By Chris Picone, 22 August 2022
If Tony Hawk and Gearbox had a baby - in fact, I think Tony Hawk and Gearbox did have a baby. Rollerdrome; the baby is Rollerdrome.
Borderlands introduced me to that “cel-shader” style and I’ve been in love with it since. Roll7 have adopted a similar style in Rollerdrome and they’ve absolutely nailed it. There’s a good range of courses; canyons, malls, ski resort... And all this to the tune of some sweet 70s synth-pop.
The controls are pretty much what you’d expect from any skater game: A to ollie, X to grab, Y to grind, and of course a bunch of combos for better tricks. But this isn’t just a skating game, it’s also a shooting game. The mechanics are super simple and yet really well-thought-out: Perform tricks to reload your guns, and enemies drop health when they die. They massively outnumber and out-gun you but it’s all good because you have bullet time! The enemies, while not particularly challenging in isolation, actually synergise really well to create some real challenges. I lost count of how many times I outpaced a bunch of missiles and carefully dodged the sniper’s round only to have my skull caved in by a batsman on my exit route. And there are even bosses to fight later in the game!
It is absolutely impossible not to look and feel cool playing Rollerdrome. Those epic moves you’ve seen in gameplay videos where they player pulls out of a halfpipe in a spinning tailgrab, shooting an enemy in the face as he backflips both over the enemy’s head and between a hail of bullets? That’s what this whole game is. If that sounds like your jam, drop what you're doing and go buy it.