The big comeback this month of April is that of Abe. After the New “n” Tasty episode released in 2015, which was actually the remake of the first Oddworld, Soulstorm arrives with the ambition of repeating its sequel, Abe’s Exodus. But did Lorne Lanning’s teams manage to update the formula while retaining the charm of yesteryear?
Abe returns on a technically refreshed adventure. The graphics are beautiful and the fairly large viewing distance makes it possible to show the multiple dangers that await the hero in the background. Production Oddworld residents live, the artistic direction is paramount, and the design of the various creatures continues to enchant us in 2021. We only regret some slightly overlooked effects, blurry textures when the camera gets too close to the elements, and slowdowns a little too present. The animation of the protagonists is generally impeccable.
Like Abe’s Exodus, Oddworld Soulstorm is a platform game that requires a little dexterity and a lot of skill. Here the camera follows Abe on an imaginary track that frames the plot in a cinematographic way, even if this means that certain paintings are not optimally legible. The game takes so much freedom that it is difficult to identify the model from which it is inspired: double jump, tinkering, tying up opponents, additional scenes, completely new level design … you would almost swear one to see new episode. It should be noted that the cube and repetition dimension is still there, fortunately reduced by regular checkpoints. Incidentally, thanks to the telekinetic power of the hero, his freedom of movement and especially thanks to his new devices, infiltration is still required. The inaccuracy of handling with the joystick and the various errors are regrettable.
The title invented by Lorne Lanning largely takes up the scenario of Abe’s Exodus while changing certain aspects. It is therefore a matter of following Abe’s escape after the fire at RuptureFarms. It’s always about Mudokons trying to escape the oppression of the Glukkon, those terrible creatures who only think of making money by exploiting the races of Oddworld. The movie scenes that highlight the adventure are great, and the epic follows itself with interest whether we know the original software or not.
Oddworld Soulstorm is long for a game of this genre. It takes about twenty hours to complete the adventure. The aim of the game here is not just to reach the end of a level: it is also necessary to save a maximum of your congeners stuck in tables that are linear but full of secret passages. Too bad the artificial intelligence of allied creatures leads them to certain death too easily, especially when it comes to fighting or hiding in lockers. Yes, Oddworld is long, maybe too long. Some layers abuse copy and paste in the situations that arise. This creates a sense of repetition that could have been avoided by shortening a few servings.
In the continuity of an artistic direction at the top, Oddworld’s music is discreet but adorns the player’s progress as it should. The sound design is also of quality. In the radius of the defects we notice the disappearance of the voices in VF. Yes, Soulstorm is in English with French subtitles, subtitles that appear in rare sequences in addition to absent subscribers. The fans of the first hour will rant against the lack of farts. This oddworld usually takes itself a little more seriously.
Oddworld: Abe’s Exodus uses the year 2021 to rewrite its history in a pretty way. With gameplay a little more contemporary despite its dice and repetitions aspect, it delivers what the Lorne Lanning series has known for so many years: muscular platform, spicy infiltration, and expansive levels. Well done and with numerous challenges, the ultimate surfaces are missing. The few inaccuracies in terms of handling and artificial intelligence are very frustrating in software that leaves no room for error. We also regret the lack of a full VF suggested so far in Abe’s Exodus. For all of these reasons, we give a score of 15/20.
By Carnbee, Journalist igamesnews.com