How to expand the scope of a license without losing the original essence? Difficult question, but OlliOlli World wants to achieve it with a delivery that evolves both graphically and playably, but without losing its identity. I have ridden on the board to tell you what his skater experience feels like.
There is something that makes the skateboarding games, and it is that they encourage you to do better, to dominate the table, to fall and get back up again and again. Or at least … that’s what the best games within the discipline achieve. One of them was OlliOlli, a surprising title that back in 2014 became quite popular, convincing both critics and users. And yes, I say the surprise because practically out of nowhere, and with very functional graphics, the game and its responsible studio (Roll 7) managed to make themselves known.
That reputation manifested itself in a sequel, OlliOlli 2, which added depth to the proposal. However, the authors themselves acknowledged that it was technically limited. Therefore, the great desire of the studio was to achieve what you can see in OlliOlli World, a more graphically competent game, with a cartoon style to which I have to admit that I have been exhausted. Through a very casual cel shading style, not only is this license taken to another level, but playable attributes of previous games are maintained.
Of course, this video game is much more than just a visual change. The name “World” refers to the fact that we have a bigger world, with a game map divided into several regions, with a good number of very different paths, from forests to deserts. This expansion in content is another key to this launch, which is planned to be launched towards the end of 2021. I have already tried it, in a demo that has made one very important thing clear to me and that will reassure you: this it is still OlliOlli.
One of the things I value the most about games like OlliOlli World is that you can tell that it is made by people who are passionate about skateboarding. Professionals of the discipline have worked on it, transmitting the skills needed to ride a board, grind and do all kinds of tricks. It is still a complicated game, in which the restarts are still necessary, also very fast, so as not to lose the “flow” of the games. But above all he wants to maintain a hallmark: The difficulty.
We are faced with a game in which you must understand the meaning of trial and error, in which you are going to fail irretrievably. But also that you should get up and try again. While keeping this in mind, the developers have tried to make the game more accessible. How have they done it? Basically, altering the learning curve and difficulty, making you go little by little. In fact, the demo consisted of a series of introductory tests that explained how to accelerate, jump, grind and lean on walls. No frustrations. At your own pace
I liked the approach, because I think it was what OlliOlli needed to reach a wider audience, but without losing his hallmark. And which one is it? Well, propose progressive challenges, with a game flow based on your reflexes, in responding to the speed of light by pressing the button to accelerate, jump, grind or do an acrobatics in the air. Of course, everything to get the highest score or complete some of the secondary activities that are raised for each tour.
In the advanced stages, it has more depth in its mechanics than previous gamesSo fear not: OlliOlli World is difficult. It is emphasized by the leaders themselves, who ensure that in the advanced phases, the game has more depth in its mechanics than previous games. In addition, it is common for the tours to present various routes, something that enhances replayability not only to obtain more points, but to complete the various challenges that are proposed to us. All of this is powered by a plot, a varied set of characters and settings that feel alive.
The game takes place in Radlandia, a kind of utopian city for skaters, which even has its own “lore”, since it is said that it was founded by the proclaimed “skate gods”. It turns out that there is a magician who right now represents these gods in Radlandia, but let’s say he wants to make way for the new generations and seeks a replacement. That is where you come in, facing the challenges proposed to rise as a great champion and… who knows! Maybe you can Come face to face with the skate gods someday.
That is the premise of the story mode. The tone is casual, something that fits with the feel of a video game in which there is a lot of fantasy, but at the same time it is quite physical, with precise dynamics that respond perfectly to the controls. This demo took only an hour to complete, but it was enough to make me understand that OlliOlli has evolved, and really. Without being passionate about skateboarding, I have been wanting to see what the complete game will be like. Promises.