Oddworld: New 'n' Tasty!
If you were a gamer in the late 1990s, you probably played the original Oddworld: Abe’s Oddysee for PC and PlayStation. The quirky puzzler from Oddworld Inhabitants was a commercial and critical hit, spawning three sequels and a remake in the same universe. Oddworld: New ‘n’ Tasty sees the developers lovingly recreate the original title “from the ground up”, improving the visuals and adding new control options. Initially released on the PS4 in 2014, the game is now finally available for PC, OS X, and Linux, giving gamers cause to rejoice.
Stepping once again into the role of Abe, players are tasked with freeing a race called the Mudokon from the grips of the evil meat-processing corporation Rupture Farms. In order to complete this goal, Abe must abandon his post as a janitor at the corporation and embark on a spiritual quest, discovering new power-ups and skills along the way. The game’s story and characters are still as charming as ever, having aged remarkably well since their first appearance almost two decades ago. Despite the bleak nature of the plot, the script is crammed full of deliciously dark humour that should find players with a similarly dark mind howling with laughter.
One of the biggest improvements of this updated release is the graphics. The 2.5D presentation is a huge step up from the 2D art style of the original, boasting better lighting and superb new animations. Also, rather than progressing along a series of screens, the game now plays as a sidescroller, allowing the player a more fluid experience than before. This helps to greater establish the tone of the game’s story and leads to some genuinely awe-inspiring visuals during gameplay.
This time around, players can choose to play with a controller or with a keyboard and mouse. The two methods of play are both as intuitive as each other and therefore never distract the player from the game’s successes elsewhere. Given the precise nature of the platforming, it is definitely a welcome feature, allowing players to pick and choose the control scheme that is the most comfortable for them. Another excellent update is the inclusion of a quick save feature, which allows players to log progress in-between checkpoints. This useful device, missing from the original Oddworld, will undoubtedly make the game's latter difficulty spikes a little less punishing to newcomers.
Oddworld: New ‘n’ Tasty is an incredible puzzle platformer and a stunning update to an already beloved game. Whether or not you own the original, this new version is well worth picking up, offering an equally rewarding experience for new and returning players. With plenty of previous sequels ripe for a similar update, here’s hoping that we can expect another excursion into the fabulous Oddworld universe in the not-so-distant future.