By Sam Coles:
Back in 1997 a small company called Oddworld Inhabitants set out to create an artistic and cinematic platformer called Abe’s Oddyssey. What we got for the time was something new and completely different, something we’ve never seen as gamers with its fantastic artistic style and its dark themes. I love this game and it’s one of my favourite games for the PS1 and to see it revived and redone from scratch for the PS4 17 years later is awesome.
From the studio Just Add Water we are greeted with Oddworld: New “n” Tasty and I know what you’re thinking that this is going to be a lazy HD remake, but hold your horses this game is nothing of the sort. This game has been given the pride and has left most of the source material alone such as script (except for a few added lines and cutscenes) and the soundtrack which has been merely enhanced. This game has been remastered and built from the ground up with visuals and gameplay.
If you don’t know what the story is to Abe’s Oddyssey here is the basic gist. You play as Abe a member of race called the Mudokons who have under gone slavery for generations by the Glukkons. Abe was voted employee of the year and life seemed pretty good for him, until one night when he was working late he finds out that all species that they use for meat for food at Rupture Farms are decline and heading towards extinction. They have a plan to solve the problem and they want to turn their workers into Mudokon pops to solve their money problem. So Abe must go on a long journey in this colourful yet dangerous world to save his race from total annihilation while he’s being hunted.
Compared to the 1997 release all the gameplay and visuals have been completely refined which makes feel less clunky. Let’s start off with Abe’s movement which feels smoother along with the screen constantly scrolling and moving with you rather than the static screens for each area from the original which made it so you didn’t know what was ahead as well as the enemies respawning.
Abe feels more flexible and keeps momentum while keeping a decent speed and it no longer feels that you’re running on soap when you turn around. On the downside of the default movement being running all the time is that some of the more precise and careful platforming segments will end up with your untimely death exploding into chunks when you run head first into a landmine. Overall though Abe’s now platforming agility is good and feels fresh.
They’ve also taken other gameplay elements from Abe’s Exodus such as being able to communicate with multiple Mudokons and that is a big help and there are now just under 300 of them to save compared to the original 99 so good luck finding them all. You can now quick save which is really helpful in the really long puzzle sequences that start you all the way at the beginning if you die. All you have to do is hit the touch pad on the PS4 controller and it will save you in that exact position and when you die all have to do is hold down the track pad and it will take back to that position.
All the gamespeak controls are now mapped to the D-pad and you hold R2 to change to the whistling or farting (if you’re feeling juvenile). It makes it easier to talk to the characters because it no longer stops you in your tracks when you’re moving through the level and keeps it at a good pace.
The mind control makes a glorious return where you can take the reins of the trigger happy lackies called Sligs. This will help you get through some sections where you can kill of other Sligs, but you can't use it all the time because there will be an robot object that will shock you sometimes protecting them. There are other ways of dispatching foes such as tricking them into running into mines or throwing grenades at them.
The only problem there was during gameplay was that the game did crash on me the first time, it just gave an error message and the second time the whole system locked up so hopefully they’ll fix this in the future with a patch.
The graphics have been given a massive overhaul yet it still maintains the same feeling of the original with this dark, bleak and oppressive world you find yourself in with danger emerging around every corner. Everything runs at a buttery smooth 60 fps most of the time there are a few hiccups here and there when there are too many things exploding, but in general it runs at 60fps and 1080p, everything runs well and looks absolutely stunning.
Overall Oddworld: New “n” Tasty is a fantastic experience if you want to go back and relive the memories of Rupture Farms, or traverse the beautiful forests of Parmonia. If you are a first time Oddworld player or not this is a game that you shouldn’t miss.