OlliOlli World demo hands-on impressions — You can grind your own way

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Play a first demo for OlliOlli World for the first time, it feels a lot like stepping into some sort of wacky cartoon wonderland, which is precisely the goal of developer Roll7. The third installment of the skateboard franchise stands out (no pun intended) from its predecessors with its 3D graphics, vibrant colors and characters. According to Roll7 co-CEO and co-founder Tom Hegarty, the studio wanted to move away from the traditional super tough gameplay that defined the previous ones. OlliOlli games and present a more accessible skateboarding game for more casual players like me.

“We had people who played the original [games], and they just hit a wall, ”Hegarty explained, speaking to PC Invasion. “They would go into the flood of titles and then they couldn’t get past the second zone or something like that. We wanted to create an experience that meets this skill level.

Skateboarding for everyone

Instead of starting with the point of view “skateboarding is difficult”, OlliOlli World is based on the principle that skateboarding is inherently fun. However, advanced players can still look for tough challenges and earn points for big rewards. At the same time, less skilled individuals will not feel punished for failing to land successfully every time. New features like quarter pipes, moving obstacles, and multi-path levels are balanced. In addition, the movements are more forgiving. The game features a relatively straightforward 10-level campaign path for those who don’t want to experience complex challenges right away.

Another key component for casual gamers is the landing mechanic. In previous games, you hit the ground if you didn’t push down on the dirt at the right time. This landing mechanic still exists in a way. You can score higher points and perform more complex runs if you have a good command of the movements and time things. However, you also won’t be brutally face to face if you forget to press the button. There is also more freedom to do different tricks and stray from the predefined path that the developers have put in place.

“But if you still want to go rock hard with bleeding fingers, there’s always the option to do it and there’s a lot of different ways we’ve worked,” Hegarty said. He pointed out that the game will have more mechanical depth and improved visuals for old moves. New items also include quarter pipes, moving obstacles, and multi-path levels.

Grinding around the world

The game takes you to Radlandia, which features residents such as banana trees, talking fish, frogs, and trees. It is a living environment where pedestrians can encourage you as you pass. OlliOlli World is made up of five distinct biomes, each with a unique style, obstacles, and skateboarding teams. You will learn new moves and overcome challenges in each before taking on boss challenges that will unlock new regions.

According to Hegarty, “It doesn’t look like a world you skate anymore, it’s a world you skate through.”

Olliolli World Sunshine Valley, cheering crowd

Passers-by cheer you on as you skate.

You start in the sunny Sunshine Valley seaside region to learn the basics. As you would expect, it’s a pretty laid-back environment with winding walks that can have absurdly high rails sticking out of them. The intro did a great job gradually making the basics easier for me. My virtual skateboarding skills are extremely limited. I have often found myself falling in the same holes while grinding rails, but I have never been discouraged from improving myself.

However, I did experience tunnel vision while speeding up some of the challenges. Even as I replayed the levels, focusing on landing my movies, items like quarter pipes and floating cat balloons were very easy to miss. Still, if Roll7’s goal is to give less experienced players something to aspire to while high-level players can take on epic challenges, then I consider this skateboard game demo a sign of success.

Much of this has to do with the new checkpoint system that brought me back to a nearby location instead of forcing me to start the challenge all over again like in previous games. But I can’t help but think that the fun art style plays a big role as well. The 3D graphics mark a major change from the traditional style of Roll7, which is mostly made up of 2D games and pixel art.

OlliOlli 3D!

Hegarty said that the wacky vibe of art and cartoons was inspired by comic book artists such as Taiyō Matsumoto, as well as shows and games like Midnight gospel on Netflix or Night in the woods. By combining elements of different inspirations, Roll7 has developed its own style.

“We really like the idea of ​​having different characters living in the same world,” he explained. “So we have banana people and ice cream people. Rather than having just one style, you can have all of these different characters.

Olliolli World Sunshine Valley

Sunshine Valley, where it all begins.

The switch to 3D also allows Roll7 to take advantage of spaces far and close to the camera. For example, one of the first challenges made me cross adjacent paths, which made me feel like I was quickly descending a giant hill. There are also areas where I might choose to take one path over another. Some return to the main path, but others can lead to completely new areas and characters that can unlock different challenges. In the demo, choosing a different path brought me to Sloshtar, the Fortune Teller Fish who kindly added a new location to my map.

Keep on skating

Hegarty added that the 3D art style also allows the game to open up different parts of the world at different times, which encourages players to revisit past levels to complete side quests given to them by NPCs – many of which don’t. are not discovered unless you go there. exploring. Hegarty likened it to the fun of finding a new place or locating a place known to have good rail. The side quests get more complex as the game progresses. They can range from unlocking completely new levels to revealing hidden areas in explored areas, but not all challenges are obvious. For example, successfully completing a trick like looping twice in a certain area could earn you a rare collectible.

“[The art style] allowed us to play with the different types of environments and create vibrant and lush worlds, ”he said, adding that“ it really adds color to the world, in terms of meeting characters and in giving you a reason to go back and forth. “

The giant bees of Cloverbrook

In Cloverbrook, giant bees and sentient trees happily hold up wall signs.

Later, the demo took me to the idyllic forests of Cloverbrook, populated by sensitive trees, with a story of how they turn into skateboards. Huge bees support wall roads as families of trees roam in the background. Biome-specific challenges include chasing a bee to bring down a frog. Yes, things can get a little strange, but you get used to it quickly.

Other biomes include the industrial seaside of Skechside and the bright Vegas-inspired town of Los Vulgas.

Skateboard team, get together!

Perhaps the most important element of OlliOlli World is the focus on the story, which is another first for the series. Radlandia was created by the immortal gods of skateboarding, represented by the legendary skate magician, Chiffon. She recently announced her retirement and is organizing trials for her replacement. As these things tend to go away, you are a top contender even when you start to learn nominal skating skills. As part of your journey to the magic of skateboarding, you join Chiffon and a team of skateboarders to travel the country and take on various challenges.

Your crew includes daddy, who isn’t actually your dad, but a guy who happens to be your personal merchant. Gnarly Mike is your hype man and challenges you often. Snarky videographer Suze and her vivid camera encourage you to perfectly execute your movements for her videos.

Chiffon Check Points

Muslin is truly magical.

Adding a crew makes the levels and items of OlliOlli World feel more organic. Instead of playing through a series of arbitrary levels, you have a narrative path to guide you, characters that present you with challenges, and various skate teams that teach you new moves. Best of all, Skate Wizard Chiffon is personally responsible for the checkpoint system. Every time you crash into the ground, she magically reappears to you, unharmed.

Hegarty also pointed out that relaxing music is important in setting the overall mood of the game.

“We want you to open the game and say, ‘I feel Zen. I feel at peace. It has to do with the flow of the gameplay, ”he said.

OlliOlli World is slated to launch this winter and can be added to the wishlist on Steam.

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