[Review] Oddworld: Abe’s Oddysee


oddowrld-abes-oddysee

REVIEW # 00000000 00110010

My name is Abe. I WAS employee of the year. Now I’m dead meat.

Oddworld: Abe’s Oddysee is the first title of a lucky saga started in 1997 that is still popular nowadays, since the remake of the original game came out in 2014. This is a game that gave new prestige to the Puzzle/Platform genre on Playstation nand was a big hit back in 1997. After 4 other chapters, Oddworld Inhabitants developers remastered Abe’s Oddysee and in 2014 published the HD game New ‘n Tasty.

My heart says…

90%

I first saw this game right after the italian release, when my uncle, proud owner of a PlayStation, bought it in 1998. It wasn’t a “mainstream” game, nor a game from a famous saga but the CD cover made me courious and after watching my uncle play it I decided I had to try by myself. Wit Abe was love at first sight. I’ve always thought it was only because when you grew with a particular set of game you are so tied to them that you will always consider them as the best games of all time. Sometimes this is wrong, they’re good just because they’re YOUR games but when years later I found out that Abe received an unanimous praise, I understood that Abe was REALLY a good game. So it deserved a 10/10.

Splash screen

100%

In Abe, even the screen with the credits to the publisher is something enmjoyable. I remembrer the feeling of impatience and (who knows why) a bit of fear when appeared on thew TV the “liquid” and blurry GT Interactive logo that dissolves in a few seconds with that grim just sketched music (not terrifyyng life the Psygnosys owl! 🙂 ). By the way the best part of the splash screen or better of the introduction is the opening sequence where we understand the plot of the story (check the section “Narrative”): definitely a masterpice in gaming history.

oddworld-abes-oddysee-splash

Graphics

100%

Abe’s Oddysee features one of the best graphics ever seen before on PlayStation. Not only the intro sequence it’s simply wonderful, but also the in-game visuals, even though the gloom and dark atmosphere of the set, are incredibly detailed and fearful, giving the suspence the games needs and throwing the player into that cyberpunk industrial world from which Abe tries to escape. Hyper-thumbs up!

oddworld-abes-oddysee-2

Narrative

100%

Maybe it’s because in 1996 I was still a young boy and every story behind a game was intriguing, but for me the plot behind Abe’s Oddysee and especially the way is told is astonishing. The first time I saw the intro I was so touched I almost start to cry: I immediately felt pity (and I don’t know why, guilty) for the poor Abe and even now when I see the scene in which he’s hung at the ceiling, with hands tied and his mouth stitched I stil, my heart bleeds.

Here’s the sequence. I put the one in english for the most of you, but also the italian one since I’m very tied to it…and for my italian readers…

Here’s the plot as it’s told in the opening sequence:

This is RuptureFarms. They say it’s the biggest meat-processing plant on Oddworld. I used to work here. Well…I was really a slave. Like all the others.
That’s me! My name is Abe. I WAS employee of the year. Now I’m dead meat. I crossed the meanest boss in the world: Molluck the Glukkon.
My whole life changed in just one day. I was working late one night at RuptureFarms; we used to make Meech Munchies…until the Meeches were through. We still made Paramite Pies, and we made some good Scrab Cakes too.
I thought I had a good job but that was before I knew how we’d make New and Tasty I was still to find the truth, it turned out now THAT would blow my mind.
The Glukkons were scared ’cause profits were grim Paramites and Scrabs had been turning up thin but Molluck was cool, he had a plan: this new kind of meat – it was us!
I just had to escape, I just had to be free, and I didn’t even know I had a destiny, so…GET ME OUTTA HERE!!

Gameplay

90%

In the very end Abe is a fine and polished platform game with some puzzle elements. However, this definition could be too reductive.

In Abe’s Oddysee you’re tasked first of all to save yourself by escaping from Rupture Farms and then to save your fellow Mudokons from the evil plans of Molluk the Glukkon.

The set of movements/actions is very simple to handle, since you can do everything with the D-pad: if you’re skilled enough after years of platformer, such as Prince of Persia and Another World, you’ll learn everything in 3 seconds. Abe can also talk, even is is limited to say “Hello”, “Wait” and “Follow me”. However his special ability is the possibility to chant near the birds portal to open a “gate” that the Mudokons can use to leave the building. While the first screens are very easy and have the primary intent to familiarize with the controls, the game starts slowly to become more complicated.

The first enemies introduced, apart from the landmines, are the Sligs, slaves of the Glukkons that can be “possessed” by Abe: when they’re on the same screen (but not face to face) Abe, with his chant can take control of them and then kill them starting to chant again. The enemies become more an more powerful every stage: there will be Slogs, Scrabs, Paramites etc…

Along with the enemies, even the puzzles become more and more difficult to solve and sometimes you’ll have to go back to previous stages in order to complete them, always paying attention to the storm of enemies you’ll face and traps you’ll find on your path.

The game is hypnotic and so well made that’s impossible, once you start to play, to stop. You’ll empathize with Abe during his escape and you will feel his urge to find his freedom.

You definitely have to try it if you’ve never done before…

oddworld-abes-oddysee-1

Sound

90%

While in all the game there’s a background music what comes to yout ears are primarily the sound effects: Abe’s chant, his restricted but useful set of phrases and his farts. Sometimes the music can become terrifying, especially when you have to escape from the fast Scrabs in those dim light sets. I remember those situations…trying to be quite, walking slowly, and then suddenly start to run chased by those ugly monsters with my trembling and sweaty hands on the controller…PANIC!

Longevity

90%

The biggest issue in Abe’s Oddysee is that once you complete the game, playing it again is not the same thing. You get involved so much that you almost hate to restart everything from the beginning. But I think this feeling is sometihing you can feel only when you play great games. I mean, I played thousand times Jackie Chan’s Action Kung Fu, and I thing it’s a good game, but surely not at the level of Abe, and everytime I play it I do it without any particular felling. However the game is quite long and sometimes tricky, you’ll end up in some screens when you have to think carefully about what you have to do. So maybe not the most longeve game ever but surely an highly enjoyable one.

Final Score 93/100

95%


Year: 1997

Developer: Oddworld Inhabitants

Publisher: GT Interactive

Genre: Platform

Game Mode: Single Player, Two Players

Original Platform: PlayStation

From same developer:

  • Oddworld: Abe’s Exoddus (1998)
  • Oddworld: Munchs Oddysee (2001)
  • Oddworld: Strangers Wrath (2005)
  • Oddworld: New ‘n Tasty (2014)
  • Oddworld: Soulstrom (2017)

From the same publishers:

  • HeXen (1995)
  • Quake (1996)
  • Duke Nukem 64 (1997)
  • Blood (1997)
  • Total Annihilation (1997)
  • Unreal (1998)

Inspired to:

If you liked it you can also try:

  • Heart of Darkness (1998)

Other chapters of the saga:

  • Oddworld: Abe’s Exoddus (1998)
  • Oddworld: Munchs Oddysee (2001)
  • Oddworld: Strangers Wrath (2005)
  • Oddworld: New ‘n Tasty (2014)
  • Oddworld: Soulstrom (2017)

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4 Comments Add yours

  1. SpeedySailor says:

    This one looks tempting actually. Nice review!
    Reuben

    Liked by 1 person

    1. benez256 says:

      Thanks Reuben!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Mr. Panda says:

    Great review! Your love for the game really shines through. I’d heard of this game since it came out decades ago, but have never checked it out. I should hit up one of the rereleases!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. benez256 says:

      Yes you definitely have to. Unfortunately I don’t have my old PS anymore but I’m sure I can find one at a ridiculous price. Then I only have to ask my uncle to borrow me the game…😉

      Liked by 1 person

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