Roller Champions (revisited) – Preview
Follow Genre: Skill-based / Team-play / Race
Developer: Ubisoft Montreal
Publisher: Ubisoft
Platform: PC
Tested on: PC

Roller Champions (revisited) – Preview

Good: Great mechanics, Unique set of rules
Bad: Still has a fair amount of work that needs to be done
User Score
9.0
(2 votes)
Click to vote
VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 9.0/10 (2 votes cast)

A fellow writer has taken a look at the early Alpha gameplay of Roller Champions back in 2020. We were quite pleased with the overall outcome and were quite hyped to be part of the closed beta as well. We soon found ourselves playing a mix of basketball, rugby and rollerblading. To read our initial Alpha preview, you can click here. Below, we revisit the game, to see how things look right now.

Right off the bat, we can say that the graphics are great but definitely need a touch-up or two, but we expect future improvements as the game is still in its Beta stage. Textures like the skin of the characters look like plasticine. Arenas are on the other hand more detailed. Glass can be clearly distinguished, yet the environment has a bit too much reflection in almost any material. This makes it particularly hard to focus on the match as everything is shiny and silky.

While being in the lobby, the game would play different popular and catchy tracks of several known artists. These tracks are giving you a pumped-up feeling for a match that is going to be played. In-game there are no tracks being played, except when a point is being scored by any team. Sounds of skates, tackling other players, and ball ricocheting in the surroundings are pretty basic but sometimes are a bit too silent. There is for an instance no way to know where the location of the ball is, if not indicated by the game. It would be a great idea to implement surround hearing, specifically for the ball when it’s ricocheting in the arena. This will stimulate the player’s perception of seeking the ball not only visually but also with sound.

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Roller Champions is a 3v3 skill-based, team-based game where the score decides the winner. The goal of the game is to score as many points as possible with a maximum of 5 points by the end of the time limit. It might seem easy, but trust us, it only seems that way. Each team has to keep possession of the ball for at least one whole lap before throwing it through a hoop. The game will slowly display a progress bar on the side of the arena in that team’s color. One lap will mean 1 point ready to be scored. Two laps are worth 3 points and three laps are worth 5 points, thus automatically ending the game as a win for the scoring team.

The time limit is 7 minutes, although there can be an extension of 3 minutes if the score is close. Each player has the ability to score, tackle and use gravity to his advantage to gain that extra bit of speed to outskate the enemy team. Passing the ball can mean the difference between winning and losing, as a tackle will ruin your progress. Spreading the players with roles is a good beginner’s strategy. Players of opposite teams can block the hoop while their counterparts are scoring, just like in basketball. To actually attempt scoring, players have to gain velocity to get high enough, in-between the hoop, and throw the ball.

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Controls on the keyboard feel very responsive to the touch and players will surely get used to them pretty fast. The game also offers controller support for those who prefer a controller over a keyboard. The game is still in its Beta phase but we can definitely see eSports potential in it. We are secretly hoping that this one gains proper traction, and not too many in-game microtransactions. We don’t mind cosmetic upgrades in, for example, free-to-play games, but we do hope it’s not going to be like Sony’s Destruction AllStars, where the actual content is locked behind a paywall, for a full-priced game.

Conclusion

Roller Champions is a 3v3 skill-based game with great graphics, catchy tracks, and a great set of rules for those that want some pure competitive play. Scoring a point might seem easy at first, but once everyone starts tackling each other while a whole lap needs to be completed while holding the ball to be eligible to score a point, things get a little hectic. Passing the ball is key as the game is not only skill-based but also team-focused. The game has a lot of potential in professional competitive play, be it for those actually playing the game or those who are watching it.

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VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 9.0/10 (2 votes cast)
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Rating: -1 (from 1 vote)
Roller Champions (revisited) - Preview, 9.0 out of 10 based on 2 ratings

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