Roller Champions is Ubisoft’s newest addition to its library of multiplayer games. This time the game dips our feet into roller skates in a team-based game where the objective is to score points with a ball as you complete laps around the track. It might sound simple, but this game is all about strategy and mechanics.
Consisting of 3v3 matches, two teams must score five points to win or score more points than the other team before the timer expires. Every map is designed in a similar way, an oval shape that is divided into four pieces. These four areas are important, because to be able to score points, you need to travel a full lap, which means you have to travel through the four areas. When you complete one lap the net opens up and you can attempt your shot to score. The net is the same one for both teams, and it is placed above the ground, hanging to the side of the outer wall of the map.
Those are the basics of the game, but the strategy is what gives this game depth and a dynamic range of what your team can do to attack, defend or counterattack the other team’s movement. For example, since you need to do a full lap to score one point, if your team is playing defense, and you are able to get the ball back from the other team before they score that will reset their progress around the lap, so when they get the ball back it means a fresh start to get their lap completed. Because of this risk, teams often try to score as soon as they complete their lap. However, for those that believe in the power of teamwork and have a better understanding of the mechanics, there is another way to score. Roller Champions has a system where if you take 2 laps with the ball without scoring, your one point becomes three, and if you do three laps then the points you get are now 5. If you score a 5 pointer, it’s game over! This makes it so players are constantly moving around the map and always thinking about their next move. Even if you don’t have the ball you don’t necessarily need to go after the player that has it, like a dog after its toy. Instead you can turn and intercept, or wait in a better position for your team to throw the ball at you if they manage to snag it away. The game allows you to play in whatever way you like.
At the moment Roller Champions has a few different game modes, from casual to ranked games, as well as customs to play with a group of 6 people, or a freepark area where you can continue to develop your skills.
Since the game just premiered on May 25th, it is too soon to see how far players can take the mechanics and push the skill ceiling. It has the potential to become a good esports title just as Rocket League or Knockout City, which both have healthy esports communities. However, that will be Ubisoft’s task to continue to develop the game and grow the community around it.
Of course, as with most games in recent times (especially since it is free to play), the game has microtransactions, as well as a battle pass, or as it is called this time, Roller Pass. However, everything that is sold are only cosmetic – though I’ll add that most of the cosmetics are quite subpar on the look and style they have which is quite disappointing since there could be a lot of options of what a player could wear from helmet, gloves, skates and outfits.
Roller Champions as a multiplayer game is enjoyable, but if you got two other friends to complete the team, then chances are you will have a better chance to win with a larger variety of moves and communication on your side. While I continue to find friends to play this game with, so far my experience has been a mixed bag. Day one was a rough time for the servers as players from all platforms kept being booted out of games, there was constant crashing that happened while loading a match of any kind, players not being able to log in. Fortunately, within 10 hours the developers found a fix and since then no other issues have come out.
Leaving those issues aside, the game is really fun and you can find some blood pumping moments where you and your team can make a comeback from a 0 – 4 point game. Last night I had a moment like that with a team of randoms, and the finale felt like a movie. Though I couldn’t save the whole game and show the key points I’ll leave a screenshot of the final score.
As I said previously, the game is relatively new and many things can change in a multiplayer game, so I will do an update in the coming weeks to share my opinion of how the game continues to work and feel. Hopefully by that time I have a team of friends and can experience the game from a different perspective.
Update 20th of June: After playing for a few weeks, I’ve started to notice some flaws within the mechanics of the game, specifically, its passing system. This mechanic is incredibly important in a team based game. It can help to advance around the field, as well as getting you out of a difficult situation where the opposing team is trying to take away the ball from you. Instead of being a reliable option, passing can be buggy – unlike any other movement within the game. It can’t be done anytime the player wants but must wait until an option is given by your teammates signaling or staying close to you. There is also only one type of pass, an automatic, forward throw that goes directly to your teammate. I do wish they added more types of passes like Knockout City as it gives a bit of variety on how you can approach a play.
I would recommend this game for families with younger and older kids since the game isn’t violent or has any type of gore. It is a fun sports game with a mix of roller derby, basketball, and a bit of an ancient sport from the Aztecs called Ullamaliztli. Which is fitting as all of the maps take place in Mexico. Just remember to be careful with the little ones, as the game does have microtransactions. In terms of toxicity, every game has its fair share, and since Roller Champions doesn’t have an integrated text channel, you would only need to be aware of the voice chat, but it can easily be disabled by turning it off from the game’s settings.
God bless, and happy gaming.