OlliOlli World’s first expansion was good enough, but a little lacking since it didn’t offer much that the main game didn’t already have. Its alien aesthetic did help dress up its fantastic yet familiar level design, though. Finding the Flowzone, its second and final piece of DLC, has similarly recognizable stages full of exciting jumps and long grinds, but is built upon a much weaker hook that results in an unfortunately disappointing sendoff for the game.
“Disappointing” in this sense is relative since OlliOlli World’s astonishingly smooth controls, vibrant visual style, and clever level design are still present here. Skating down ramps and chaining tricks together is a rush inherent to the game that doesn’t change here. Finding the Flowzone’s levels are pretty standard, but still well within the range of the ones in the core campaign, meaning there is a high base level of quality here.
Its unwillingness to go above that and its lackluster new central mechanic is why it doesn’t excel over what’s already in the game. Finding the Flowzone’s large speed gusts are its new addition, but there’s not much to them. Players automatically get a burst of momentum when skating through them and that’s it. The initial rush of speed is exhilarating and the stages also use these to switch the player’s direction on a dime, both of which can lead to some unique sequences.
However, since they don’t require any input, they’re a passive addition that doesn’t have much depth. The UFOs in the last expansion meant players had to at least grab the board to use them, which added some nuance since it was an active choice that also could also open some secret paths. It would have been better to use the spin to activate the gusts so players could participate more directly with its sole new mechanic. They make for a better secondary addition, but they’re Finding the Flowzone’s primary new feature and can’t support that kind of weight.
Finding the Flowzone also has extra hard paths called Burly Routes. Like the Gnarly Routes before them, Burly Routes push the mechanics more and are often aptly difficult to even find. Most take some clever maneuvering and perfectly timed jumps to reach, which then also continue to the tricky routes themselves. These sections of the tracks are a welcome challenge and usually reward hardcore players with map pieces, the DLC’s self-contained collectible.
These map pieces act as soft (and forgiving) progression gates that sit on top of the mountain of other items on the checklist like its many challenges that all contribute heavily to this game’s replayability. There’s still plenty to do and new cosmetics to unlock, which are pretty but not remarkable compared to the ones in the rest of the game. Fighting the Flowzone’s puffer jackets and pilot headgear can’t quite compete with the alien clothes from Void Riders and the sheer amount of gear found in the core game.
The stage backgrounds also don’t quite measure up. The unique art direction still carries it, but the levels aren’t as unique or lively here and lack a sense of identity. The final world is the most striking as it is a mythical cloud city in the sky based around the Skate Godz. However, its layouts continually point out the game’s lack of feedback when successfully boosting off a ramp or rail; an issue that has been present since launch.
It’s disappointing that OlliOlli World is ending on a comparatively sour note. While performing level-long combos, unlocking challenges, and tracking down Burly Routes remains an utter joy because of its rock-solid foundation, Finding the Flowzone’s additions aren’t compelling enough to make it an essential part of the OlliOlli World experience. It could have been the ultimate sendoff that took the game to new heights. While it literally does by taking place high up in the sky, its winds wind up being an underwhelming way to wind it all down.
As ComingSoon’s review policy explains, a score of 7.5 equates to “Good.” A successful piece of entertainment that is worth checking out, but it may not appeal to everyone.
The post OlliOlli World: Finding the Flowzone DLC Review: A Windy Whiff appeared first on ComingSoon.net.