Oddworld: Abe’s Oddysee – New ‘n’ Tasty! is essentially a remake of the same game from back in 1997. The game kicks off in the black, factory-like setting of RuptureFarms. Everything is running at status quo before you begin. Abe, the main character in the game, spies a fresh strategy by his race’s enslavers one day: his race, the Mudokons, are going to be next on the literal chopping block.
Abe is instantly pushed on the run, and your journey to escape RuptureFarms starts. Among the greatest facets of the original was that its world was so enjoyable. Within the first five minutes of playing, Abe’s Odyssee shows off more lore than many other titles show in their entire game. You will see a bunch of Glukkons (the race that enslaved everyone) laughing over the death of a whole species to give your pursuit objective, not to mention plenty of backstory to fuel your fire.
So what sort of gameplay can you expect from New ‘n’ Tasty? To put it simply, it is a puzzle platformer constructed around Abe’s skills (or lack thereof). Abe is a pretty meek person as you can likely tell. He will help to guide his race through gates to enable them to escape through dialogues with fellow Mudokons.
Abe can use three principles in the game: stealth, wit, or confrontation. Stealth calls for holding down the sneak button (which will then instruct friends and family to slip about) to get by, carefully ensuring that you will not awaken asleep enemies. Using wit generally includes finding switches that are distinct, pulling on levers that ruin or otherwise maim enemies in a deceitful manner. The third method may be the most interesting. Abe is not entirely weak, as his chant power both opens gates up for his comrades and does some serious damage by possessing enemies.
When you possess enemies you can continue on your way after running your subject into a meat grinder, if you choose. You can even scout ahead and use your possessed enemy as a way to lure others. The chances are always changing determined by the scenario, and that is what keeps the game exciting and fresh. There is no end to the fun of possessing your enemies.
Yet, alongside all that gameplay comes a couple of caveats. The developer hasn’t only utilized the previous interesting aesthetics and the same excellent level design, but sadly they’ve kept the same funky controls as the original. Abe’s ability to jump just isn’t great. That’s putting it nicely.
It is quite hard to do some of the more demanding platforming sections with the current control setup. Occasionally you will make an effort to get Abe to do a little jump, just to hit on your toe on a set of mines and burst into…well, death. During some of the other parts of the game you might try and fail to get him to jump further, which can lead to some extremly annoying parts of the game where all you’re doing is fighting with the terrible controls to try and move on.
One thing in the game that does come over nicely from the old version is the style of the first game, which when added to the new visuals, look very nice. The engine that Oddysee runs on has been totally recreated from scratch with Unity, and it truly looks amazing. For the sake of comparison I went back and fired up the original only to see just how much the game has been enhanced, and it was like I was not even playing the same game at all. It is worth purchasing it again only to see the world of RuptureFarms fully remade like this.
Despite the fact that there is a good amount of gameplay here (maybe around 10 hours or so), sadly there’s not much extra beyond that except for the fact that you can go back and rescue more of your people to get a better ending (always love different endings). There’s “coop” gameplay, but it only consists of taking turns after each one of you dies.
Oddworld: Abe’s Oddysee – New ‘n’ Tasty! is about the same rewarding, exceptional, and often soul-destroying game it was in the ’90s. If you never liked it back then it might be worth another shot to see if you’ve gotten any better at puzzle-esque games. Its certainly a game with a story that is worth playing through.
Release Date: July 22nd, 2014
Developer: Just Add Water
Game’s Page: http://www.oddworld.com/oddworldgames/new-n-tasty/
Where to Buy: Sony Entertainment Network