Sunday, 5 April 2015

Oddworld: New and Tasty: PS4 Review

Oddworld: New and Tasty: PS4 Review


Developer: JAW
Platform: PS4 as part of PS Plus Subscription

Every once in a while a gem from the past is unearthed, dusted down and released quietly.

So it was with the re-release of Abe's Oddysee onto the PlayStation 4 - a game that I utterly adored but could never clock when I was younger.

I had secretly been hoping this game would be part of the PS Plus Subscriber service at some point, so I was delighted to see it was there in the March offering, along with the premiere of Olli Olli 2 and Valiant Hearts.

Originally released on PS1 back in the late 90s, this spit and polish sees you taking the role of Mudokon Abe, a cleaner in a factory that's about processing food. However, Abe's working late one night when he discovers that the menu is made up of a lot of the alien races around him, and with supplies dwindling, his race is next on the chopping block.

So, Abe escapes in this side scrolling platformer and sets out to free the rest of the slaves from the factory, as well as himself. But his journey takes a dangerous and mystical turn thanks to a prophecy which he appears to play a part in.

Oddworld was always a great place to be part of and this remaster and rebuild is no exception.

Simplistic controls belie the devious element of the game and the lateral thinking which needs to be employed as you negotiate hazards, avoid mines, critters trying to kill you and various traps all around. Armed with no weapons, only a sense of logic and some stones, as well as the ability to occasionally chant and possess your foes, Oddworld requires a lot of thinking and rewards immensely for its puzzles.

Beautifully remastered for its HD spit and polish, Abe's worlds now thrive with life and dimensions; smoke billowing clouds are now denser for hiding and the 3D depth sees the game bristle with danger and colour.

But at the heart of it all, Oddworld was always about the gameplay, the story and the head-scratching puzzles which it has to be said, often resolved themselves in the simplest way - it was well ahead of the curve in 1997 and remains so today.

Anyone who's serious about platform puzzlers needs to own this now and if it's part of your sub to PS Plus, you have no excuse for owning one of the best games ever created.

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