PlayStation Plus: OddWorld [1997]

Date: April 1997

Source: PlayStation Plus, Volume 2, Issue 7, p. 6

OddWorld: Abe’s Oddysee is possibly the weirdest arcade adventure ever to grace the PlayStation. Published by GT Interactive in the UK, OddWorld is the brainchild of American developers OddWorld Inhabitants. Surprisingly it’s the company’s first ever release, and concentrates on the drab life of a clueless slave labourer named Abe. Employed by RuptureFarms Abe’s job is to stamp endless boxes of battered Juicy Pukes, a popular snack treat in the bizarre realm that is OddWorld. anyway, all is good in Abe’s life until one day he discovers the main ingredient for RuptureFarms’ tasty morsel — him and his fellow Mudokons! Abe’s objective, which is of course the player’s, is to break free from his shackles and escape from the RuptureFarm.

During its conception OddWorld Inhabitants wanted Abe’s Oddysee to break new boundaries in video gaming and so created the unique Story Dwelling game system, which is essentially a combination of gaming and storytelling that full-on action of an arcade game with the level of depth and character interaction of a role-playing game. The result is a Flashback-style flick-screen arcade adventure in which Abe must progress solving puzzles working with the other Mudokans to fight against the evil Sligs.

Cleverly, OddWorld Inhabitants has introduced a system by which Abe can possess an enemy. By doing this Abe can temporarily control one of the Sligs, thus allowing him to speak in the alien’s tongue and also benefiting from their heavy duty weaponry.

Each location in the truly vast game has been beautifully rendered, and is joined by some stunning FMV sequences that seamlessly blend one game area to the next. Character animation is equally impressive, with both Abe and the enemy Sligs moving with plenty of character and fluidity.

From the early demo version shown to PlayStation Plus the gameplay should rank alongside the faultless presentation, so OddWorld: Abe’s Oddysee really is game to look out for. However, it’s not due for release until much later this although expect to a lot more of this potentially fantastic game in a forthcoming issue of PlayStation Plus.