Riders on the VOID
OlliOlli World was one of the biggest surprises for me this year. I respected the two previous games in the series, but I had bounced off both of them. I was afraid I was going to do the same with OlliOlli World, but now it stands as one of my favorite releases this year.
It’s great to have an excuse to revisit it and feel insecure about how rusty I’ve gotten. VOID Riders is the perfect excuse to do so. It’s a rather sizeable collection of levels and a whole heap of new customization items to unlock. A new mechanic has been slotted in for good measure, as well, giving your thumbs new reason to get confused and disappoint you.
VOID Riders sees your gnarly skateboarder rubbing elbows (or similar appendages) with aliens from another dimension. They want to steal our cows and check your tricks. Better pop some dope kicks. Otherwise, our guests will be bummed. I’m doing my best here with the lingo, but I never claimed to be cool.
For the price, you get 14 regular levels and four “boss” stages. It’s a decent chunk, and all the stages are rather long. The new extraterrestrial theme is put to good use in rails that curl themselves out in front of you and tractor beams that lift you up. You need to grab your way into a tractor beam; that’s the right stick. Note that this isn’t the right trigger, nor is it the left stick. Maybe get that into your heads, thumbs. Quit letting me down.
Yeah, I had a lot of humiliating failures, which is kind of the way with OlliOlli World. I’d often enter a tractor beam, forget the controls for half a second, and wind up getting pulled too late and missing wherever I wanted to land. That’s absolutely not the game’s fault, but I’m going to complain about it anyway. In any case, it’s not any worse in Void Riders.
With the levels come all the challenges. High score, side objectives, and attempting to make it to the end without using a checkpoint. Extra customization gear is awarded for the usual milestones, and there’s a decent assortment of mundane and unusual pieces to collect. If you’re feeling sassy, you can try to climb the leaderboards by putting together the best combo possible. I kept dropping my long combos after a checkpoint, so you won’t be seeing my name up there.
You’ll at least put together a great bail tape
I was able to blast through the entire DLC in less than two hours, but that’s without going back for the additional objectives. Just note that it’s not for the faint of heart. That last level nearly killed me. I’m serious. I don’t think I breathed through my entire success run. My brain needs oxygen.
If I have one complaint, it’s that the story is nothing special. The base game didn’t exactly have the most thrilling narrative either, and this just feels like a branch of that. It’s mostly just there to tell you how transcendentally great your skateboarding is. You’re just the coolest. Everyone here and in the VOID thinks so.
If you’re looking for a reason to get back into OlliOlli World, VOID Riders is the perfect one. A lot of love has gone into these new levels, and they definitely live up to the quality of the rest of the game. Considering this is just the first half of the expansion pass, that little investment is already turning out to be good value. Here’s hoping that the quality of the next one nails the landing.
[This review is based on a retail build of the game provided by the publisher.]