After multiple delays, Roller Champions, Ubisoft’s free-to-play roller derby game, is now live, and I’m here to tell you that it’s 100% video game that you can play as you like.
The Roller Champions pit two three-person teams on a supercharged derby track for 5 points. The rules are simple: get the ball, go around the track (in either direction), and score by throwing the ball through the hoop. Run three laps before the dunk — increasing the risk of the ball being snatched away — and you’ll get three points; run five laps and you’ll get five points, an automatic win. That’s it!
Unfortunately, the gameplay is as simple as the rules. It’s unavoidable to a certain extent — the arena is small, and matches are played for a maximum of seven minutes — but even accounting for those relatively tight restrictions, there’s not much to do. Organized, coordinated teams may find enjoyment in learning to pass, pump, and score effectively as a group, but Roller Champion’s range is so limited that catch games are boring.
Sometimes the way team sports are not even fun because everyone involved gets bored with what is being played because there is always one person Whoever takes it seriously and knows what they’re doing, and whichever team they’re on, will dominate. Yes, that’s a sweeping generalization, but here’s my experience: The team with well-dressed people will win.
I think the biggest problem with Roller Champions is that it’s not violent enough. You can lift your elbow or throw a fly shovel to check other players, but otherwise, they bounce back almost immediately. You can’t, say, grab someone from behind and push them into the woods or throw them off a vicious clothesline or ram them against a railing and then slap them down on your teammates hold them there.I’m not saying Roller Champions is better as a battle royale on wheels, but the more I think about it, the less I’m no Say, either.
It makes me wonder that the Roller Champions are not only postponed once, but twice (opens in new tab)as the gameplay I experienced looks almost identical to what was shown in the E3 2019 trailer (opens in new tab). I know game development is complex and difficult, especially with a pandemic, but it’s been almost three years and it doesn’t seem like the game has changed in any meaningful way from a casual standpoint.
It’s also kind of weird. Today’s Roller Champions seems more stable than when it was released yesterday: my first six match attempts resulted in one match and five crashes. Ubisoft later said an unexpected surge in players caused connectivity issues, and I played multiple games and only had one crash today.Obviously this is better but still not great and some players still have question. Queue times are also uncertain: Fast races are fairly stable now, but I tried four times and waited more than two minutes each time before I was able to qualify.
At the end of the day, Roller Champions is a safe, universal, all-by-numbers game family friendly (opens in new tab) Roller derby, and occasionally something interesting happens. The price can’t be wrong — it’s free, mind you — but I don’t think I’m holding my breath waiting for it to be the next Rocket League either.you can check it yourself Ubisoft.com (opens in new tab).