After OlliOlli World introduced the world its wonderfully outlandish skate-themed fantasy world, it seems only fitting that the first DLC, Void Riders, should revolve around an alien invasion. So when a UFO crashes into Burntrock and a bunch of odd-looking creatures come out in search of the raddest skaters to bring back to their master, it kind of just feels like a regular day for Radlandia.
But Void Riders is anything but regular. With 15 new levels to master, all revolving around a gravity-defying new gimmick, and a wide array of out-of-this-world gear to collect, there’s a whole lot of fun to be found here.
At the heart of Void Riders, mechanics-wise, is the tractor beam: patches of purple light that give you a bit of extra lift as you travel through them—so long as you’re doing a grab trick. It’s a simple idea on the surface, but true to OlliOlli World‘s roots, clever, creative level design pushes it to its exhilarating limits. Huge beam fields that fling you out into a massive jump on the other side, sequences of smaller ones that require precise timing to navigate safely, segments where the path splits depending on whether it not you ride the beam—Void Riders has it all. There’s even a level that plays like a game of Flappy Bird, as you fly through a field of obstacles, using grabs to rise and letting go of them to drop.
Much of Void Riders takes place in a new, suitably cosmic location, full of strange new sights and fresh challenges to overcome. But a handful of the new stages set in the first three zones of the base game are, perhaps, some of the DLC’s most exciting: the combination of tractor beam mechanic and the flying wall-ride signs of Cloverbrook or bone-rails and caverns of Burntrock are particularly inventive.
The new levels in Void Riders also amount to some of the most challenging in OlliOlli World, by far. Precision and perfectly-timed jumps are often crucial, more so than in the base game, making just getting to the end in one piece a challenge. But with quick respawns, frequent checkpoints, and the way OlliOlli World as a whole encourages experimentation, practice, and mastery, those moments of trying again and again until you finally nail it are rarely frustrating
The few exceptions to that are a couple of “boss fights” of a sort: survival based levels designed more around just getting to the end alive, within a set time limit. The lack of checkpoints in these makes failure a little more tiresome, but that’s balanced by the creativity and adrenaline rush of the stages themselves: the aforementioned Flappy Bird level is one, and there’s another that sees you racing against a swamp monster in the background. The true standout is the final boss: a course that loops around and around, with said foe rearranging the pieces for each new cycle—a nifty use of the space and great way to play around with different mechanics.
In true OlliOlli form, each level has a handful of different challenges with an assortment of customisation gear that’s eccentric, even by Radlandia standards. Beyond that, the long-term appeal lies in really mastering each level and pulling together the highest-scoring runs you can—and with World‘s freeform combo system, scope for personal play styles and expression, and clever level design, the ceiling on those high scores is high indeed.
With how endlessly enjoyable OlliOlli World is, more of it was always going to be a good thing. Void Riders hits that mark brilliantly, with fresh new ideas that build on the genius level design of the base game, plenty of satisfying challenge, and oodles of new swag to customise your skater. If there’s any place that knows how to turn an alien invasion into a gnarly ride, it’s Radlandia.