Reviews, as a general rule of thumb, should be unbiased. Yes, they are opinions, and at the end a recommendation or a big fat warning to stay avoid from it, all of which are subjective. I say this because this is an exception: I bloody love OlliOlli World. You can read why here to recap. So logic dictates that Void Riders should be an automatic pass, right?
But what could you do to improve on a game that’s beautiful, funny, bastard hard and easy to play/hard to master? Well, you add the extraterrestrial approach, throwing in some new mechanics based around these visitors and ramp things up (pun intended) to an even harder degree.
Void Riders isn’t for the fainthearted. For all of its charm, OlliOlli World is still an insanely challenging game at its core. But what Void Riders does is add more challenge, more impetus to keep going and as always, a whole load of new gear to unlock for your troubles.
So let’s get back on board (so many skateboarding puns…) and see if Void Riders is the DLC we wanted, needed, or could do without for those that haven’t finished the first island yet. Let’s find out, shall we?
Moves From Out Of This World
Much like the main game, Void Riders does have a story to it. Again, like the main game, it’s also really silly, but in one of those “can’t help but chuckle through it” ways. Nebulord, a purple gaseous being has come to pay a visit. Bringing a crew of equally weird looking entities (all with humanoid forms, oddly), he seeks to abduct objects and whatnot for his amusement. Especially cows, absolutely loves them.
You, the same player character from your main save, will… go along with it, like the grinning mute you always have been. Nebulord isn’t really being evil, as such. It’s just misguided intergalactic larceny, all wrapped up in alien speak and skateboarding terms.
Characters from early events have been wrapped up in it, as you’ll find them along the way. They don’t seem to be in any distress, just majorly spun out by the whole thing. As one would be, naturally.
But don’t overthink it, just go with the silliness that Void Riders brings. If OlliOlli World’s main game entertained you, this is more of the same. But with a lot more purple.
Beam Me Up, Skate-y
In terms of gameplay, nothing has changed. Flip tricks are all managed with the left stick, grabs are on the right. Rails are still directional in context when it comes to grinds, manuals are still the same inputs. This isn’t a walkthrough, there’s no need for me to lay out every single transition skill and advanced tricks here. Besides, the best joy comes from figuring it out yourself.
What Void Riders does bring to the mix with its space-d out shenanigans is tractor beams. Big, bright and purple, these UFO beams have a secondary purpose: elevation. Holding any grab in one will see players gain height, whilst keeping momentum, to progress in levels. Sounds simple enough?
It is, to begin with. But later on comes timing it right so you leave a beam early to hit a different path. Or not overshoot a launch out of it so you hit an overhanging object. Each level brings its own fresh set of obstacles to overcome, especially the later ones. Figuring out timings and momentum is part of the frustrating beauty/beautiful frustration that comes with an OlliOlli game, with Void Riders being no different.
In Space-Themed Levels, Everyone Can Hear You Scream
Downloadable content normally brings challenge, more items, or a combination of both. Void Riders is no different, adding even more challenge to an already difficult game. I said in my review, at time of writing, that I hadn’t finished the main game. Since then, I have, and it took a lot of retries. So I thought that when it came to some new levels, I’d be a natural at it (bar a few months of not playing it). I was wrong.
Three of the five main game hub worlds have been “attacked” by Nebulord’s UFOs. In each one, there are three levels. Two of those need to be completed to add to the overall goal of unlocking Nebulord’s “boss” levels. The DLC levels in themselves aren’t hard, as such, playing akin to the late main game ones. That is to say: the challenge is more a late game one than the basic levels.
However, it’s Nebulord’s area that proves the most frustrating. They are, without hyperbole, hard. As in; fast-twitch reflexes, eyes on the screen at all time and a lot of patience. There are checkpoints, of course, but for those who want to push themselves, the extra bonus is in doing it in one run.
Complete enough of those to open up the final level, and that is a whole new beast of a finale. A looping run with changing landscapes, it always keeps you on your toes. The kicker? There are no checkpoints, meaning you need to be at your peak for two whole minutes, lest you start again.
Don’t say you haven’t been warned.
The Infinite Cosmos Not Enough For You?
I can’t really think of any negative aspects of Void Riders, when it comes to it. It all adds to the charm of the main game, complete with new challenges to throw yourself at the proverbial wall over. There are plenty of new cosmetics to unlock, all ranging from easy enough to ridiculously hard criteria to unlock. Each of the the V.O.I.D riders in Nebulord’s crew has a one-off novelty level attached, with added challenge, just to keep you going.
If I had to find something, perhaps it’s a shame that only three of the main areas had extra levels, rather than the whole five? But then to me, it seemed like the right amount of challenge. If it were stuffed with more and more levels for the sake of just having more levels, it would seem… bloated, perhaps?
That’s what I mean when I say I can’t find a gripe. There’s enough here, plus room on the other areas for future DLC, rather than cram too much at players too soon. What’s here is adequate, and more than enough to keep them going. I managed to finish it on level completion alone, but with some 20+ challenges to unlock, I’m nowhere near completion. Hell, I’m nowhere near it in the main game either.
Embrace The Void
In short, if you liked OlliOlli World, you will enjoy Void Riders. It’s more of the same, and when a game is this fun, that can only be a good thing. Could I guarantee you’ll get your money worth, considering I got a review code? Well, that’s down to how much you enjoy replaying levels/games. If you just want sixteen extra levels to whizz through and be done with, perhaps not.
But if you hanker for that challenge than only a frustratingly twee 2D skateboarding game can bring, then this is absolutely worth it. The charm is still in abundance, the gameplay is still as solid as the main game that bore it.
It can be hard, it can be frustrating. But like any game, when you finally get to grip[tape] with it, you’ll be having no end of fun. Until you get overconfident and ruin a 100-trick continuous combination. Trust me, it happens.
If you thought that OlliOlli World couldn’t expand on its charm offensive, then you’d be a fool. Retaining that charm with an absolute challenge of a game behind it, this new DLC is more of the same with a lick of extra-terrestrial paint to it. If you’ve got the patience and the passion for it, then OlliOlli World’s Void Riders is the out-of-this-world trip for fans of persistence and point-based perfection.
OlliOlli World: Void Riders is available now on PlayStation 4 & 5 (reviewed on latter), Xbox One and Series S|X, Nintendo Switch and PC.
Disclaimer: In order to complete this review, we were provided with a promotional copy of the game. For our full review policy, please go here.
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