This article has been archived and may have some errors due to a previous design of MGL. None of the review has been altered however. It’s been some time since a 14 year old Rossco picked up Abe’s Oddysee on the original PlayStation and its also been a few months since My Games Lounge had an exclusive interview with the guys at Just Add Water who have re-made the title from scratch. All this had be very excited to play, with fond memories of the original and high hopes for the remake I was more than ready to review this game.
Right from the moment you start you can see how much the JAW team cared about the original as everything has been recreated down the grime and grit of Rupture Farms and its peculiar workforce. Add to that the power of the PlayStation 4 and the Unity Engine (used to create other 2D games like Stick it To the Man) you have a very well made 2D platformer with a twist.
Abe is a Mudokon, one of many slaves at Rupture Farms a company that has no problem killing the animals of Oddworld to extinction for some profit. But this means they have to create another product other than Paramite Pies and Scrab Cakes so what’s coming that’s Rupture Farm’s “New ‘N Tasty product? Mudokon Pops! The slaves are going to be their next big product and it’s up to Abe to save the other 299 slaves… not to mention himself!
Look & Feel
It’s a very difficult position to be in while re-creating a classic game, one that people really did enjoy on the original PlayStation and Just Add Water went the direction of making the game with new school graphics and the old school atmosphere. Graphically the game looks excellent and they really have paid attention to the details of the original and, if anything improved on the overall look of the game.
Rupture Farms looks dirty, metallic and grim whereas the temples of the Mudokon people looks much more forest like and tribal and each location has been designed with a clear attention to detail and homage to the original. Character animation is also exceptionally well done, from just standard movements to gruesome moments where Abe or his friends get blown up, shot to pieces or explode on dangerous machinery. Everything about it looks top notch and really sucks you into this strange world. The 2D works perfectly and camera angles at times reveal the full 3D graphics to great effect.
Everything about the graphics & atmosphere of this game is top class.
Story & Characters
The story is a simple one, save all of your race from slavery & death! The evil corporation, Rupture Farms have farmed Scarbs and Paramites to extinction and are now looking to make the Mudokons their next victims by turning them into lollipops… not sure they’d be that tasty looking at them, but there you go.
Abe has seen what is going to happen seemingly be accident and immediately starts freeing his fellow Mudokons using the his magical chants & farts (he’s not the classiest of heroes!). While it turns out Abe is the chosen one, destined to fee his people and their sacred creatures as he passes the tests of his tribe, exploring the land of the Paramites and Scarbs and becoming blessed with their power.
The story is a darkly funny one which always portrays Abe as the hapless hero where for every moment of success he will fall over, take a whack to the head or fall down a big ditch. The villains of the game are vicious but funny especially when you possess them plus there is the fact you can control Abe’s destiny. Just because he is the chosen one does not mean you are going to be good at saving people. Your ending and the fate of Abe is decided on how many of your people you save, miss too many and you have a very different ending to the game.
It’s all very well done, it will make you laugh and engage you in the game plus the wording and narration is good. The only issue I had at times was the sound levels on the voice over was overly quiet during some cut scenes otherwise everything here just works fantastically well.
This is classic 2D puzzle solving mixed with platforming and some of the unique ideas from the original Abe’s Odyssey where you can use your powers to possess the creatures of rupture farms.
Your main goal is of course to rescue the Mudokons, you do this by talking to them and leading them to bird portals to escape back to the tribe lands of Oddworld. But there are many, many obstacles in the way: huge drops that will kill you and your people, Sligs with big machine guns that will shoot on sight and vicious wild animals that will eat you and your friends in a flash.
Abe is not the stereotypical hero either, he’s a bit on the slow side and a serious addiction to Paramite Pies has left him not so nimble. Moving past explosives, motion detectors and jumping from level to level can be a bit rough on him and he makes a fair bit of noise too! You have to hide in shadows, positioning your landing spots exactly to avoid being shot as you wake up sleeping guards with your heavy landings. But, when you have the ability to possess them you should certainly do so, chanting will allow you to take control of Sligs and their guns allowing you to shoot down the other guards and clear a path… just make sure to tell any Mudokons in the area to “look out” before you start shooting!
In Abe’s clunky-ness you can get a little frustrated as making tight jumps can feel very awkward at times, and there were a few occasions where I was trying a controlled hop and just walked into the bombs because of his slow response times. A few collision detection issues are about here and there but that is really being fussy. Gameplay wise there may be a small amount of frustration but there is a lot more fun and enjoyment overall.
Overall the works really well and there are a few additions to this re-make of the game too. There is the added ability to talk to many Mudokons at once which really helps you get them all out quickly plus the quick save option on the touch-pad that will allow you to quickly save and reload before anything particularly dangerous. The same hidden areas are in the game though and in order to find and rescue all of Abe’s people you will need to clear a number of secret puzzle rooms that will test your patience, but it’s more than worth it in the end.
Lifespan & Overall
This is a game built around replays, going through the game and getting every single Mudokon on your first play through without a guide would take some serious amount of time and effort. It encourages you to go back for more and there is plenty of fun in doing that, even if you wanted to be really nasty and kill them all… not sure if there is a bonus for that our not!
— My Games Lounge (@MyGamesLounge) July 26, 2014
It will take you 7-8hours if you try and get as many as you can first time trough plus you can easily go through it twice so plenty of time can be spent on this outstanding game.
Just Add Water have done a remarkable job with this game and have recreated Oddworld for the new generation nicely, a few issues with the awkwardness of Abe’s movement in tight areas aside, everything is exceptional about the game. People who didn’t play the original need to give this a go and those who have already played it need to revisit it. My only hope is this game gets some extra funding so the guys can make a start on a rebuild of Abe’s Exodus!