OlliOlli World: Hands-On Preview
OlliOlli 1&2 were great little titles that scratched a particular itch. Short levels, tight controls, all focused on getting a perfect run through a challenging level. They shared a lot of DNA with games like Trials and Trackmania, offering exhalation and frustration in equal measure as players pushed through the challenging level design. But now, Roll7 have kicked things up a notch with the third game, OlliOlli World. Gone is the simple style and structure and in its place is a fantastical cartoon appearance that draws comparisons with Adventure Time and a full campaign mode to explore. It is a big step up in terms of what the team has done previously so the question is does it pay off?
I have been lucky enough to be checking out a preview build of the game over the last week or so and I must say, it is hard not to get caught up in the charm offered by OlliOlli World. There is an appropriately silly story about becoming the next Skate Wizard and talking to the Skate Gods that is just bonkers enough to be fun without tripping into stupid territory. The short of it is, the old Skate Wizard is retiring and needs a replacement and to become that replacement you have to conquer Skatelandia a world created by the Skate Gods. Yeah it’s nonsense but it is fun nonsense and you can’t help but get swept up for the ride.
What fans will want to know is the tight, morish gameplay back and I can firmly answer yes and it is actually better than ever. The act of skating seems tighter and more precise making the ability to string combos together more natural. Managing to finish a level without breaking a combo is a joy like few others in gaming, generating true fist pump moments. It is addictive, like an injection of pure endorphins right into your pleasure centre. Of course, this makes the opposite true and crashing just before the final hurdle brings a unique frustration that can only be found in a game of this nature. The good news is that the frustration never outweighs the joy, meaning each fall, each tumble becomes more motivation to succeed.
There are some new wrinkles in the game that mix up the faithful formula. Multi-lane levels mean that there are different ways to get to the finish line encouraging level replays to achieve all of the different goals. There is also a huge suite of customisation options that get unlocked as you progress. It is all rather zany and ridiculous but it perfectly suits the world that has been created here. All of this adds to the feeling that OlliOlli World is a huge step forward for the developer, one that is both ambitious but still in touch with their fans.
It is hard to see this game failing in anyway. The gameplay is tighter than ever and will keep existing OlliOlli fans happy and the new presentation elements should be more than enough to draw in an even bigger crowd of players. This feels like it has success written all over it and barring a major implosion in the parts of the game I haven’t seen yet, OlliOlli World is looking like it is going to be a must-play title when it releases on the 8th of Feb.