It was in 1997 when the lovable, unforgettable and flatulent alien, Abe, first graced the screens of gamers of the era. Oddworld: Abe’s Odyssey was a ground-breaking puzzle-cum-platform game that gamers of today still label as their all-time favorite title. Straight from the bizarre depths of Lorne Lanning’s mind, the iconic chronicle featured a stunning, distinct art style that proffered a visually immersive experience; one that still holds a place in many hearts even now, twenty-three years later.
As the two decades have rolled-on-by, we have seen the World of Odd progress from the simplistic but easy-to-love platformer of the late-nineties, to a more modern FPS (Stranger’s Wrath, 2005). Moreover, we were treated to a complete, current-generation overhaul of the original game with Oddworld: Nice ‘n’ Tasty in 2014; reminding us again of what gaming was “back in the day”; simple, honest-to-goodness fun.
By releasing a slow but steady stream of titles over the years, studio Oddworld Inhabitants have succeeded in keeping their loyal fanbase interested in future titles. Oddworld: Soulstorm is set to be the first game to go back to the much-loved roots of Odyssey and it looks phenomenal.
What we Know of Oddworld: Soulstorm
The two-minute reveal trailer shows us very little about what Oddworld Inhabitants has in store for us. We do, however, know that the latest title is merely the developers’ way of dipping their toes into the ocean. Lanning has said that if Oddworld: Soulstorm goes well, then it will become the second installment of a planned pentalogy. That is to say that if the upcoming title goes well in the current market, we will be furnished with a further three titles from the Oddworld dimension, with each game following-on from the last; rejoice, fans of Oddworld.
It’s also known that Oddworld: Soulstorm is going to be exclusive to the PlayStation and PC platforms. Showing no signs of an Xbox release anytime in the future, Oddworld Inhabitants seem to be mirroring the availability of the old classic. While this is great news to PlayStation gamers, it may not be received quite so well by current Xbox owners bearing a taste for nostalgia. While there has been no talk of an Xbox release, it also hasn’t been ruled out. So there’s at least some hope out there.
Oddworld: Soulstorm | Gameplay
Fans of the original (Abe’s Odyssey) may be disheartened to learn that, like New ‘n’ Tasty, the developers have ditched the way in which the camera operated in the pioneering title; favoring instead a more fluid and seamless experience. While this is good news to players who may be just picking up on the series, it isn’t so great for those that crave a trip down memory lane and into the retro-rich world they both know and yearn for.
On the contrary, the gameplay is going to be as close to the original’s as possible. With the trailer showing a rabble of co-workers (or Mukodens) following the farty fellow around, there are signs of the old premise shining through. I can only hope that all of that sweet nostalgia isn’t going to be washed away with the flowing waters of technological progress.
Oddworld: Soulstorm in a Nutshell
With clear signs of both retro splendor and the use of current technology, Oddworld: Soulstorm is going to be a double-edged sword for both new gamers and old alike. The old (like myself) will bask in any hint of retro sunlight; while the newer gamers will enjoy the use of the PS5’s and the PC’s processing power more so. Regardless of vintage, Soulstorm is looking like an immensely enjoyable game, dashed with the unique comedy genius we saw in the Oddworld games of yesteryear.
Oddworld: Soulstorm is planned to be released on PS4, PS5 and PC sometime in the Spring of this year; so you could be rescuing fellow mukodens in just a few short months. So get ready for a revisit to Oddworld one day soon, it’s going to be beautiful.