We’ve Flipped Through OlliOlli World And It’s Definitely Not Sketchy – Hands On Preview

OlliOlli World Hands On Preview

Grab a board and dive on into our preview of upcoming skate sim OlliOlli World, a rad reinvention of a classic PSVita game that is utterly sublime.

When we were given crashpads and a helmet ahead of publisher Private Division upcoming OlliOlli World release, we weren’t quite sure what to make of this upcoming title. Due to roll onto PC and console on February 2022, OlliOlli World is a reinvention of a retro-tinged PSVita classic that, we didn’t initially think needed a new lease on life. The original took the infinite runner genre and brought it crashing together with the likes of Tony Hawks and SSX Tricky. Seizing control of a pixelated skater on a 2D street track, players would use streamlined controls to kickflip their way through a side-scrolling host of levels and score some air. Now, that legacy looks likely to return but it’s nothing like you remember.

OlliOlli World is something of a glow up for the franchise. The 3rd major release in the series, not including the Switch Stance,  and the first step out of the 2D this cute cotton candy colored return to OlliOlli comes with its very own lore. Mixing in a narrative where the lords of skate forged a land of ice cream and skate park playgrounds, it’s up to you to take on this trippy new title to become the embodiment of skate perfection and save the serve up an ethereal experience in the world of Radlandia. It’s all a stupendously far out concept and developers Roll7 clearly know what they are asking us to smoke because the new art style for the series is absolutely spot on.
Never venturing far away from the slightly surreal, the pastel palette and oddly proportioned residents of OlliOlli World live on the edge of psychedelia. Pink pavements, blue benches, a chilled out soundtrack, and ice cream hairstyles all happily litter the aesthetic of this title that sees the real world through cotton candy lenses, and it’s evident from the moment you start to create a character.

Character Creation

Character creation is something I certainly don’t remember from the early days of OlliOlli and while this early experience into the new style taken by Roll7 isn’t as complete as a fully fledged MMORPG model, it fits perfectly with the overall tone OlliOlli World. Characters in get the same oversized appendages, basic shapes, and outgoing palette that the rest of the world does. There might not be lots of sliders on offer, but here are sufficient body types, facial formations, hair, hats, and other threads available. It’s great to see this 3D comic style play out with little obvious gender bias and adding in lots of accessory options. Even better you’ll be able to add tons of tweaks to those accessories thanks to the game’s play to unlock reward system. Everything from wheels, to the board, knee pads, tops, dresses, coats, and more can be changed as you clock up achievements in out in the world, and that’s all before even stepping onto a skateboard. Check out the character creation in our video below.



General Gameplay

Before bagging a brand new board, there’s plenty to learn on the way to your own Gnarvana? While OlliOlli World opens up on a new narrative, the underlying gameplay remains familiar to players of earlier games. Much like many other runners, even games like just dance, there’s a simplicity to the OlliOlli series that makes the game extremely easy to just pick up and play. New skaters will get an adequate introduction as they step into a larger overworld, split into five distinct realms. Each of these areas has its own unique theme but the basic control system remains prevalent throughout. There’s a single button to pick up speed and the rest is all down to analog stick control. Performing basic jumps, kick flips, and grinding is all down to contorting the same singular analog control, down, up, and around a series of increasingly complex maneuvers to pull off some sick moves and rack up points for timing.

High scoring performances rely on precision and while that means last-minute decisions and incredible stick control, beginners won’t have to be that precise just to get through a level. The learning curve is forgiving enough that a smooth couple of levels with a few basic kickflips gives players room to progress at their own pace, unlocking a unique narrative involving the skate gods and exploring extra locations as they go. What’s more, anybody who feels they can do better has plenty of reason to backtrack and re-run tracks. While it’s too cold out to go hang with the local skate park kids, you can head back to your favorite track and re-run unlocked locations for a ton of rewards. OlliOlli World makes use of a challenge system and a Gnarvana League system for the more competitive souls, to encourage replayability. the challenge system is a per track set of achievements that generally start as simple and get more complicated as you tick them off. Unlocking after making your way through an inaugural run, these challenges could be completing the track, to conducting a set number of grinds, all the way through to successfully multiplying a final score and avoiding specific obstacles. Take a look at our glimpse of the  Sunshine Valley tracks for an idea of what’s to come.

This isn’t the only set of challenges either. An online leader board system will actively find rivals for skaters to overcome, placing the next nearest player’s avatar kerbside to gloat over your next wash out. While this doesn’t provide as much reward as simply making it through a stage, it’s still a great way to encourage players to go one more time.

Just Another Go

While we imagined scoring new threads, changing up an avatar’s look for something more unusual, and standing out from the crowd would be the single biggest motivator during our early hands-on with OlliOlli World, the game still retains that addictive simplicity that the series always has embodied. It might seem like it has ABD, but increasingly complex, speedy, and varied levels and side missions add a reason to keep going back and exploring the unique new world the OlliOlli World has to offer..

OlliOli World is not a simple remaster and it is not the hyper real reincarnation of Tony Hawks that Skater XL aims to be. Instead, this big-budget bubble-gum comeback for the OlliOlli series is a fitting update that understands what made the original a must-buy in the first place. For now, we need to put the board back and return to the concrete jungle until we get to escape into the launch version of OlliOlli World. Check out more about the OlliOlli World on the official website now before it makes the landing on PC and consoles on 8 February. Alternatively, you can head over to Steam and get a wishlsit in now.

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