Skip to main content

Rollerdrome combines Max Payne and Skate with spectacular results

The developer behind OlliOlli World, one of 2022’s most underrated games, still has another skating game up its sleeve this year. Roll7’s next game is Rollerdrome, which made a strong first impression with its distinct visuals and unique mix of rollerblading and shooting at June’s State of Play. While the game launches next month, I got the chance to go hands-on with Rollerdrome early.

Though it’s a bit more complicated than the simple skateboarding of OlliOlli World, Rollerdrome shows that Roll7 is still at the top of its game when it comes to making games that feel awesome to play. It’s like Skate meets Max Payne, and that’s a combination I never knew I wanted until now.

Enter the Rollerdrome

In the world of Rollerdrome, a megacorporation called Matterhorn tries to distract the masses from its seedier exploits with a massive bloodsport tournament where contestants compete to survive in increasingly difficult gauntlets. Players control a newcomer disrupting the competition and Matterhorn’s plans, and although the story isn’t super detailed with a lot of cutscenes, first-person locker room exploration segments prior to each match do a good job at world-building and demonstrating how monolithic and threatening Matterhorn really is.

Inspired by comic books, Rollerdrome’s aesthetic is very similar to that of Sable, one of 2021’s best indie games. It features stark, cel-shaded colors that pop off the screen and give each arena you fight in a distinct look. The game knows its premise is a bit ridiculous, so it doesn’t try to feel that real with its visuals, even if its narrative has themes and undertones that are certainly applicable in our world.

In practice, Rollerdrome tasks players with earning as high a score as possible as they rollerblade around large arenas and kill all of the enemies within them. Ammo is limited but refills as players pull off fancy tricks that feel like they’re straight out of a more traditional extreme sports game. Many of the challenges of each level are score-based too, so learning how the complete tricks pays off.

Skating well in Rollerdrome is just as important as the shooting, which calls back to 2000s-era shooters like Max Payne with its centered aiming reticle and slow-motion bullet-time mechanics. While Roller Champions can technically give you your rollerblading game fix, there’s nothing else quite like Rollerdrome’s single-player rollerblading action out there.

Taking off the training wheels

At first, Rollerdrome can be a bit difficult to get the hang of. You don’t need to hold forward to move forward if you’ve already given yourself momentum, and your speed doesn’t decrease when you crouch. These oddities, plus the fact that you need to worry about doing tricks and aiming in the direction of enemies, can be a bit overwhelming at first. Once you get the hang of it, Rollerdrome is a ton of fun. Thankfully, you aren’t required to have pinpoint precision to shoot an enemy; you just have to be pointing in their general direction for an aiming reticle to appear. Rollerdrome’s at its best when you learn to focus more on the rollerblading tricks you can pull off so you’ll have enough ammo whenever you pass an enemy.

Hasan shoots her grenade launcher at an enemy in the middle of a jump.
Private Division

Of course, new enemy types are continuously introduced to keep you on your toes, including snipers that force you to dodge when they shoot and enemies with riot shields that are best dealt with from behind or with a grenade launcher. The arenas these matches take place in also get more complicated, so you’ll be grinding on rails, hopping through windows, and even traversing multiple levels of an arena in order to survive. Rollerdrome simultaneously captures that frenetic energy of a shootout in Max Payne and the satisfying vibes of a skill-based skating game like Skate 3 or Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 1+2, and that’s a unique combination that you won’t find anywhere else.

With Rollerdrome, Roll7 continues to prove that it makes some of the best-feeling games on the market. It might not be quite as easy to pick up and get the hang of as OlliOlli World, but it’s an impressive second outing in 2022 for the team.

Rollerdrome will be released for PC, PS4, and PS5 on August 16, 2022.

Editors' Recommendations

Tomas Franzese
Tomas Franzese is a Staff Writer at Digital Trends, where he reports on and reviews the latest releases and exciting…
MultiVersus is back, but it still has the same identity crisis
multiversus relaunch impressions muitiversus full roster

No game has been able to dethrone Super Smash Bros. Ultimate as the king of crossover fighting games, but Player First Games and WB Games’ MultiVersus is trying its best to take the throne.

This game is a melting pot of Warner Bros. properties. It’s a crossover fighting game where characters from DC Comics, Game of Thrones, Scooby-Doo, Friday the 13th, and more can square off in cartoonish battles. It was a hit upon its beta release in July 2022, but that attention quickly fizzled out in the months following its release. In a surprising move, WB decided to delist the beta in June 2023 in order to do more comprehensive reworks for a full relaunch in 2024.

Read more
Call of Duty: Black Ops 6 is real and we’ll learn more about it soon
call of duty black ops 6 reveal key art

Activision finally confirmed that the new game it has been teasing is Call of Duty: Black Ops 6 and that we'll learn a lot more about it very soon.

Hype around the next Call of Duty game began to swell earlier this week when a site called was discovered by Call of Duty fans. After fans were able to deduce that this was a teaser for a new Call of Duty game, Activision released a teaser trailer combining all the clips from the site on the game's actual website. It was ultimately about a group of people vandalizing Mount Rushmore with the message "The Truth Lies."

Read more
Will Call of Duty: Black Ops 6 be on Xbox Game Pass?
Key art for Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War season 2.

Activision Blizzard, which is now owned by Microsoft, has just confirmed that the next Call of Duty game is titled Call of Duty: Black Ops 6. There's been one major point of contention ahead of this year's Call of Duty: Will it be on Xbox Game Pass at launch? A new report from The Wall Street Journal suggests that is the case.

Historically, Microsoft has added all its first-party games from Xbox Game Studios and Bethesda to Game Pass the day they launched. That applies to big AAA releases like Starfield, as well as more experimental titles like 2022's Pentiment and Senua's Saga: Hellblade 2, which came out this week. Microsoft's public messaging thus far has teased that Call of Duty: Black Ops 6 will come to the Xbox Game Pass. That said, Microsoft has not officially confirmed it, so there have been conflicting reports on this actually being the case.

Read more