By Sam Coles:
It was a great time to be alive during the 90’s if you’re were a gamer because it was the golden age of gaming, as we had the Super Nintendo, Mega Drive, PS1 and N64 to name a few consoles. It was during a time where game publishers and developers were more experimental with their games and took more risks when it came to mechanics, gameplay and even story. Abe’s Oddysee was one of those games as it continued what Another World and Flashback laid the foundation for in the form of the cinematic platformer. Released on the Sony PlayStation in 1997 this game was a standout title with the setting and the graphics which in my opinion still shine today with the pre-rendered nature which help the game hold up even 20 years later.
Abe’s Oddysee takes place in the fictional world of Oddworld, where you see yourself in the shoes of Abe who is part of the Mudokon race that are an enslaved and are working at a meat factory called Rupture Farms. You play as the titular Abe, who is working late at Rupture Farms and he happens to overhear a meeting with the heads of the company, it turns out that they have killed off most of the wildlife in Oddworld and they have devised a new plan. To Abe’s horror it turns out that they want to turn Mudokons into tasty snacks, so Abe goes on the run where he traverses the world of Oddworld where he is at the bottom of the food chain and he must be cautious and save his fellow Mudokons.
The gameplay is a cinematic platformer similar to games such as Flashback, Another World and Prince of Persia; however unlike those games I would say Oddworld nailed it. Abe has real weight to him, you feel every jump and strain as he pulls himself up onto a ledge coupled with his momentum when sprints, the feel of Abe is fantastic.
You’ll not only be doing platforming you’ll get a chance to take control of the trigger happy Sligs with your mind, how this works is that Abe can do a chant which them takes control of the Sligs. You can’t do this is all areas because there will be counter measures to stop you from chanting which makes you think outside of the box.
You have the main task of saving your follow Mudokons, how you do this is using the game speak where you can communicate with them with various commands. You start off by saying hello and then say follow me but you will have to command them to stop in the more precarious areas as they have a habit of walking off edges. The major issue I have with this system is that you can only command one Mudokon at one time, this is something that they fixed in the sequel but here it slows down the pace as you have to run back and forth to get others to follow, this brings the game’s pace to a halt.
For an Original PlayStation game it has aged rather well in terms of its presentation I think it was a good decision to go for a pre-rendered look as it has stand the test of time. Even the FMV cutscenes still look good which was the big sticking point of PS1 games as most FMV scenes from PS1 games look absolutely terrifying but Abe’s Oddysee got the animation down, which with the fact the creators worked in animation in TV and film.
Oddworld Abe’s Oddysee is a fantastic game and is a must play if you own an original PlayStation but they did remake the game on the PS4, Xbox One, PS3, Xbox 360, Vita and the Wii U so there are plenty of options.