Oddworld: Abe's Exoddus
|a game by||Oddworld, and GT Interactive|
|Editor Rating:||9/10, based on 4 reviews|
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It's an odd, Oddworld once again. Abe, the absintheskinned Mudokon and star of GT Interactive's Oddworld: Abe's Oddysee title, will soon be embarking on his second journey, picking up precisely where his last mission left off.
The story begins at the point where, by destroying the factory and ail the Mudokon bones stashed inside (during the end of the first game), Abe has given the Glukkons reason to need another cache of bones so they can continue making their carnivorous beverages. In Exoddus, you will again venture into the mission as Abe, only this time, with more feeling. Not only will Exoddus include more gamespeak and more special features (like invisibility), you will also reportedly discover more intelligent Al, and fellow Mudokons will wear their emotions on their skin, literally, as blue will depict melancholy, red will display anger, and so on. As Abe, you will have to interact with the Mudokons, by hugging and so forth, to keep them from committing suicide and even taking advantage of your kindness. Zombified Mudokons, notably Mudombies, will need Abe's assistance in finding their way to safety as well.
Many of the former enemies, such as Scrabs and Sligs, will return. However, Fleeches, Slurgs, Necrum Spirits and Slogs will also attempt to keep you and your kind from safety. And while saving the Mudokons is foremost, there will be lots of chores for Abe along the way, so to speak.
The Next Oddysee
You may know that Abe's Oddysee is part one of a quintology (that's a five-part series to you non-scientists out there). Abe's Exoddus is actually not part of this quintology. Part two of the series is going to be called Oddworld: Munch's Oddysee. Oddworld Inhabitants (the developers) have such a grand artistic vision for part two, they're waiting for a larger, more powerful canvas to paint on. "We definitely won't be doing Munch's Oddysee on the PlayStation," says Lome Lanning, president of Oddworld Inhabitants. "We're going to wait for a more powerful system. Whether that system will be Dreamcast remains to be seen."
So where does Abe's Exoddus fit in all of this? GT Interactive knew that Oddworld Inhabitants weren't going to put Munch's Oddysee on the PlayStation. So GT basically explained to them that they'd be crazy not to do one more PlayStation Oddworld game, seeing how the first game met with such critical and financial success. Oddworld Inhabitants agreed, so now we have Abe's Exoddus.
Just remember, all of the games in the Oddworld quintology will have "Oddysee" in the title. Anything with "Exoddus" is considered outside of the quintology. Got it?
- MANUFACTURER - Oddworld Inhabitants
- THEME - Adventure
- NUMBER OF PLAYERS - 1
Download Oddworld: Abe's Exoddus
Since Abe's Exoddus is only a sequel in an unusual sense (it's sort of a filler game, like an expansion pack--see issue #109), I can forgive that it plays almost exactly like the original game. Oh yeah, "more of the same" is also easier to swallow since the original is so damn cool (don't let me throw you off, however--Exoddus has a few new gameplay elements worth checking out, like multiple Mudokon control). Perhaps my favorite addition to the engine is the ability to quick save your position at any point. Frustrated critics of the very tough Abe's Oddysee can now have a little peace of mind knowing players can go over one particularly tough puzzle over and over, without having to go back several screens after dying. First time Oddworld players may become intimidated by Exoddus' expanded features...you'll have to memorize over a dozen different button combinations to get Abe through the game. Luckily, Exoddus has a fantastic tutorial system that gently breaks in new players and old (and after an hour or so of playing, you'll get used to the controls and commands with little hassle). So if you're an Abe fan, here's another excellent title from Oddworld Inhabitants for you to check out. If you've never played the original, don't miss out on this wonderfully beautiful, exotic and addicting series.
Abe's Exoddus is everything the previous game was and more. There are still a load of annoying spots where trial and error is the only way to advance, but with unlimited lives available, all you need is just a little patience. Anyway, all characters being able to use GameSpeak is a great feature, and so is the whole emotion thing. The story, graphics and gameplay make for an incredible gaming experience. This one's a solid buy.
So what if Abe's antics aren't quite as fresh the second time around. This sequel (more of a mission pack, really) will still impress fans of the original. What's new here (instant save, ability to possess multiple enemies, more control options, etc.) adds welcome depth to the gameplay, without making the game too complicated. And, of course, the superb graphics, animation, puzzles and humor of the original are all intact.
Abe is. back and he's awesome. My big gripes about the first garrie were certain frustrating obstacles and restart points. These have been totally addressed, making this sequel nearly flawless. Incredible cinemas packed with humor and emotion blend seamlessly with the action. Great sound effects and tight controls add to the experience. The quest is long with only a handful of slow spots. This is a must-have for PlayStation owners.
After making a big splash with Oddworld: Abe's Oddysee last year, GT Interactive's sending Abe out to save the day once again in the awesome sequel, Oddworld: Abe's Exoddus. Rejuvenated with tons of slick refinements, cool new levels, and, most importantly, a clutch new save feature, Exoddus easily earns a place among the PlayStation's best this year.
Engaging characters and settings were a big part of Oddysee's allure, and Exoddus doesn't skimp there either. Set on a quirky little planet called Oddworld, this 2D side-view adventure picks up after Abe's just rescued his people, the Mudokons, from the Glukkons' meat-packing plant where they were the main ingredient. Now their ancestors' bones are being excavated to make the Glukkons' latest "treat," SoulStorm Brew, and Abe's the man for the job as he sneaks around enemies, solves brain-busting puzzles, and runs for his life. It's charming, it's hilariously funny, and it'll glue you to the screen.
But Exoddus delivers more than just new levels. The most welcome news for Oddysee pros is the new save, which lets you save to the memory card at any point in the game and return to exactly where you were.
Even better is the Quiksave feature, which lets you create your own check point. If you pause anytime and rapidly save to the PlayStation's RAM, whenever you die, you'll return to your last
Quiksave point. This simple but ingenious addition eliminates the frustrating repetition that plagued Oddysee--once you solve even the smallest part of a puzzle, you just Quiksave and never have to do it again.
Exoddus jams in a ton of other cool new features, too. Abe's vocabulary has been smartly expanded, and it's much easier to command groups of Mudokons. He can also possess many more types of enexmies, turn invisible, smack those who need it, ride in mine cars, and even cut exploding farts.
This game's much bigger than before, offering tons more levels on two CDs. Cool new environments like the Slig barracks or Glukkon offices await Abe, all loaded with familiar enemies like Paramites and Scrabs, and devious new foes like Fleeches and flying Sligs. Overall, Exoddus has a much more balanced and fine-tuned feel--things just flow more smoothly and intuitively.
As far as gameplay goes, Exoddus is definitely not for twitchy action gamers. Sure, there are plenty of pulse-pounding moments--and even some standard platform gaming challenges like jumping across voids--but Abe s always the weakling, and always must either flee or use his wits to win. It makes for thoughtful, cerebral puzzle-solving that's wholly addictive. It's not the kind of game you'll ever play again once you beat it, but plowing through to the end is an enjoyable challenge that will easily consume you.
On the control side, Abe's easy to guide and has plenty of fun moves, though mastering them takes a little practice. Unfortunately, as in Oddysee, lining up jumps is a fussy, vexing process that's just way harder than it should be. It's the game's only significant flaw.
Visually, Exoddus shows how awesome 2D can be. Spectacular backgrounds will capture your attention with their creative style and gorgeous color, while every one of the game's characters move with graceful realism. Killer cut scenes and seamless in-game transitions between levels imbue Exoddus with an absorbing cinematic flair.
The sound's a huge success too, forming an integral part of the game's charm. The character voices and sound effects, such as Abe's.creaky sneak or the Sligs' delighted cackle when they blast Abe to bits, will make you crack a grin.
Exoddus isn't for everyone, but if a fascinating puzzle-packed adventure appeals to you, this one will enthrall you for weeks. A must-buy title for adventure gamers, Exoddus is worth every cent.
- Possess Abe's exploding farts by chanting (press and hold LI and L2). Steer them into enemies or obstacles and blow them up by chanting again.
- Sometimes the solution to a puzzle is to blow up the boating red orbs that prevent you from possessing. Exploding farts, grenades, or bomb-dropping flying Sligs can all handle the Job for you.
- Fleeches, the tongue-lashing inchworms, are a royal pain in the ass. Keep running and jumping so they never have enough time to slurp you up.
- Use possessed farts and possessed flying Sligs to scout as far ahead as possible and clear out all the obstacles.
Abe's looking mighty fine again. Spellbinding prerendered backgrounds overflow with lush colors and rich details, while Abe and the other characters glide across the screen with lifelike fluidity.
As with any good game, Exoddus is a breeze to get into but takes time to master. Once you have, you can do so many cool, innovative things that it's a shame that something as simple as jumping is so unreliable and finicky.
The awesome sounds are a huge part of what makes Exoddus so captivating. Charmingly humorous voices, cartoon-style sound effects, and perfect mood music make for a stellar audio experience.
Exoddus blows the doors off Abe's Oddysee with a vast new adventure for Abe that packs in tons of sweet new touches and, best of all, an excellent save feature that completely eliminates Oddysee's frustrating repetition. This one's a masterpiece.
I have to admit I am taking this right out of the manual that comes with the game. GT Interactive sums up the storyline better than I ever could. So here it goes:
When we last saw Abe, he’d just rescued 99 Mudokons from RuptureFarms and struck a serious blow to the Glukkons of the rapacious Magog Cartel. Once an ignorant, happy floor waxer, Abe now found himself a hero to his people. (This all happened in the first game of the series, Oddworld: Abe’s Oddysee) Anyhoo, you might think Abe had earned a vacation, but that was before he fell on his head and had a vision. Three restless ghosts let Abe in on a secret. RuptureFarms was just one of many slaughterhouses the Glukkons are using to exploit the Mudokons. Even worse is the SoulStorm Brewery, where super-addictive SoulStorm Brew is made from the bones of dead Mudokons mined from Necrum, the ancient Mudokon city of the dead. Abe, being a shmuck -- uh, hero -- set out across the desert with five friends to find Necrum. When the game opens, Abe and his pals have snuck into the Necrum Mines.
Your mission is to destroy the Mines by sabotaging the boilers that power the place. You’ll have to find your five friends too … but keep them away from the SoulStorm Brew! One slug of that stuff and they’ll get sick, and be no use to anyone … unless you can find a way to heal them. And how do you do that? I bet those three ghosts might have an idea. They’re probably hanging around their tomb. If you can find the ghosts, maybe you can get them to confirm the rumor that Scrabs and Paramites are running free in the Vaults of Necrum.
Gameplay, Controls, Interface
Once again, I have to say that the game can be very frustrating when it comes to controlling Abe. I felt that if I had a third hand on my controller I would be able to handle the game like a champ. This was a problem in the first game, and it seems like GT Interactive has tried to make it easier on the player, but personally I think there are too many things that Abe is capable of doing. If you have a 9-button joystick you will be able to do things more proficiently than the people with a 4-button joystick.
GT Interactive has taken our suggestion to heart and has resolved the savegame option that plagued the first game. You can now save anywhere in the game. Believe me, you will be saving quite a bit if you want to save all the Mudokons.
The graphics are impressive. It is hard to find any games on the market right now that do not require a video accelerator card. But Oddworld: Abe’s Exoddus is one of those games. So if you are one of those gamers who have not yet gone out and dropped $150 on a new video card, this game probably has the best graphics you will ever see.
The background graphics are sharper than the first game, and the levels are a tad bit larger also. The CD even comes with an Oddworld desktop theme for those of you that have MS Plus or Windows 98.
Windows 95 & 98, Pentium 166 Mhz (Pentium 200 Mhz MMX recommended), 16 MB RAM (32 MB RAM recommended), 2 MB video card, 4X CD-ROM drive (8X recommended), and 100% SoundBlaster-compatible sound card
Relation To Previous Installment
Oddworld: Abe’s Exoddus is a worthy successor to Abe’s Oddysee. The gameplay is almost identical and the fun factor is just as high as the original. GT Interactive has picked up the storyline right where it left off. I believe the next game in the series is going to be a 3D game, so I am not sure whether we will ever see another side-scrolling game come out in the future.
The manual is more than adequate to get the average gamer up and running in no time. It has all the enemies in it with a little bio on them also. And of course, it has the storyline that I mentioned earlier in this article.
The bottom line is that if you like good graphics and a well-designed game, this game is definitely worth looking at. Abe’s Exoddus is entertaining and can be quite challenging at times. The only thing that bothers me about the game is that it looks and feels too much like the first game. We all have played the Tomb Raider series and have seen how dry that can get. That is why I am going to go out on a limb and give this game two separate ratings. If you have solved the first game, then I would rate the game as about an 82. If you have not played any games in the series, this is a no-brainer. Score it as a 94, Baby!