Test Roller Champions - A fun, honest and accessible free-to-play cooperative and competitive sports game?

Test Roller Champions – A fun, honest and accessible free-to-play cooperative and competitive sports game?

First announced during the Ubisoft conference broadcast as part of E3 2019, roller champions it will have taken its time before the official release. A closed alpha in 2020, a beta in 2021, over a year of complete radio silence, and, hop, here it resurfaces going gold to everyone’s surprise about a month before landing on PC and consoles. So, does Ubisoft Montreal’s free-to-play competitive and cooperative sports game live up to the hype it’s been generating all this time? Answer in this quiz.

Test Conditions: Tested with an Xbox One controller on a 1080p display as well as a PC equipped with an Intel Core i5-9400F (2.9 GHz) processor, NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2060 graphics card, and 16 GB RAM. The title ran on High settings for approximately 6:30 hours, the time it took to complete around fifty games (quick and ranked combined) and wade through the content offered by the game at launch.

Welcome to the Rolleeer Champions!

Before getting to the heart of the matter, let’s try to remember what exactly it is roller champions. Specifically, the roller sports game invites us to participate in 3v3 matches of seven minutes (a maximum of ten in the event of extra time due to a tie between the two teams or if the loser has possession at the end of regulation time).

In a closed arena similar to a velodrome, the object is to score the most points by throwing a ball into a ring-shaped goal. In order for it to open, you must manage to get through gates similar to checkpoints without losing possession. One lap earns one point, two gives three, and three gets you five, the minimum number of points needed to win the match.

Accessible in concept, the title also seeks to be accessible in its arcade-oriented gameplay. And if everything wasn’t already perfect during the last beta, at launch, the different mechanics available are all well oiled and the handling is dynamic and instant. Maneuverability, shooting, passing, tackling, dodging, aerial diving, suction, uppercut, 360° kick… the game has a range of varied actions that are very pleasant to use although, of course, placing them in the most efficient way possible requires thought and a good sense of timing, especially if one wishes to reach Elite rank in ranked mode.

Other qualities, the sensations of speed are present, the rhythm of the games is frenetic, the right balance between attack and defense seemed to be there, the difference in gaining fans (the equivalent of XP) is not very important between victory and victory. defeat for everyone to get something out of it and we always really enjoy crossing the arena, even when traveling with strangers.

Said like this, it may seem strange given that we are facing an experience focused on cooperation and competition. However, with a modicum of judgment and observation, we really did get the impression that chemistry was created quite easily with the other players through non-verbal communication. It’s true that it doesn’t always work and team play will always be more effective with friends, but honestly, whether it’s during a quick or ranked game, there really is that little detail, that outstretched hand, that is there and encourages. find our place in the field intuitively. What to ask for more?

Too limited launch content

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Already highlighted during the beta, the content offered by roller champions at launch unfortunately it does not live up to our expectations. So yes, it is true, very often it is the case with the genre of service games (or game as a service) and the developers already have plans in mind for the coming weeks and months (four seasons planned after the inaugural period) but we still expected more generosity and ambition from them.

In the end, all we are entitled to at the moment is: quick and ranked games played in only three different arenas (Acapulco, Mexico City and Chichen Itza), custom lounges for evenings with friends (match against AI possible but not recommended as collect non-stop), an uninteresting skatepark (small social hub that can only accommodate six people to relax or train), some daily rewards and weekly challenges without much originality and… that’s about it since no mode is yet accessible temporary game.

On the avatar customization side, however, there is already more fun (helmet, clothing, glove, roller, goal animations, celebrations, etc.) as long as you put your hand in your pocket. And yes, as a reminder, Ubisoft’s sports game is free-to-play and, who says free-to-play, means microtransactions and battle pass, or rather Roller Pass in our case. If a free version is present with some cosmetic rewards on key, it is no surprise that the Premium version will attract the attention of those who wish to survey the arena in style.

To do this you must spend 500 Wheels (the title’s virtual currency), the equivalent of €4.99. And, good news, if you play long enough, you can monetize your purchase so you don’t have to go back to the microtransaction box later. Suffice it to say that the economic model is gender honest. On the other hand, if you are interested in the items from the store that are missing from the Roller Pass, you have no choice, you will have to reheat the bank card (from €4.99 for 500 Wheels to €99.99 for 13,000 Wheels ) .

A cartoon realization with a representation closer to karting than to F1.

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Let’s finish this summary roller champions taking stock of its technical aspect. In general, the cartoon-inspired realization envisioned by the developers offers quite a nice visual representation. However, although we are aware that this production is more modest than many other Ubisoft licenses in terms of budget and resources, the graphic and artistic legs would have deserved more work. Compared to a title like Fortnitethe French-Canadian production is painful to watch.

In terms of sound design, the sound effects are of good quality, the atmosphere in the arenas is there with the presence of an overexcited crowd, particularly at the beginning and in the last moments of a match, and the small playlist pop built into the main menu is easy on the ears. Unfortunately, we would have left without the voiceovers and embarrassing comments as much as possible, in both French and English.

Finally, note that the game also suffers from a lack of polish at launch. Aside from the many and varied bugs encountered (visuals, camera placement issues during replays, etc.), the most concerning issues are related to matchmaking, server stability, and crashes in-game or when exiting the game. play. Nothing catastrophic. or insurmountable to fix, but we’re keeping our fingers crossed that the updates roll out in the next few weeks so that the start of Season 1 goes smoothly or nearly so.

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