OlliOlli World VOID Riders Expansion Review – A Must-Grab
OlliOlli World is already one amazing skateboarding game, so where can developers Roll7 expand more? Apparently, the answer to that is going even harder on what the game is supposed to be: a skateboarding action-platforming game.
If you already love OlliOlli World and want more content, the new additions included in the VOID Riders expansion are definitely worth the price.
But how so?
Void Riders (that’s how I’ll be spelling it for the rest of this review, but yes it’s also an acronym) adds a new storyline and 11 new regular levels- five in the new world of the V.O.I.D. while the rest are split into three groups for three existing biomes.
Hey, it turns out that Gnarly Mike’s obsession with aliens isn’t just some false conspiracy theory, they do exist and have arrived here on Radlandia, looking for specimens to bring back to the Nebulord. That includes cows and pretty hype skaters.
Sair’Rah, Khehvyn, and Pftangxi will be your three guiding skaters through this little campaign, just like the three local legends in each zone from the base campaign. Like the base game, the writing in Void Riders remains as charming, witty and trendy as you’d expect. What if we flip the table and these aliens, from our perspective, also believe in aliens (us) and are now dumbstruck over how real their conspiracy theories were?
There are also a bunch more cosmic cosmetics with the addition of Void Riders. From RGB pants to Khehvyn’s helmet that lets you pretend you’re cosplaying as one of The Prince’s cousins from Katamari Damacy.
FS Indy 900
But before you reach the V.O.I.D., the new biome, you’ll be revisiting Sunshine Valley, Cloverbrook and Burntrock, each with three new levels, each with a very different look to the base game. The deserts of Burntrock are now raining with heavy storms while the forest of Cloverbrook is now covered in snow.
The new levels all make use of a new platforming gimmick. One is the tractor beam. Do a grab trick while under the purple glow and you’ll be levitating up. The base game’s platforming tricks saw you do grab tricks to get past big purple crystals and smash down breakable platforms to access the lower area of a level. This time it’s the other way around.
But you’re not supposed to just hold that melon grab forever, you might bump into the top of the UFO that beams that tractor beam and ends the run. There’s a nuance to it.
The tractor beam is made to good use, as the new levels all sport some big air. How big? The elusive 900 spin is pretty much common, and I’ve landed a few 1260 spins. Pair that with railings that only unveil themselves when you are close and there’s a lot of butt-clenching, quick-reflex, stick-flicking going in the new levels.
Living Up To The “Platformer” In Action-Platformer
On that note, I find the new levels to be of better quality. For one, the devs have played it a bit loose with the whole contrasting the foreground and background by injecting more colours in the background whilst still maintaining that foreground-background separation. So now levels have more pop, more colour, and that’s nice.
Another noticeable change is how tight the jumps are, demanding you to be more precise when you jump off a ramp, rail or wall. It’s still easy enough to complete the bare minimum thanks to checkpoints.
But if you are like me who insists to do every level without checkpoints and do so as one long combo, you’ll be thoroughly challenged. Maintaining speed and momentum until the end is wicked hard. And I don’t know if this is a coincidence or made with full intention, but I always more often than not bail and drop the whole-level combo at the one last jump before the finish line.
It hurts. It hurts so much, but reaching the top 5 of the global leaderboards among the press, dev team and the others who have early access to the expansion, was worth it.
(For context, my high scores usually hover around the top 1500 or at worse the top 5000. I don’t hit 1 million scores as much, but easily can do more than 500,000 in a level.)
That said, the tightening of the difficulty via more platforming challenges is a problem in the other four levels. These four levels serve as “boss fights” and by that I mean “impress the alien skaters with your skate tricks”.
There are no checkpoints, and there’s a different variety of challenges you have to face, like hitting floating cows on a very long tractor beam. The final boss, which like Tony Hawk’s Underground, a series of tough jumps and rails you need to nail without bailing, is properly challenging. Maybe too challenging even for me.
OlliOlli World Void Riders serve its purpose as an expansion, giving more content to the dedicated fans willing to spend more time, and money, on the game they love playing. Void Riders won’t be converting new fans, especially with some of the precise platforming required on some levels, and it shouldn’t. And that’s fine.
But if you are a leaderboard-climbing player who wants a new challenge that OlliOlli World can offer, Void Riders is a must-grab. It elevates the game to new heights, though sometimes the difficulty jump rises too quickly and before you knew it you’ll hit your head on the UFO.
Check out our review of OlliOlli World here.
Played on PC. Review code provided by Private Division.