Roller Champions has the Potential to Become the Next Big Thing
Roller Champions might make a hard splash in the PvP sports genre when it launches early next year for free.
When the inevitable Ubisoft leak happened prior to their E3 conference this year just like it does every year, there was one title that sounded just a bit weird. While Watch Dogs Legion is being a bit ambitious by letting players take control of every NPC in the game, I am not talking about that game. I am talking about Roller Champions, Ubisoft’s new sports title that combines the quick and agile sport of rollerblading with what can almost be described as quidditch. I was a bit skeptical at this idea on how it will work, but I am happy to say that after getting some hands-on time with the game at E3, Roller Champions is fun as hell and has some big-time potential.
Roller Champions sets 2 teams of 3 against one another in a big oval rink with a divider in the middle so players can’t cut across to the other side. A ball is dropped into the rink and teams must take the ball and make one lap around the arena before they are able to shoot the ball into the goal that is plastered high up on one side of the rink. If teams are feeling a bit ballsy, they can take the ball multiple times around the rink to double up on points if they score. However, once the ball is dropped and the possession switched to the other team, the lap resets and the team will need to go around again. I have to say that when I first heard about the idea, I didn’t think it would be that fun. Thankfully, I was wrong.
I had an absolute blast while playing Roller Champions. The first match was a little rough since my team and I were getting used to the controls and the general idea of how the game works. But, after the first couple of minutes, everything just clicked. We were passing the ball, making team-based moves that were damn satisfying to pull off. If the other team got the ball and started to make their way around the track, my other two team members in pursuit to try to shoulder check them to knock the ball out while I would go the opposite way around to cut them off before they were able to get a shot off. If I had the ball and saw a teammate up in front of me, I would pass the ball ahead so it would cut down on the amount of time and also get us closer to unlocking and tossing the ball through the goal.
Speaking of passing, when we first saw Roller Champions at Ubisoft’s press conference, my first thought was how the team based gameplay would work. Since only one player can hold onto the ball, I thought that this could hinder the team based gameplay and annoy other players if one player never wants to pass the ball. While players can still hold onto the ball if they would like, there is almost no chance for them to make an entire lap around the arena and score without sharing it. It just won’t work unless the other two players are blocking and the third player on the other team misses or just isn’t paying attention.
Besides, what was so great about the game was the satisfaction I felt when I was able to pull off that perfectly timed pass that freed us up for a shot at the goal. Hell, they might have been even more satisfying than scoring the goal yourself. Roller Champions does a fantastic job at making it fun to play whether on offense or defense, with or without the ball, scoring or setting up the score.
There are other tricks that can be pulled off as well once you get a better handle of the game and its controls. Players can squat to increase their speed while going down-hill and this could be very helpful if you need to catch up to another player or maybe get a little higher up on the wall to get closer to the hoop.
This game is going to make a hard play at Rocket League as the top PvP sports title in video games when it releases. On top of being fun to play, it will be a free-to-play game as well. If players have as much fun as I did during my preview time at E3, I have no doubt in my mind that this game will take off, especially once streamers get their hands on it.
Roller Champions is set to release early 2020 on PC, PS4, and Xbox One for free.