OlliOlli World is the fluorescent action platformer we all need right now



OlliOlli World may look like Sunshine and Sweetness, a Sugar Rush designed by Cartoon Network, but hiding beneath that exterior is the beating heart of a series known to demand perfection. The series made a name for itself thanks to a precise platform that just happened to be on a skateboard, and this delightfully unexpected sequel knows that’s what the OGs (Original Grinders) will expect, though. that’s not what new players might. So how did Roll7 manage to strike such a fine balance, it’s hard not to see how happy everyone will be when it happens this winter?

If this is a bold statement for the pre-alpha demo we got our hands on with, it’s because it already feels like OlliOlli World has achieved the “state of flux” that ‘he wants to achieve, managing to generate a challenge without ever falling into the pad- slamming frustration. This comes from one of the main tweaks in the game, where if you land without pressing X, you won’t bail out and finish your run. If there is any hassle that could reduce complexity or rush conquering a level, then some of the optional challenges have rushed through the levels – like trying to avoid a group of blue frogs that awkwardly sit at the bottom. down the hills where you want to land – promises to be tough like any personal Everest you’ve conquered in this series.

All of these feelings are highlighted towards the end of the levels available in my demo called Branch Heights. The red tree I’m skating on is filled with new additions and opportunities to try advanced tricks. From quarter-pipes that change the direction I skate and give me enough air to try out new holds, to scoreboards that keep combos going as they go through them, it’s a mix of all new systems that create a targeted adrenaline rush as you slip into the ‘zone’, that sense of the outside world fading into the background as your focus becomes total. But more importantly, it’s because OlliOlli World wants it wants you to enjoy the game, rather than doing it better.

Work 9 to grind

OlliOlli World

(Image credit: Private ward)

This significant change is something that Creative Director John Ribbins highlights when I ask him about the more welcoming tone of the game. “We did a bit of soul searching when we got back to the show. I think l ‘one of the key things we wanted to change was… in previous games if you did something wrong we would punish you, basically. Whereas this time around if you do something wrong maybe we don’t. We won’t punish you. Maybe we’ll reward you for doing the right thing. So you aren’t just going to fall in your face all the time. “

This reward comes in the form of finding that rhythm and moving through the levels, a pace that has been refined through the myriad of new additions to the game. Topping the list is the ability to change lanes, which creates challenges. denser levels with more depth, both literally and figuratively. At first we play on a level in Sunshine Valley where drifting down another lane gives us a chance to meet Sloshtar, the fortune teller fish. It sets us a goal at a different level before we continue skating, but it’s a warning sign that Roll7 will use these different paths not only to offer different items and obstacles to overcome, but also ways to expand the way you interact with his world.

OlliOlli World

(Image credit: Private ward)

For such a fundamental change in the way OlliOlli has usually played, Roll7 co-CEO Simon Bennett explains how it initially came from an idea for a different game: different parts of the game. John [Ribbins] had always had this other idea – it was this wacky idea, and I think it might even be a moving thing. It was like: it would be cool if there was a game that basically replicated how competitive street skating actually works; the tour that takes place around the world and has been going on for years, it takes place in exactly the same format. What if you had a game with OlliOlli-style lines, but then you could change lanes and sort of come back on your own? “

The team left and started prototyping, with the idea of ​​upsetting OlliOlli. By allowing you to change lanes, skate right to left, the studio could lose the linearity the series was known for and expand the scope of the game. As Simon continues, “We had already decided that the game would be called OlliOlli. World, but that’s when the word “world” really made sense. Building the characters, building the art and everything, that in itself is a world. But actually doing it. Feel more 3D and giving you more choices for exploring the world is this key pillar of the title. I think for me that was the most important change. “

Ready

OlliOlli World

(Image credit: Private ward)

The visual design of OlliOlli World is also a stark change from what came before. While previous games were in 2D, the switch to 3D also brought a vibrant new art style that fuels the game’s goal of embracing all types of gamers. As Simon describes it: “If Pixar made a movie about skateboarding, where the whole world was inhabited by people on skateboards who live and go about their daily business as skateboarders, this is the world that is OlliOlli. World. That’s what we kind of wanted to build. “

This is not hyperbole either. In motion, the levels buzz with background detail, from the blood wave of an octopus’ tentacles in the Sunshine Valley to the frequent fluttering of giant bees in the forests of Cloverbrook. These are environments you want to navigate your way into, a world that opens its arms and invites you.

OlliOlli World

(Image credit: Private ward)

That tone also comes from the cast of characters you’ll skate with through Radlandia, a diverse group that provides you with challenges as well as encouragement throughout the levels. There’s daddy – not your in-game daddy, just as people call him – who is dressed in protective gear and always on hand with kind words. He is joined by Gnarly Mike, who likes to give you optional challenges, the prickly Suze who always has a camera in hand, and Chiff, the Skate Wizard who is on hand to save your checkpoints through the levels. (another break with the OlliOlli tradition that helps facilitate in newcomers).

Roll7 wants to reflect how inclusive and welcoming skateboarding is and to show a side of the culture that sometimes isn’t brought out in other more realistic versions of skating, and that’s why this team is a group. friendly. As co-CEO Thomas Hegarty explains, “It goes back to the idea of ​​the part of skateboarding that OlliOlli World is trying to get across. So it’s more about spending time with your friends. rather to try things. The team is nice. from there in a favorable way. That said, they went through several iterations. At one point, Suze was very sharp and dark, [but] it didn’t quite work. It’s much nicer now that they’re more warm and welcoming, and they cheer you on throughout your journey. ”

OlliOlliOlli, oi oi oi

OlliOlli World

(Image credit: Private ward)

This vibe can also be seen in OlliOlli’s calling card, as Thomas describes it, “the swazzy music” that set the tone for the series. While skating games are typically associated with punk, rock, and hip-hop, OlliOlli’s soundscape has always been calmer, an electro-chill you might not expect. The reason however, as Simon and John explain to me, is that during the development of the first OlliOlli they initially planned for a heavy and loud soundtrack, but as Simon says: “Playing a game, especially with OlliOlli 1 , it wasn’t actually overwhelmingly welcoming – when you layered on top of someone yelling at you in French or people just playing really heavy, heavy music, those things weren’t congruent with each other. others.

When the team found out that people were playing the game listening to the “swazzy” music that defined the series, they decided to make it an official part of the game, which continued in OlliOlli World. As Thomas explains, “I hope when you sit down and the first track starts playing you want people to relax. Shoulders without tension. You enter this area. this Zenlike mode. It really helps. In fact, we did some music tests recently, and there was a guy they asked to comment on all of his music tests. It really put me in the zone. “I was like, ‘Yeah, that’s exactly what we’re trying to do.'”

It all comes together to create the most absorbent OlliOlli yet. If the game is about getting into that state of flux, every tweak has worked in its favor, creating a platforming action tune that celebrates the culture of skating in a way we rarely, if at all, see. in games. The feeling of roaming these windy worlds, admiring the pristine art that already seems perfectly suited to the series, and finding rhythm through the lines you discover is exactly the kind of treat we deserve after the year has passed. . OlliOlli may not demand perfection like it once did, but you’ll still want to strive for it.

OlliOlli World will be released this winter on PC, PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox x series, Xbox s series, and Nintendo Switch.


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