Hiya, once more
The final time we checked in with the long-awaited Oddworld: Soulstorm, issues had been wanting good.
Let’s examine the way it turned out.
Oddworld: Soulstorm (PC, PS4, PS5 [reviewed])
Developer: Oddworld Inhabitants
Writer: Oddworld Inhabitants
Launched: April 6, 2021
MSRP: $49.99 (additionally on PlayStation Plus at launch)
So Soulstorm is a bizarre recreation for a number of causes. The principle character Abe, is…odd. He isn’t your typical hero, aesthetically and on the core of his being. He is an unlikely prophet, a bumbling fool…ah effectively you get the image. Poor man, I am going to ease off.
Because the very begin, Oddworld Inhabitants managed to harness this unusual magic right into a digestible puzzle platformer with a heavy deal with avoiding fight, if you want. It is a objective that is not solely virtuous, however remains to be extremely distinctive all these years later. And Soulstorm (named after the brew that is made out of elements of a Mudokon, the race of Abe and his folks) principally executes on that imaginative and prescient with a number of old skool points alongside the way in which.
Billed as a revival of Exoddus (the second recreation within the collection), Soulstorm feels extra instantly lived-in. Whereas Exoddus felt extra like an enlargement pack, that is a completely new recreation with a distinct framework and a grander scale. The brand new lens during which to view the story is beautiful, because it permits us to grow to be nearer to Abe and his mates in a extra significant and deliberate method.
Likewise, the degrees (of which there are 15, with two secret levels) are extra sprawling and open. As quickly as you are out of the weeds of the primary few there are sometimes a number of paths, with heaps of secret areas to find and optionally available aims (like discovering and saving extra Mudokon mates, which grant you entry to the true ending). The stock system all feeds into this gameplay loop, rewarding explorers with extra instruments to sort out a few of the multi-pronged puzzles.
In different phrases, the extra effort you set into discovering what the sport has to supply, the extra you may succeed. The most effective elements of Soulstorm although has received to be the improved motion system. Fast double-jumping fixes so many prior collection points, and permits you to extra simply traverse a few of the trickier sequences whereas latching onto ledges extra typically. The possession system (one of many primarily puzzle-solving instruments, during which you’re taking over an unsuspecting enemy) remains to be so enjoyable and imaginative, and opens up a lot design house.
Bits like controlling a flying foe to undergo an impediment course as a way to open a door for Abe are genius, as a result of they match throughout the established guidelines of the universe with out feeling too gamey. You typically have the choice to sneaky by, brute drive puzzles, or remedy them by way of merchandise use as effectively. The clear menu choice to see the entire Mudokons you’ve got saved (in addition to all pertinent stats) can be a godsend, ending the esoteric and sometimes gatekeeping nature of the collectathon ingredient.
However with these basic rules on the forefront, there’s some clunk. Checkpoints may be actually murky at instances, as they’re generally positioned in such a method the place you may need to seize a ton of things another time in case you die, lest you backtrack and set off one other checkpoint, then return to “resave” the present recreation state. Having a few of these key gadgets positioned earlier than secure areas and then checkpointing gamers would have diminished a few of the busywork.
Navigating choose menus can be an train in inelegance; most notably the principle stock, which is triggered by urgent the Triangle button after which manipulated with the analog sticks. It is the identical factor for the crafting display screen, which is testy at instances and requires a agency few mashes to get going. Then there’s jank like occasional jarring music and menu cuts. It is annoying, however it may be handwaved relying in your tolerance stage. There was a uncommon bug that soft-crashed the sport, however that was patched since publication, and we didn’t expertise it within the unique construct.
There are some cobwebs to shake out of Oddworld: Soulstorm, and a few that can stay even after a scorching bathe, however you would be hard-pressed to call very many video games which are doing what this collection is doing in 2021. I am glad that Oddworld Inhabitants remains to be round, doing their bizarre and attention-grabbing factor.
[This review is based on a retail build of the game provided by the publisher.]
Oddworld: Soulstorm reviewed by Chris Carter
Spectacular effort with a number of noticeable issues holding it again. Will not astound everybody, however is price your time and money.
How we rating: The Destructoid evaluations information