I used to be admittedly cautious going into OlliOlli World. Phil may need adored the primary recreation in his review again in 2014, however in revisiting the unique OlliOlli forward of final week’s World preview I discovered it a finicky, unforgiving factor that demanded utmost precision always. Satisfying to grasp, however a ache to get into, with a mode that now looks like a dated illustration of what skateboarding seems like.
It is to my utmost reduction then that OlliOlli World is nearly an entire reinvention of developer Roll7’s Canabalt-style kickflipper—one which retains the core of OlliOlli’s skate classes whereas making them extra accessible and, most significantly, extra modern than ever.
World, like its predecessors, is a side-scrolling skate ’em up that sees you shredding down a path of streets, stairs, rails and ramps. There’s an virtually infinite runner-like high quality to OlliOlli, as you not solely attempt to survive what recent hell the sport can throw at you, however attempt to do it within the sickest, most trendy approach attainable.
However the place the primary two OlliOlli video games went for a extra acquainted, grounded asphalt skateboarding vibe, World tosses that out the window wholesale for one thing altogether stranger. Welcome to Radlandia, an Journey Time-infused skateboarding heaven the place shredders carve down seashores product of ice cream, and colossal bees maintain up billboards to wallride down.
It is an totally weird aesthetic flip for the collection. Nevertheless it’s a sorely wanted one, lastly bringing some model to a collection that all the time felt a wee bit uninteresting. OlliOlli World clearly adores skate tradition, however would not really feel beholden to it—as an alternative placing you on the trail in direction of Skate Wizardry with a crew of lovable goofs in a world crammed with laid-back Skate Gods.
A method that skews extra Pendleton Ward than Jackass is not the one factor that is shifted in OlliOlli World, thoughts. Whereas nonetheless a side-scrolling skater, World’s backdrops are now not static pictures however fully-realised 3D worlds. Routes wind out and in of beachfront shops, cliffs, forests and extra, all cleverly desaturated that can assist you preserve your eyes on the observe.
However that newfound depth additionally lets World’s ranges twist and switch in methods the previous flat backdrops by no means allowed. Levels will incessantly cut up in two, with “Gnarly Routes” taking you down extra harmful (and extra rewarding) paths. Quarter-pipes see you turning again on your self—and with railings, wallrides and sometimes total sections of the bottom collapsing after your first run via, you may usually open up fully new paths by looping round a few times.
You may wish to rinse every stage of its secrets and techniques, too. Whereas progressing via the sport solely requires that you just beat a stage, the steeziest gear comes from beating a collection of side-objectives in every observe. These would possibly imply maintaining a single combo all through the run, however might additionally require monitoring down hidden people or chasing a large bee that solely seems as soon as pushed from its lair. Taking the again street will generally even unearth an NPC who’ll open up a wholly new stage, one with very explicit win circumstances and the flashest rewards.
OlliOlli World is a recreation that wishes you to relish within the pleasure of exploration. To that finish, it additionally feels a superb deal extra forgiving than its predecessors, which demanded precision on even the earliest phases.
World, in the meantime, would not punish you with a hefty slowdown for not nailing your touchdown. You may get by simply fantastic with sloppy ollies and ample grinds. Somewhat, World rewards nice play with highest scores and snappier results—and whereas forgetting to hit A on touchdown will not convey you to a halt like within the first recreation, you may wish to nail these good landings when you’re gunning for the leaderboards.
You needn’t grasp every stage to get via Olli Olli World. Hell, in a few of the later phases, simply surviving ‘until the top was tough sufficient. However the additional you get within the recreation, the extra you are inspired to return and attempt to good previous phases—to see when you can clear them with out checkpoints, to chase down these aspect targets and rinse them of secrets and techniques, even when solely to unlock weirder and wilder trend.
On the finish of every area you may additionally unlock extra entry to “Gnarvana”, an infinite skate heaven that includes every day challenges to bang your head towards and methods to procedurally generate your personal tracks with any visible model, size and problem you fancy. I’ve discovered these proc-gen tracks to really feel somewhat flatter than the bespoke marketing campaign routes, however they work fantastic sufficient for a wee score-chasing problem with strangers on the web.
I like skating, and skateboarding video games, however OlliOlli has all the time sat beneath my radar at the same time as pals pressured that these first two video games are all-time bangers. However World feels just like the reinvention the collection wanted to correctly escape. OlliOllie retains what made these first two video games nice, however reimagines them with a way of fashion all its personal, and a reworked construction that feels interesting each as a laid-back informal skate sesh and a nail-biting high-stakes rating assault.
We have come a good distance since Tony Hawk’s Professional Skater and Skate, and from kickflipping canaries to crystalline hellscapes, skateboarding is undergoing a new renaissance in videogames. At the moment’s skaters rock killers visuals and a skating model all their very own. OlliOlli may need been taking part in it by the guide prior to now, however with World’s reinvention, it is stepping again into the park with a aptitude that may simply depart an enduring impression.