British indie Roll7 knows how to make a game feel good. The studio's inaugural outing OlliOlli felt fantastic, ensuring that you experienced the satisfaction of every single landed trick. With a hit already on its hands, the teensy company is not exactly reinventing the wheel with the pun-tastic PlayStation 4 and Vita sequel OlliOlli 2: Welcome to Olliwood — but that doesn't prevent it from being wheely good.
To the layman, the game will look almost identical on the surface; a sharper art style and enhanced animations give the release the fluidity that its distinctly old-school predecessor lacked. However, its analogue stick flicking is very much still intact — with the rub your tummy, pat your head trick landing system also in place.
Fortunately, it's the teensy under-the-hood changes that make the follow-up feel like a new game. In production since February of this year, the studio told us that the title is a response to all of the features that it deemed missing from the original release — and once you get used to the beneath the board additions, you'll struggle to believe that they weren't in the inaugural outing at all.
For example, pushing a direction when you land your trick will launch you into a manual, allowing you to create combos even when there aren't any rails nearby. Moreover, ramps increase the overall title's sense of speed; the original moved swiftly when you landed some perfect grinds, but this feels like an extreme sports video stuck in fast-forward at times.
The best addition of all, though, is split-screen multiplayer on the PlayStation 4, which simply sees you trying to score as many points as possible on a specific spot in sixty seconds. The game will support up to four people — local only — with a banking mechanic requiring you to lock your score in before the clock ticks to zero.
The developer's not planning to release the game until next year, but even in its outrageously early state, it's clear that Roll7 has the basis of something special. OlliOlli was already a great title, but the improvements here are so face plantingly obvious that it lifts the whole thing. And with the promise of levels based upon various popular Hollywood sets, we're over the half pipe that this surprise sequel is in the works.
Do you think that the original OlliOlli was as close to perfection as you can get on a virtual plank of wood, or are you doing reverts in your room over this very preview? Prove that you're better than the Birdman in the comments section below.