Oddworld Inhabitants has come a long way in the creation of platformers and clearly, as they say, got their hands on. For almost thirty years, the company has developed many games in the Oddworld universe, but then there was a break. And now, seven years later, fans of the series waited for the full continuation of the franchise. How did it turn out Oddworld: Soulstorm, and why this project is not for everyone – we’ll tell you right now.
Oddworld: Soulstorm is a controversial game that not everyone will like. Unsurprisingly, Sony released it for free to all PS5 owners with active subscriptions. Otherwise, the game would definitely be lost among other popular projects and would not have attracted the attention of the mass gamer. Some time ago, a Japanese publisher already did a similar trick with a launch exclusive. Destruction AllStars, and as practice has shown, this only benefits such low-budget games. And that’s why…
You yourself are a mudokon!
The main synopsis of Oddworld: Soulstorm is built around a race of mudokons who are trying to survive in a decaying world dominated by a megacorporation of evil glaccons. After the events Oddworld: New ‘N’ Tasty, the main character Abe has mastered magical abilities that help him overcome various obstacles throughout the game. Abe is the chosen one. For some unknown reason, it is he who has to make a journey full of dangers and make his way through hordes of enemies in order to save his fellows and preserve the entire race.
The story captures the player from the first minutes and piques interest with long videos. And she is also imbued with great humor, throughout the entire journey Abe will not once find himself in comic situations. However, there are also serious topics about injustice and inequality in society, the survival of the oppressed people and total devastation around. Everything is like in the real world.
Jump and die ad infinitum
Any platformer is first of all obliged to amaze with gameplay. So the developers from Oddworld Inhabitants tried to implement many interesting mechanics. Abe possesses the power of telepathy, which allows him to open locked passages using a special mechanism or to capture the minds of enemies.
Having subdued, for example, a slig (these are such biorobots with cannons), the player can take him aside, freeing himself a further path. You can go in a more aggressive way: blow up the enemy’s brain or simply shoot enemies.
Using Abe’s telepathic powers is not always possible. Each task has special devices that block magic. However, even without it, there are always several options for passing the same location.
Here is an example of interaction with the outside world: see a slig sitting next to a fire? We launch a can of green liquid under the feet of the enemy in order to set fire to the hostile warrior, and then we extinguish everything around and calmly move on to the next area. Or we use the sligs themselves to our advantage: their shots destroy some obstacles that prevent the passage.
Unfortunately, behind such mechanics lies the main problem of the game – control. The hero crashes his head into the platforms, unsuccessfully grabs the ledges and flies over the landing points. And cans of liquids don’t always land in the right places. You can come close to the pillar of fire and still miss. And such situations occur, unfortunately, all the time.
The artificial intelligence of opponents is also lame in places. Sometimes the enemy can just stand still: in such situations, you have to purposefully die in order to make the pack of sligs move, otherwise you simply won’t go forward in the level. At such moments, Super Meat Boy comes to mind, which only the most desperate gamers could master. One thing saves: Oddworld: Soulstorm has a lot of control points, otherwise it would be simply unbearable to play.
Combined with inaccurate controls, Cuphead, released on a variety of devices, will seem like a simple game. And if in Dark Souls and other projects like souls-like the player gains experience throughout the passage and studies the actions of the opponent, then in Oddworld: Soulstorm this system works, don’t understand how. Under no circumstances is it possible to learn how to effectively exterminate sligs. Moreover, the chosen level of difficulty has almost no effect. Even at the simplest, you will be dying all the time.
But that’s not all!
There are four endings in the game. Which one you get will depend on your actions. For example, to open the best, truthful, ending, you need to try very hard: Abe is obliged to save most of his relatives in each task.
The world is incredibly colorful and detailed, it is interesting to explore every nook and cranny
Despite Abe’s movements in the same plane, the 3D elements make it possible to see a lot of background details in detail. For example, you can see the airship from which the hero is being attacked, or you can see enemy snipers targeting Abe. And the unobtrusive musical accompaniment complements the atmosphere quite well – you believe in what is happening.
As a result, hardcore gamers will definitely enter Oddworld: Soulstorm, but most will simply abandon the game on the second mission. The game turned out to be very unfriendly for an unprepared gamer.
However, if you are persistent and have learned to suffer from games like Dark Souls, you can take a chance – for a couple of evenings, you will enthusiastically burn out extra nerve cells.
Is the platformer genre relevant in 2021? I love platformers for their unique gameplay that no modern AAA project can provide.