It’s a new month, which means that PlayStation Plus Subscribers have a new collection of games to download for free. For February, PS Plus has added Steelrising and Square Enix’s multiplayer shooter Foamstars. But the highlight of the new offerings is Rollerdrome from developer Roll7. The third-person shooter-meets-skating-game was one of the most underrated titles of 2022, and thanks to its unique genre mashup, Rollerdrome remains a worthwhile experience. You shouldn’t miss out on it if you are a PS Plus subscriber.
Rollerdrome you have one of the best elevator pitches in recent memory. what if Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater had guns? That’s all I needed to hear to be encouraged into giving the game a try. And Rollerdrome delivers on this promising premise within the first few minutes, after which it only raises the stakes. The short explanation of Rollerdrome‘s world is that in the near future there is a bloodsport called Rollerdrome that combines roller derby with gunfights. You play as Kara Hassan, a contestant in the titular competition working to stay alive while gunning down enemies and pulling off the sickest tricks within the combat arena. Mechanically, this plays out as a series of stages filled with enemies trying to kill you while you attempt to get the highest score, which you do by defeating enemies and completing tricks.
For this to work, Rollerdrome has to get both its shooting and skating exactly right and then make them work in tandem. Fortunately, developer Roll7 is no stranger to skating, having made indie skateboarding game OlliOlli and its sequels, and their expertise is apparent. Rollerskating in Rollerdrome You have a palpable momentum and smooth controls that make movement become second nature as you grind, flip, and spin around the multitude of arenas. But what about the shooting? Good news, it’s also excellent. While there isn’t a need for Twitch aiming since the game has a helpful aim assist, each weapon has its own pros and cons that need to be weighed against each other. Pistols can be fired quickly but may not do as much damage as a shotgun, although the shotgun requires you to get up close and personal, which risks your own health.
You can’t just skate around shooting enemies in order to progress, though, because of the smart approach to ammunition that Rollerdrome take. There are no ammunition pickups on the map; instead, ammunition is acquired by doing tricks. By linking the two aspects of the game together, Rollerdrome requires you to think about shooting and skating in equal measure. You need to eliminate every enemy in a stage to progress, but to have enough ammunition to do that, you need to do tricks. This makes you think more strategically about how you approach every level. It becomes essential to consider when you can do tricks and if you can pull them off while under fire.
By the later stages of Rollerdrome, the arenas become more complex and the number of enemies is enormous. It makes every move feel important, and makes skillfully tricking and blasting your way around the ‘drome in a total rush. Hopefully its arrival on PS Plus gives more players a chance to experience one of the most unique action games in recent memory.