The Roller Champions Beta ended not too long ago, and it has been a fun ride, even though a frustrating one. When I first heard about Roller Champions, I thought that this game seems like a lot of fun and the whole idea of sliding around an oval track scoring points and knocking down the other teams, giving us that Rollerball (1970s movie) vibe to it.
So, what is going on in the world of Roller Champions? Well with each match you are teamed up in a 3vs3 match and you must try to score five goals before the other team does. The arena you battle in is an oval which is encased in a bowl or dome. You can skate in any direction inside the arena while trying to avoid or tackle the opposition if they have the ball. There is a goal or hoop up high on the side of this bowl/dome. For this to open, you will need to complete a lap by dashing through checkpoints, however, if you complete more than one lap, you can earn more points for your team. A lap is one point, two laps is 3 points and if you make it to three laps then you can nab yourself and the team 5 points!
It’s a risk versus reward scenario in which you can determine whether it’s worth it to grab all five points or play it safe and build up the points gradually for the win! It gives you a fighting chance if you are behind by 3 or 4 points, grabbing those vital three laps to pick up the winning 5 points. The only issue I found is that you are often mismatched in teams and the game can feel horribly one sided, which results in games being over in a matter of seconds. Hopefully when the full game is launched, players skill levels can be split out appropriately and not have every game you play too one sided.
In Roller Champions you really need to work as a team and communication is key. If you feel that going solo is the way to win, it can end bad for you and your team. Most of the time going solo will result in you losing the ball for your team and possibly the match. Moving the ball about the arena is the way to play and utilising your teammates is key to grabbing a win, unless they skate around the arena like headless chickens, then you’re on your own.
The core mechanics of the game that was available is a lot of fun and easy to pick up and play, if you use the Tutorial that they offer you. Skating about the arena you can use the RT/R2 triggers to crouch to build up speed, while using the RB/R1 to brake. While hitting the LT/L2 triggers shoots towards to goal/hoop. During play, you can jump (A/X), dodge/tackle (X/Square), pass (Y/Triangle) and bounce (B/Circle) the ball, plus you can use the tackle and jump together to do a jumping uppercut move. You can also hit the LB/L1 button to get a boost off a teammate.
In Roller Champions you get to create a player and while the character pickings are a bit thin on the ground (Beta format only), there is a ton of cosmetics available for you to trick out your Champion. From hairstyles and skates to outfits and gear, there is so much for you to tinker with and create your own wacky champ. There may be an indication of microtransactions in the game when it comes to Lootballs, which can contain a random gift inside for you and only launch day will tell if these will be free rewards or something that will require some cash. The only reason I mention this is that Roller Champions is a free to play game, but hopefully this is not an attempt to cash in relation to microtransactions.
Everytime you complete a match, there is a progression system within the game called Roller Pass. As you progress through your Career you will earn fans by completing daily challenges and by finishing matches. Once you have reached a certain level or tier, you will be rewarded with wheels, cosmetics and Lootballs. There is also a Premium tier that will hopefully give you some much sought-after rewards. It’s difficult to say at this point, since most of these rewards are just filled with ?.
In the Roller Champions Beta, there was also an open arena called Skatepark. This is where you get to mess about in and where you will get to complete challenges and do tricks. You will also see other players skating about at the park too.
I enjoyed playing Roller Champions during the Beta, but how long would the full game hold my attention, is something I need to wait and see when it’s released. I believe that with more variety in the game from the game modes to the players themselves and customisations, it should be a fun game to play with friends and the community at large. Just like with Rocket League, Roller Champions can be a great game for gamers to jump in and play, while also having fun in the process. It’s just a matter of how much longevity that will be on offer come launch that will make gamers keep coming back for more.
Hopefully we hear more about Roller Champions later in the year and it’s still on course to launch in 2021!