First announced during a Ubisoft conference broadcast as part of E3 2019, Roller heroes It will take its time before the official launch. An alpha release closed in 2020, a beta in 2021, over a year of complete radio silence, and Presto, here pops up by going gold to surprise everyone about a month before landing on PCs and consoles. So, does Ubisoft Montreal’s free-to-play co-op and competitive sports game live up to the expectations it’s been raising all this time? The answer is in this test.
Test conditions: Test conducted using an Xbox One console on a 1080p screen plus a computer with an Intel Core i5-9400F (2.9 GHz), NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2060 graphics card, and 16 GB of RAM. The title ran in high configuration for about 6:30 hours, which is the time needed to complete about fifty games (quick and tidy together) and browse through the content the game provides at launch.
Welcome to Rolleeer Champiooooooooooons!
Before we get to the heart of the matter, let’s try to remember what exactly it consists of Roller heroes. Concretely, the sports roller game invites us to participate in 3v3 matches of a duration of seven minutes (ten minutes maximum if there is extra time due to a tie between the two teams or if the losing person at the end of time possesses the regulations).
Within an enclosed arena similar to a racetrack, the goal is to score the most points by throwing a ball into a ring-shaped goal. In order to unlock, you must be able to get through checkpoints-style doors without losing control. A roll of the track earns one point, two gives you three and the third allows you to score five, which is the minimum points required to win the match.
Accessible through its concept, the title also strives to be accessible in its arcade-oriented gameplay. And if during the last beta version everything was not perfect yet, at launch, the various mechanisms available are all well lubricated and the handling is dynamic and instant. Ability to maneuver, shoot, pass, tackle, dribble, air dive, suction, top speed, 360 degree kick… The game has a variety of actions that are very fun to use even if placing them as efficiently as possible requires thinking and good Timing, especially if one wished to reach an elite rank in a ranked mode.
Other qualities, the sensations of speed are there, the rhythm of the matches is pleasant, the right balance between attack and defense seemed to us to be there, the difference in winning fans (equivalent to XP) is not so important between victory and defeat so that everyone gets something, and we are always very happy to cross the ring Including when riding with strangers.
As such, it can be strange given that we are dealing with an experience centered around collaboration and competition. However, with minimal judgment and observation, we already had the impression that the chemistry was created quite easily with the other players through nonverbal communication. Admittedly it doesn’t work every time and teamwork will always be more effective with friends, but, quite frankly, whether it’s during a quick or tidy match, there’s really this little thing, that outstretched hand, that’s there and it encourages us to find our place on the field. In an intuitive way. What else ?
Launch content is very limited
Already selected during beta, the content it offers Roller heroes At launch it unfortunately did not live up to our expectations. So yeah, that’s right, that’s often the case for the service (or game as a service) genre and the developers already have plans for the coming weeks and months (four seasons planned after the opening period) but we still expect more generosity and ambition from them.
In the end, all we’re entitled to at the moment is: quick, tidy games played in just three different arenas (Acapulco, Mexico City and Chichen Itza), and lounges for evenings with friends (match against AI is possible but not recommended since it’s pick up Non-stop), an uninteresting skate park (a small community center that can only accommodate six people to relax or train), some daily bonuses and weekly challenges without much originality and … all because a temporary mode of the game is not yet accessible.
On the one hand avatar customization, on the other hand, there is actually more fun (helmet, costume, glove, reel, goal animations, celebrations, etc.) provided you put your hand in your pocket. And yes, as a reminder, Ubisoft Sports is free to play, and whoever says it’s free, say Microtransactions and Battle Pass, or rather Roller Pass in our case. In the event that there is a free version with some cosmetic bonuses in the key, it is no surprise that the premium version attracts the attention of those who want to clear the scene in style.
To do this, you must spend 500 Wheels (the virtual currency of the title), which is equivalent to 4.99 euros. The good news is, if you play enough, you can make your purchase profitable so you don’t have to go back to the micro-transactions box later. Suffice it to say that the economic model is valid for this type. On the other hand, if you are interested in items from the store missing from your Roller Pass, you have no choice, you will have to heat the bank card again (from €4.99 for 500 Wheels to €99.99 for 13,000 Wheels).
A cartoonish realization with a view that is closer to karting than to F1
Let’s finish this overview of Roller heroes By evaluating its technical side. Overall, the animation-inspired realization imagined by the developers makes a very nice visual presentation. However, even if we were aware that this production is more modest than many other Ubisoft licenses in terms of budget and resources, the graphic and technical legs would have been worth more work. Compared to a title like fortniteThe French-Canadian production is painful to see.
In terms of sound design, the sound effects are of good quality, the atmosphere in the arenas is there with an overly excited audience, especially at the beginning and last moments of the meeting, and a little pop playlist built into the main menu is easy on the ears. Unfortunately, we would have done without the voiceovers and awkward comments as much as possible, in both French and English.
Finally, note that the game also suffers from a lack of refinement at launch. In addition to the various and varied bugs encountered (visuals, camera placement issues during replays, etc.), the most annoying issues are those related to matchmaking of players, server stability, and causing crashes in-game or when playing. Quit the game. Nothing catastrophic or insurmountable to fix, but we’re running our fingers crosses about rolling out updates in the coming weeks so that the start of Season 1 gets underway almost without a hitch.
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