OlliOlli World Review – All Roads Lead To Gnarvana
OlliOlli World Review
If you told me a year ago that I’d be addicted to an indie skating game in the midst of towering triple-A releases from award-winning studios, I wouldn’t have believed you one bit, but here we are.
Roll7’s OlliOlli World is the latest installment in the franchise of skating games that has captured our hearts and imaginations from way back in 2014. We’ve covered the game extensively with our many previews (HERE and HERE), and now it’s time for us to actually let you know what we think of the game just before its release.
As a refresher of OlliOlli World‘s story, you’re the naturally talented recruit of Chiffon, a Skate Wizard looking for the next potential Skate God. Traveling with a motley group of enthusiasts, you will learn the secrets of skating and journey across various biomes to discover what Radlandia has to offer. Along the way, you will meet other skate legends who will challenge your skills and finally the Skate Godz who will open the road to Gnarvana, a skater’s paradise where everyone skate’s to their hearts’ content.
A Skate Wizard, me?
There is a deceptive nature to this game despite its quirky story, chill vibe, and cutesy visuals. OlliOlli World hides a game that demands precision and nimble fingers underneath its pastel-colored world.
You start off in Sunshine Valley, taking it all in – the views, the basics, and being the next Skate God. You’ll undergo a carefully crafted tutorial that teaches you what you need to know, all while leaving you enough room to figure things out on your own.
After a few tutorial missions in Sunshine Valley, the difficulty of the game slowly reveals itself, hidden behind massive leaderboard scores and “Mike’s Challenges” that both require a level of technical know-how and precision. It all feels intimidating, but you’ve got to start somewhere.
Thankfully, OlliOlli World’s controls play like a dream. It’s easy to pick up and get the hang of it within the first few minutes of gameplay, but as you start unlocking more tricks and techniques like grinding and chaining combos, its depth ramps up tenfold and will take time to master. It gets a bit frustrating when you’re expecting to breeze through everything when suddenly the game serves you a bit of humble pie, but you’re not expected to become a Skate God overnight.
Getting to the end of your journey
There are five biomes found across Radlandia, each with its own challenges and skills to learn. As mentioned earlier, OlliOlli World employs a fantastic tutorial progression that will have you learn new skills and techniques just as you’re getting accustomed to your previous triumph. There is much to learn here, and while the game doesn’t require you to full-on master everything to beat it, being a completionist is a different story.
These biomes build on top of each other, and your accumulated knowledge throughout Radlandia will allow you to go back and compete in the global leaderboards that will test your patience and skill. At a certain point, some levels in OlliOlli World become a test of memory and finding out the most efficient way to go about it, but the process is what makes the experience memorable.
Over the course of your playthrough, there will be hidden levels to discover and challenges to overcome, but OlliOlli World generously rewards the player with a whole swath of unique customization items that will make you stand out from the crowd. Everything in the game feels rewarding – from ranking in the leaderboards to simply finishing a level and getting that cap you’ve always wanted – OlliOlli World will reward you for all your troubles.
You’ve reached Gnarvana, now what?
It’ll take you anywhere upwards of 6-8 hours to complete the main campaign of OlliOlli World depending on your skill and patience with the earlier levels. OlliOlli World is a game that requires mastery and as such, will take tens or maybe even a hundred hours to fully become a Skate God.
Replayability is not a problem in the game as you’ll be encouraged to revisit past levels once you open up more techniques that will inch you closer to that next leaderboard rank. Mike’s Challenges will also pose that extra speedbump that you need as you aim to collect every item to trick out your skater. The quirky story for the crew has finally finished, but your journey to Gnarvana has only just begun.
You can also choose to take on OlliOlli World’s asynchronous multiplayer offerings, the Gnarvana League and Gnarvana Portal, if you fancy a bigger challenge against the best skaters around the world sharing a global leaderboard that will surely provide bragging rights. True to its name, Gnarvana is a place where players can skate to their hearts’ delight, so go nuts.
At this point in time, barring future DLC, there is so much this game has to offer, and while the main campaign may feel like one huge tutorial mode, it was quite an amazing experience. OlliOlli World is a game that can be whatever you want it to be – whether a fiercely competitive ride or a chill romp – Gnarvana awaits.
What We Liked:
- Intuitive and responsive controls.
- Quirky visuals and chill vibe that’ll keep you coming back for more.
- Addictive customization system with a wide range of cosmetics.
- Good progression with a smooth learning curve.
What We Didn’t Like:
- First two biomes may feel daunting as you haven’t developed any of your skills yet.
- Completing late game challenges demand absolute precision.
Verdict: Buy It
OlliOlli World is a fun game that lets you pick it up and proceed at your own pace. Depending on how much you want to put into the game, there’s something for just about anyone willing to give it a try. While the later levels may come across as intimidating, you’ll learn how to do tricks and advanced techniques like a natural in no time thanks to its fantastic tutorial.
Those who like to customize their characters and equipment can avail of the cosmetic rewards won through different challenges. Those who would like to test out their skills against other players can go through the multiplayer ranking board. If you’re not a social player at all, you can also go through the game solo without any worries.
OlliOlli World is an indie gem that is extremely well-polished. It deserves a chance despite its cartoony visuals and if you fall in love with it, deservingly so. The game dares to stand tall amidst a sea of gigantic releases. Does it succeed? A resounding ‘Yes’.
*OlliOlli World was reviewed on a PS5 with a review code provided by the publishers.