Roller Champions: Kickoff Season Review

Jun 24, 2022

Published by: Ubisoft

Developed by: Ubisoft Montreal

Reviewed on: PlayStation 5/Xbox Series X and S/ PC

Release Date: 5/25/2022

I have been following the Free to Play game Roller Champions since its reveal in E3 2019, and have been an active and excited member of the community. As a result, I could have not been more excited to get into the rink when the game launched. My original plan was to review the game like any other, but instead I decided to really get into the game by completing the 30 day “kickoff season” and recap from there. From this, I gathered a really good understanding of the dynamics of the game.

“Roooolllllllleeeeerrr Champions!”

The best way I can describe the core gameplay of Roller Champions is that it is a 3v3 mix of Roller Derby and Basketball. The goal is for you to skate laps around the rink through gates, which opens the goal. One lap gets you the ability to score 1 point, 2 laps = 3 points, and 3 laps = 5 points. If your team turns the ball over at any time, you lose your progress and have to start over. In order to succeed, you have to play as a team, and use various moves from the meta of the game to dodge opponents and pass at the right moment.

Easy to learn, hard to master is definitely a statement that applies to Roller Champions. When you first start playing, you will find yourself skating straight-line laps around the arena. You will feel like you’re on top of the world. That is, until the first time someone uppercuts on a wall, and comes blistering down to crush you with a tackle. Once this happens a few (probably dozen) times, you start to realize how important building momentum and speed is to success in the game. From there, you will learn various strategies and combine moves to really begin to become skilled at the game.

Whats Included in the Kickoff Season

The kickoff season was a sort of soft launch for the game. The “Roller Pass” was half the length of a normal season’s pass, and included some pretty neat cosmetics. Each week, there are 3 in-match challenges to complete, and on weekends there are events. In the kickoff season, there were 2 limited time modes, one called hot potato (where you had to pass in a certain amount of time or the ball blew up), and another that was a 2v2 mode on a shorter rink. I really think 2 v 2 should be a core game mode. That being said, I suspect those will be added as the game further develops.

The opening of the game had its struggles; many reported issues getting into matches and issues gaining “fans” or XP from those matches. I personally ran into very few glitches in my time with Roller Champions. My understanding is that most of these issues have now been resolved and people are having a far smoother experience. Additionally, while cross-play is in the game, you strangely cannot make a cross-platform party. As a result, for now you have to play on the same console to play with your friends. This definitely seems like a feature that should have been included for launch (or certainly by season 1). However, the developers have confirmed that it will be coming soon, which will greatly benefit the games broad base appeal.

The Future of Roller Champions

Roller Champions is off to a strong start, and seems to be headed in the right direction. The core concept is a winner, and there is plenty of room for expansion. Roller Champions needs a few more permanent game modes to keep people interested, and would benefit from having some sort of event going on all the time. I think that by the end of the year, Roller Champions will be in a strong place that will set it up for long term success.

Roller Champions: a Great Addition to the Fictional SPorts Genre

The fictional sports genre is one that is very undersaturated, being pretty much owned by Rocket League. Ubisoft was able to come up with a really fun product in Roller Champions to take up some real estate in the field. Roller Champions is a game well worth trying, and one that I think many people will find themselves immersed in with enough time. The game is not perfect, but it has the makings of a game that with a little love, will be very successful. I hope to be in the rink for a long time to come, and hope you will join me there.

Score: 8.5