Oddworld: Soulstorm Review
Oddworld Inhabitants succeeded in its remake of the original Oddworld game: Abe’s Oddysee, Oddworld: New ‘n’ Tasty, and so it makes sense that the studio followed it up with a sequel. While Oddworld: New ‘n’ Tasty was a fairly faithful remake of the original Oddworld game, the recently released Oddworld: Soulstorm is a different beast, serving as little more than a reimagining of the classic Exoddus PS1 game of Abe compared to a cut. and dry remakes. Oddworld: Soulstorm picks up where New ‘n’ Tasty left off, with Abe and the Mudokon slaves he rescued from RuptureFarms living with the native Mudokons. Unfortunately, their sanctuary didn’t last long. The villainous Mullock and his Sligs attack, forcing Abe and the other Mudokons to flee, sending them on another dangerous journey. Oddworld’s signature blend of satire and gritty storytelling is intact in Soulstorm, with beautiful cutscenes and sharp writing used to bring Abe’s latest adventure to life. Oddworld: Soulstorm also looks great outside of cutscenes, especially when played on the PlayStation 5. It’s true that most of the game sticks to drab, brown cliffsides and dark interior areas that don’t allow the visuals to really shine, but the characters are highly detailed and well animated. Players are also treated to some impressive backgrounds, with massive structures looming in the distance that they often physically come across as they make their way through each level. Despite not having a ton of environmental variety, Oddworld: Soulstorm is the best game in the series to date. Not only is Oddworld: Soulstorm a huge step forward for the series from a graphics perspective, but it also makes some much-needed quality-of-life improvements that result in smoother minute-to-minute gameplay. One of the most important quality-of-life improvements in Oddworld: Soulstorm is the new visual indicators that let Abe know when he can interact with objects. For example, indicators let Abe know when he’s near mines to tap and deactivate them, whereas in New ‘n’ Tasty it wasn’t always obvious, leading to some cheap deaths. These on-screen indicators indicate to players when there is something in the background that Abe can also interact with. These usually consist of lockers, dumpsters, and other containers that Abe can loot for supplies to use in the new crafting system. Oddworld: Soulstorm’s crafting system allows players to create useful items such as smoke grenades that can be used to hide their location from patrolling Sligs or hard candy that can throw to knock out enemies. The crafting system encourages players to explore the environment and gives them more to do besides completing the game’s various platforming puzzles. Oddworld: Soulstorm is a more involved and engaging game than its predecessor, with tighter platforming and a more nimble Abe for players to control. This time, Abe has access to a double jump that allows players to more easily explore levels, make it through difficult spaces, and generally allows developers to include more interesting wanted platforming sections than was possible in the previous stage. Oddworld: Soulstorm takes what Oddworld: New ‘n’ Tasty did so well and adds some compelling new gameplay features to make it fresh. And if it worked well all the time, it would be easier to recommend the game, especially to fans of Oddworld’s twisted sense of humor. Unfortunately, Oddworld: Soulstorm has some fatal flaws, with one of the biggest issues being the other Mudokons in the game. A key mechanic in the Oddworld games is leading the Mudokons to dangerous places and capturing them safely through the bird portal. The problem with Oddworld: Soulstorm is that the Mudokons often behave in strange ways that make no sense. Sometimes they will follow Abe completely, but other times they will run into places where Abe didn’t lead them and get themselves killed in the process. Since getting Oddworld: Soulstorm’s best ending requires players to save as many Mudokons as possible, it can be frustrating when they die for reasons completely out of the player’s control. While escorting and saving Mudokons in Oddworld: New ‘n’ Tasty is fun and challenging, it can often become an aggravating task in Oddworld: Soulstorm, especially for those trying to fully complete the game. Another major issue with Oddworld: Soulstorm is that the game is plagued with bugs and other technical issues. In a single playthrough, we encountered everything from losing Mudokons to audio drops to completely crashing the game. We saw Sligs walking through thin air, a fire extinguisher that kept shooting at Abe’s body, and there were a lot of camera issues. In one instance, Oddworld: Soulstorm’s camera dropped below the stage and took several minutes to crawl back to Abe’s location, and in another, the game gave us free reign to move the camera anywhere. on the level. Oddworld: Soulstorm’s bugs are a huge downside and prevent the game from reaching the same heights as its predecessors. The original version of the game, Oddworld: Abe’s Exoddus, is a more polished experience and it might be best for players to check that out instead while they wait for Oddworld Inhabitants to fix the many issues Soulstorm is currently facing. Oddworld: Soulstorm is a free PlayStation Plus game on PS5 at the time of this writing, so PS Plus subscribers have no reason not to download it and try it out for themselves. After all, there’s still a lot to like about the game, like its dark story and engaging puzzle/platforming gameplay. However, those on other platforms who have to pay to play it may want to hold off until Oddworld Inhabitants fixes some of its more serious bugs. Oddworld: Soulstorm is out now for PC, PS4, and PS5. Today Technology reviewed the game on PS5.