|The player's wits, rather than force, is required to solve many of the puzzles ranging from sneaking past armed guards in order to complete a specific task to assisting other Mudokon slaves to escape from Rupture Farms. Once Abe has escaped from the meat processing plant a new set of challenges develops for the player to tackle. You can make life easier for Abe by using his inherent ability to spiritually possess gun toting enemies and control them directly to slay other guards or to walk them into traps thus eliminating threats from your path. Apart from falls from great heights and the usual demise of your character in this style of game, it's reasonably free of violent content. There is a far greater concern for puzzle solving than simply annihilating the opposition.
The interface for the game is the standard cursor keys and a dozen or so miscellaneous keys including the numericals so, as is typical of platform games, is easy to learn and control. On screen messages early in the game make learning it a breeze. Sound effects match the visuals for quality as you'd expect. Abe has a small vocabulary controllable by the player which is used to assist in puzzle solving. Just don't forget to instruct escaping slaves to ‘wait' at crucial points or they'll stumble into traps that Abe easily avoids and become instant Mudokon hamburger.
The only true failing point is that it lacks any variations in difficulty level. There is no implementation of Pathetically Easy, Easy, Normal, Hard, Mega Hard or Ultra Friggin' Super Human or any way to modify the game to suit your skill level. You just have to cope with what's been given to you.
Abe's Oddysee is the first of five proposed titles under the Oddworld inhabitants banner. Four sequels in the pipeline sounds somewhat extravagantly optimistic but it seems there has been considerable thought on the part of the developer as to the content of each new title. Future episodes will feature new characters in widely differing circumstances hopefully making each Oddworld title a fresh experience rather than falling to the trap of releasing and regurgitating a prior success with overly familiar faces.
Oddworld: Abe's Oddysee takes an anachronistic adventure platform game and breathes fresh life into it. Mario, Sonic and Rayman are crashing bores by comparison, so stand aside, you three, Abe's passing through to deliver the meat.
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Published in Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
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