Monday, June 20, 2022
Having conquered Radlandia, achieving your rightful place as Skate Wizard, you might be wondering what comes next for OlliOlli World. The answer, of course, is aliens. VOID Riders is the first expansion for developer Roll7's 2.5D scrolling skateboarding platformer, introducing a handful of new sci-fi-themed stages to Radlandia, as well as a bunch of levels contained within the new area of the VOID, home to the alien Nebulord, who demands skater specimens for his entertainment. And why not?
If you've been craving more of OlliOlli World's uniquely hypnotic flow-state skateboarding, then VOID Riders fits the bill, initiating its alien invasion from the scorched deserts of Burntrock, where you'll find a crashed UFO. From here, you'll have a close encounter with extraterrestrial characters Sair’Rah, Khehvyn, and Pftangxi, who need to see you strutting your skate stuff, at the behest of the almighty Nebulord. Three levels apiece (and a challenge upon completing two of three of the available stages) spring up in Sunshine Valley. Cloverbrook, and Burntrock, each given a purple-hued VOID Riders twist: all flying saucers, floating cows, and gigantic tentacles wreaking destruction and upheaval.
With the arrival of VOID Riders' colourful alien visitors come glowing tractor beams, emitted in big pools of neon-pink light, and ready for you to levitate and trick your way through. Entering the field of a beam requires you hold the right analogue stick to lazily float through its illuminated area, and correctly judging your momentum will see you duly jettisoned towards the next plateau or grind rail. Of course, each new level combines tractor beams with the usual combination of rails, wallride surfaces, staircases, ramps, and such, offering ample opportunity to rack up massive trick combos and scores.
You can complete VOID Riders' new levels in whatever order you see fit, whether it's flitting between the five stages within the swirling purple VOID itself, or the ones peppered across Radlandia. Once you've beaten four of the five VOID stages, you can face the final challenge within Nebulord's Palace, where the looming, skate-obsessed alien overlord watches your every move intently, across a lengthy, unbroken course, entirely devoid of checkpoints. It's this ultimate challenge that proves to be VOID Riders' most difficult – and annoying – level, and, like some of the base game's steeper difficulty spikes, ensuring you don't trip over your fingers while striving not to bail is for only the steeliest of OlliOlli experts.
But it's all worth it. There are still few feelings as transcendent as successfully landing a long combo during a sustained trance-like flow state, and VOID Riders provides more of that - with new achievements to earn, no less - which can only be considered a good thing. And there are loads of new cosmetic items to unlock, too, by completing more of Mike's challenges and besting the high scores of Sair’Rah, Khehvyn, and Pftangxi. Roll7's deft hand with characterful charm and tight platforming mechanics are in full effect for OlliOlli World: VOID Riders, and, as a modest DLC offering that will fill a skating void in your life, it's not to be sniffed at.
OlliOlli World VOID Riders is out now for $9.99/£7.99 and adds six new achievements worth 200 Gamerscore.