Rollerdrome is Tony Hawk, John Wick and Dom Abderall | reconsidering

Rollerdrome is Tony Hawk, John Wick and Dom Abderall |  reconsidering

Plays like a roller dream

written by Ron Forstermans on

Rollerdrome combines Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater, John Wick, and Doom Eternal. In short: Skateboarding with guns in arenas, all in slow motion. It seems very simple, but it is not.

It’s 2030 and the world is watching only one sport: the bloody Rollerdrome. In this, participants compete against each other on skates in the arenas. The TV sports organization aims to create the most exciting roller coaster season yet. As a novice, Kara Hassan, your life is not only miserable in the arena: there are also things outside of it.


Yes, Rollerdrome has a story. However, don’t think too much about it. You only get very limited knowledge in short segments between some arenas. This includes a simple walking sequence in which you can, for example, read newspaper clippings about what is happening in the world. This world is in shambles, in part due to the commercial police forces. Tournament management is not a clean spine.

These narrative passages are well packed, yet very simple in nature. Rollerdrome is just bang and stunted. You can do this with four different weapons in a few arenas where you have to perform amazing tricks on wheel skates. In fact, ‘must’: just by doing wall-grabbing and grinding, you can collect ammo for your guns. So you have to be creative and killer in the arenas. So Rollerdrome is at its best: while dancing in slow motion, you unload your pistol or shotgun at countless enemies.

It sounds like you’re constantly multitasking, and it is. Fortunately, the controls help tremendously. You skate forward automatically and you don’t have to hold a button like in Tony Hawk. Enemies are shot with a locking mechanism that can be tolerated on half the weapons, so you don’t have to think about aiming. You can use tricks with two different buttons. Even if you “just do what you want”, you’ll swing admirably.


Also useful: You won’t smudge your face if you do the wrong trick or treat. You always automatically go forward on the roller skates and you can’t fall off. In addition, the game instantly switches to temporary slow motion when you press the left trigger to shoot enemies. The game constantly gives you time to look around widely and appreciate the situation. All these enlightening circumstances make dealing with the core of the game easier. So, yes, Rollerdrome is surprisingly simple in design. This is necessary.

Just to get straight to the point: Rollerdrome is a challenging game based on its style and gameplay.

First of all, Rollerdrome plays like a dream. You feel just like John Wick on roller skates when you take down enemies while stunting and building your own combo. It’s really nice to land on a rail from a fist in a grind, empty your pistols at two enemies in slow motion and then continue your way paddling the wall. The squares are very small and very vertical. This way you can always build momentum to keep the combo going.

Moreover, there is sufficient depth in the explosion, although it takes some time before you discover that deeper layer. For example, the rifle allows you to fire a stronger slug shot by timing your shots at just the right cadence, and the two subsequent weapons – the grenade launcher and the laser gun – require manual aiming. Use the first two weapons, two pistols and a shotgun, the lock. But no matter how you play, the weapons feel good and powerful. Hard to choose a favourite.

The sharp drawn pattern also contributes to the stylized movement. Rollerdrome has a kind of hand-drawn, colorful pattern, but with very clean lines and textures. So it is very easy to distinguish between opponents and background. The game is not only effective in design: style also contributes to keeping everything manageable.

This is a value not to be underestimated for the fun of the game. Rollerdrome quickly becomes very overheated. In the arenas, you unleash enemies of all shapes and sizes, often at the same time. Snipers, armored rocket launchers and even tanks: the enemies in Rollerdrome demand your full attention if you want to survive in the arenas. Especially in the later levels it gets hot, because different types of snipers are introduced.

You can only avoid their bullets or lasers by stepping back in time; A skill that you will need to master to advance through the game. Enemies with armor are also a crime: you especially want to take them out with the grenade launcher. But then you have to switch to another weapon using the four-point push-button. In practice, you will have to do this while suspended in the air, while doing some tricks to collect ammo. Everything is very little.

Rollerdome requires sharpness, and to keep it alive you have to prioritize. For example: snipers first, then the easy enemies, and last the hardest ones. You really need to think about your business plan. The dodge button is your best friend, because bullets and missiles come from all directions. You can not detonate blindly either – ammo is very rare for this. You are constantly cleaning up the arenas of immortal doom by taking out the right enemies with the right weapons.

The game is very hot, but just like Doom, it makes you feel smart and stylish all the time, which is great. By the way, the soundtrack does not compete with the shooter in identity. Rollerdrome preaches to have a great soundtrack. The undersigned, however, couldn’t appeal to angular techno music. It’s not quite as exciting as the work is worth.

Until now, it was basically about already, which is no accident. Rollerdrome has online leaderboards, but otherwise it’s completely free. In fact, there are only a few arenas, as they are all very similar in design and appearance. This is very painful due to the setup: restarting the old arenas is exactly the starting point for Rollerdrome. Each arena contains twelve or more “goals”, as well as the general objective of survival. To advance in the tournament, you must complete a certain number of objectives in each arena.

Those goals in themselves are nothing special. Collect five coins, grind here, and beat this score. Where Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater often collapses upon achieving a certain goal, the Rollerdrome’s mission objectives remain shallow. The fact that arenas are variants of the same three environments doesn’t really help either. There is also no competitive online mode or any other multiplayer variant. There is nothing to do outside of the main mode.

Replay and replay old levels until you weigh an ounce. On the one hand, this is awesome. Rollerdrome reminds us of last year’s games, in which you play constantly at top speed. On the other hand, the simple design makes it difficult to sustain long sessions. The game is always at its best and it’s all about the action, but speed or variety is not what Rollerdrome does. The risk of grinding continues in this sense, because the game is really nothing more than the way it is played.

When you’re done with Rollerdrome, you only unlock the mode that makes already known arenas more difficult. This is something to be aware of: Rollerdrome is Doom Eternal x John Wick x Tony Hawk, a special set of ideas that fit surprisingly together, but at the same time Rollerdrome is nothing more than that.

Rollerdrome is now available on PC, PlayStation 4 and PlayStation 5.

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