With their tight mechanics and tons of challengingly satisfying gameplay, developer Roll7’s OlliOlli titles have garnered a place in the hearts of skateboarding game fans. OlliOlli World very pointedly doesn’t fix what isn’t broken, and at first blush, it might just kind of feel like “more OlliOlli.” What’s notable about the third game in the series, however, is that it feels like it’s improving on Roll7’s ideas in every way, from art style to course design. In a sense, this may well be OlliOlli’s final form.
We got a chance to play about an hour of OlliOlli World with an early build of the game. Fans of the skating franchise should know that, despite the updated art style, bigger levels, and big Super Mario World-style overworld map, OlliOlli World is still pretty true to the earlier titles. Side-scrolling courses are filled with opportunities to do tons of different tricks as you jump, grind, and ramp through the level. Flicking and rolling combinations on the analog sticks, utilizing patterns similar to fighting games, allows you to do tricks, and building combinations amps up your score. That’s the underlying mechanical loop of the series, and here, OlliOlli’s DNA hasn’t really changed all that much.
What Roll7 has done is improve on that DNA pretty significantly, though. Throughout the first two areas you can access, you’ll play through courses that feel very similar to the OlliOlli levels of the past two games. You skate from one side to the other, landing all the tricks you can to build your score by the end. But everything about each of these levels feels bigger and more involved, from their layouts and included elements, to the broader context of the game.