, is yes.
Skater XL and Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 1+2 notwithstanding, and parking the steady increase in action sports as a meaningful genre, once again, and as we look to horizons that include Ubisoft’s Riders Republic and Foam Punch’s Shredders, we’ve sidled up to OlliOlli World -- a gloriously-presented colourful embrace of skateboarding and skateboarding culture.
Taking place in the fictional graffiti-inspired playspace of Radlandia, OlliOlli World is actually a visual reboot of an established series naturally called OlliOlli.
Those original releases managed to pack a lot of core skater tricks into a simple input setup that was easy to learn and incredibly difficult master, as more and more genius level design forced players to twitch, and layer, input upon input to get the most score for their thumbed bucks, with developer Roll7 also asking you to complete increasingly difficult challenges park to park.
The results were gloriously frustrating in task, but insanely rewarding upon completion. And if you’ve dabbled in any of the earlier OlliOllis, you’re not going to be too much of a stranger here.
Ahead of digi E3 I managed to get a fair chunk of time with OlliOlli World, which represents Roll7’s biggest investment in expanding its skateboarding videogame vision yet. As just mentioned, the game still largely follows much of how the previous entries rolled, but the studio has opted to add charm to its skating chops, serving up a fresh new look that feels warm and vibrant without being at all cheesy.
"Alongside manuals and nose manuals, switch and natural spins as well as tricks that range from simple kickflips, to more complex executions across grinds, transitions, wall-rides, gaps and then combinations of all of the above...”
For the uninitiated, the series blends EA Skate-like Flickit controls in a sidesrolling 2D world. And while being confined to a 2D plane might seem limiting, Roll7 has cleverly planted input options that allow for olling, duh, alongside manuals and nose manuals, switch and natural spins as well as tricks that range from simple kickflips, to more complex executions across grinds, transitions, wall-rides, gaps and then combinations of all of the above in pure line collation.
The game comes packed with in-level goals, whether it’s completing a Mike’s Challenge or uncovering secret paths, or running into one of the game’s kooky characters, there’s plenty to do.
And while these are fun and engaging there’s just something special about stringing together your own combos that feels elevated here.
And in addition to your own expression, Roll7’s biome variation feeds back into the studio’s renewed focus on presentation, so OlliOlli World feels different every time you play.
"It’s stylish and fun, with an inviting sheen. Layers of depth lay tantalisingly hidden, but that’s part of the charm...”
Here’s a brief example of a run in the later stages of what I had access to and played, which features most of the basics of the game being presented as trick opportunities. The hope is the deeper you get into the game, the crazier the multi-path levels become…
As with any hands-on preview of a limited build, we just need to see more. But for what it’s worth, what I played of OlliOlli World more than impressed. It’s stylish and fun, with an inviting sheen. Layers of depth lay tantalisingly hidden, but that’s part of the charm, even at this early stage.
With a “Winter” US window which means summer in Aus, Roll7 has plenty of time to get this as right as needed. Now we prop the coping and wait our turn.