It’s Tuesday morning. I’m late. I missed my Rollerdrome deadline. Via gaming journalism, website authors have already posted previews and stories of the time they played the blood-soaked Roll7 sports title.
But I can’t stop playing Rollerdrome.
Instead of writing, I line up again at the Barbican Arena, the final stop on the six-level demo. The level begins in a long, suffocating tunnel illuminated by red light. I have everything I need – Skates and gun – To make a presentation of age. Before me the echoes of a crowd clapping in unison, an ominous pendulum calling me beyond the steel-closed mouth of the ring. They paid for an offer, and I’ll give it to them.
Rollerdrome is a blood sport funded by a giant corporation in the near future dystopian world. Challengers travel the world, compete in industrial arenas to climb the ranks of televised competition – all to distract audiences from the bleak reality. Each match shares a simple but effective formula: take to the arena, kill corporate-owned militia units, and skate for your life. It’s like Tony Hawk Pro Skater But with guns. it’s great.
Everyone in the arena wants to kill you. Snipers, missile commanders, riot guards, and even mechanics are constantly targeting you. One of the challenges of the game is knowing when to hit or run, which is a hard lesson I learned after a few deaths. If you run out of ammo, you must do skate tricks to generate more. Low on health? Kill enemies to replenish or escape quickly by grinding a nearby rail. If a sniper’s nest is out of reach, get some air on a nearby half-pipe to close the distance.
Rollerdrome is fast paced and full of scenery, but it’s never manageable, thanks to the game’s bullet-time feature. When you enter bullet time, which you can turn on at almost any time, everything slows down, giving you time to line up the cinematic kill shots with ease. Certain weapons have unique secondary mechanisms that activate during slow motion. The gun, in particular, has a killer slug shot that requires an additional timer button press similar to active reloading, and it’s fun to use. Raster time makes it easy to switch between slow motion and real time while stringing groups together, creating a hypnotic flow state that I never want to end.
“Kara Hassan: Match victory,” an anonymous commentator announced after I knocked out my last opponent in the arena.
It’s too early to share a final verdict – I’ve only played a small demo for a bigger project – but Rollerdrome could be a contender for Game of the Year. We’ll have to wait to find out When it is released on August 16th.
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