Remember Abe? Abe’s Oddysee Abe?
I’m sure you do. I certainly remember running through glorious PSOne backgrounds in a two-dimensional death gauntlet with no weapons, armed only with the ability to jump and temporarily possess your gun totting guards. And all this while you attempted to free as many of your people from certain death. That and his adorable squeaky voice. The voice! *hyperventilates*
Breathe, Emma, breathe!
For those of you who’ve never played, Abe’s Oddysee is one of the most heinous stories out there. Abe is a Mudoken slave working in a meat factory who’s just discovered that his people are about to become the latest secret ingredient. Welcome to the literal meat grinder, people. Abe is left with the enormous task of freeing his fellow slaves and getting them to safety. All this while wielding no weapons and being pursued by armed henchmen through puzzles that are nine times out of ten going to kill you the first time you encounter them.
As a child this was one of my absolute favourite games. So, when I heard about the re-launch to the next gen consoles, I was ultimately concerned. Games like Oddworld: Abe’s Oddysee hold a treasured place in our souls. If I’m honest, Abe was the first childhood experience I had with the concepts of oppression and slavery. It was pretty grim stuff, but the game also introduced me to another concept; that as bad as it is you can do something about it. That you are never powerless. The revamp of the original Abe’s Oddysee, now called Oddworld: New’ N’ Tasty called to me from the darkness.
Developed by Just Add Water and published by Oddworld Inhabitants for PS4 initially and to be followed by PS3 and Xbox, my biggest concern for this revamp in a long line of title revamps was that it would lose its soul.
I can come to you now and say that that hasn’t happened. Abe is still the same Mudoken that we all love and with the new and improved cinematics, we have even more of him to fawn over. One of my main fearful expectations was that they’d make this a fast paced, free-world type gameplay. If you’re going to make your character 3D for the current times, you may as well, right? Thankfully, they’ve kept the 2D scrolling gameplay, instead focusing on more interactions, dialogue, puzzles and really polishing all the grainy edges left by the original. It shines! They rebuilt him from the ground up and he is awesome. You can tell that with all the love of the original, they really sat back and thought to themselves, Abe’s Oddysee was great, but how can we keep all the great things and just make it better? If you’re like me, you’ll be astounded by all the little fantastic details they’ve put into this. Play it and you’ll know what I mean.
This is everything I could have asked for in a remake of the game. Everything. It’s what I’ve spent my whole life waiting for. The ludicrous difficulty of the puzzles. The humour. The story that just pulls you in. The horror. Even that damn daft sneak walk. The audio has been cleaned up and the background visuals are pretty fantastic. They’ve even brought the controls more in line with current gaming (Triangle got me killed more than I can possibly express). This is a remake worth owning and if you’ve never played Abe’s Oddysee this is a must.
Never in my history have I ever given a movie or game 100%. I’ll always look to it with a critical eye. What can be improved? What can be done better?
I love this game. I wouldn’t have it any other way. As remakes go, this is the pinnacle of what a developer should be aiming for when bringing a PSOne game into the 21st Century. Forget about making it like the rest. Keep it true, make it great. Oddworld: New ‘N’ Tasty is a game that deserves my grin filled two enthusiastic thumbs up.
Let go of that fart you’re holding and follow Abe into the grinder for the most unmissable remake to hit PS4. 10/10