Oddworld: Soulstorm Review

Six years ago, Oddworld Inhabitants revived the once popular series of platformers about the mudokon Abe, who rescues his fellow tribesmen from the slavery of evil corporations. A remake of the first part with the subtitle “ New ‘n’ Tasty! ”Was warmly received by both the players and the press. After that, the authors announced that they were preparing a sequel – Oddworld: Abe’s Exoddus .

Back in 1998, when this game was released, the developers could not realize all their ideas, so now instead of remaking the second part, they decided to make a kind of rethinking. The result in the form of Oddworld: Soulstorm is controversial. Which moments turned out well and which ones were bad, we will now tell you.

It all starts almost immediately after the finale of the first part. The Mudokons who escaped with Abe celebrate their escape from the RuptureFarms meat packing plant, where they were going to be allowed to eat sausage. However, the whole idyll is spoiled by an attack by an airship under the control of one of the leaders of the very company from which the slaves fled. Mudokons flee, and the player, together with Abe, needs to come up with a plan for further action. The plot this time is presented with more serious and dramatic scenes, where, despite their funny appearance, the characters undergo various hardships and shocks. Of course, the trademark humor remained in gameplay situations and some short scenes, but the story itself can be described as a harsh satire on capitalism, and even more so than it was in the original. Armless leaders-glucones, for all the caricature of the image,

It is worth noting that there were cool screensavers in the original, but here the developers stepped to a fundamentally different level for themselves. Cinematic scenes delight the eye not only with well-designed animation and high detailing of the characters, but also with the direction. Sometimes it seems that these are fragments from some modern cartoon, and not screensavers from an indie game.

At first, Abe and his fellow tribesmen constantly dodge shots and flee from pursuers, which affects the tasks that face the player. Because of this, in the initial levels, the gameplay seems more intense and chaotic in places compared to the original. The main character almost immediately has to perform complex tasks, where you need to quietly sneak past one sleeping guard, carefully jump over a dangerous obstacle and not get into the eyes of the slig patrolling the neighborhood. The gameplay situations themselves are very interesting, but sometimes they are completely poorly presented. Because of this, at some points it may not be clear what exactly needs to be done, and only after several unsuccessful attempts by trial and error, you can understand what is generally required. That being said, it’s certainly not Dark Souls here, and the player is not heavily punished for losing. Control points are located in front of almost every difficult moment.

The developers tried to diversify the original concept of the game and added Abe the ability to create items, as well as share them with the followers, whom he must save. Thanks to this, puzzles appeared, which can be solved by setting fire to and then extinguishing various objects. In addition, as you progress through Abe will learn how to make stun mines, exploding cocktails and much more, which is designed to help sort out the problems. In addition, with duct tape, the protagonist can tie up the slig and thus not resort to killing this ridiculous soldier. By the way, if you want to go through the path of a pacifist and not kill anyone at all, then this very mechanic will help you avoid direct collisions with enemies.

The main character also learned to hide in lockers, which also brought variety to game situations. In one scene, Abe and a small crowd of mudokons have to sneak between the patrolling sligs, and there is nothing in the inventory to knock out opponents, so to go further, you need to quietly walk forward and hide in time. It would seem a simple task, but it constantly turned into a funny farce and a circus when the mudokons ran from door to door right in front of the patrolman. It is worth noting that, unlike the original, here the sligs try not to kill the escaped slaves and at first they simply tie them up, which allows them not to lose a follower due to the fact that he caught the eye of the enemy. However, when they see Abe, they start shooting and can kill the entire group.


Another innovation is the sections where the player needs to protect the fleeing tribesmen from the oncoming guards. For the first time, it is enough to move into the slig and just shoot opponents like in a “shooter”, but in further situations the tasks can be more difficult and often remind you of the direction of Tower Defense. It is especially interesting when the player is required to arrange and arm the pursuers with various items, such as knockout balls, exploding soda and other devices that can disable the slig. The main difficulty in such moments is to correctly calculate the zones where the mudokons should stand, and what exactly to distribute to them. If you choose the wrong place or give the wrong items, then, most likely, they will die, and then all the fleeing tribesmen.

At the end of each level, points are calculated and various medals are distributed, and in a separate tab you can look at the table of time records. After the first few levels, the game slows down and starts to look a little like that very Abe’s Exoddus, but not for long. Various new gameplay elements are constantly rotated along with the classic ones, and almost until the very end, the game will throw up unique situations, not similar to those that were before.

Despite all the advantages, the game also has some very annoying drawbacks. Even if we forget about the bugs, when the hero falls through the textures, gets stuck in place or does not grab the edge of the ledge, there are some design mistakes. They are much more annoying than the glitches that developers are constantly fixing with patches. Locations often consist of monochromatic materials of brown or gray shades, so in places on such a rusty-metal background everything merges into one mess, and this picture is aggravated by a small soapy effect on some elements of the decoration. Because of all this, the eyes get tired quickly. It was difficult for me to play for more than an hour without a break and rest.

In addition, the disadvantages include a crooked camera in places. Sometimes the virtual operator takes a perspective not from the side, but slightly at an angle, and then it may not be visible where exactly to jump or where to stand in order to get onto the ledge. If at the same time the script, according to which Abe has to catch on to the edge of the platform, does not work, then you can look for the right place for a long time, just not realizing that he has stumbled upon a glitch. At the time of this writing, several patches have already been released, but glitches are still encountered.

Before summing up, I would like to note some more features of the game on the PlayStation 5 , where I tested it. The first thing I noticed when starting up was the download times. The Unity engine is notorious for the fact that projects made on it often show rather long loading screens on consoles. Here everything happens in 5-6 seconds, and restarting from a checkpoint after a loss is almost instantaneous, which is very useful due to constant replaying.

The DualSense tokens in Oddworld: Soulstorm are little used. Every time Abe commands his fellow tribesmen to follow him or stop in place, it all comes through the sounds from the gamepad. In addition, during meditation, the soul flies out of Abe with a small and sometimes subtle trigger click. But with vibration everything is strange – sometimes it simply does not work where it should. At some point, you can notice recoil during shooting, as well as tapping while walking, and sometimes it is not even during running and explosions. Most likely, this is another bug, and we will hope that the developers will fix it.

Oddworld: Soulstorm turned out to be a very uneven game. On the one hand, fascinating mechanics, new gameplay features and a dramatic plot should delight fans of the original, but on the other hand, an annoying gray-brown scale with soapy backdrops, as well as in some places not the most intuitive tasks and chaotic situations can spoil the impression. Since the game is included with PS Plus this month, you can try it at no extra cost. If you are a fan of the series, this will come in handy.

by Abdullah Sam
I’m a teacher, researcher and writer. I write about study subjects to improve the learning of college and university students. I write top Quality study notes Mostly, Tech, Games, Education, And Solutions/Tips and Tricks. I am a person who helps students to acquire knowledge, competence or virtue.

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