Oddworld New n Tasty

Oddworld: New ‘n’ Tasty is a ground-up remake of the original 1997 Oddworld: Abe’s Oddysee. It features support up to 4k on PC, improved lighting and visuals in general, full control support and some other goodies. It has been in development since 2011 by Just Add Water it has been published by Oddworld Inhabitants.

Oddworld has been always different. We play as a horrible creature that we feel empathy for because he and his people have been kidnapped for even a more horrible creature, but also evil. We are supposed to save a kind of grotesque race that quickly touch our hearts with those clumsy movements and cute communication based on gestures, whistles and farts. Seriously, what is there not to love from a creature that farts to say kindly say hello? We all love our dogs for that very same reason. Add on top of that an amazing art overall for a 2d action platform puzzle and you have a masterpiece.

Oddworld New ‘n’ Tasty

New ‘n’ Tasty keeps the characters, the storyline, the puzzles and the level design, but now we are able to enjoy amazing and fully detailed 3D character models, backgrounds and cinematics, and scrolling levels enhanced by a nice camera that moves in and out of our character to get the most out of the glorious artwork. Let’s be honest: Oddworld was never about the tech behind the scenes but about a unique theme. Now we are able to fully enjoy it.

Our poor old Abe discovers that falling profits mean that he and the other Mudokons are the new and how menu. His captors, not satisfied with cheap labor (what can be cheaper than slavery) decide that in order to maximize profit, they should kill our protagonist and his crew, process their meat and sell them as the new ‘n’ tasty meal. But we are not chickens. But we are not cowards, we decide to save as many of our people as possible in our escape to freedom. In our way out, we will enjoy the glinting skyline of RuptureFarms, its villainous silos and smokestacks basking in the toxic yellow half-light of a Blade Runner sunset, the wooden trails and towering pines of Paramonia and the Wile E. Coyote mesas and bluffs of Scrabania. If you are young enough to understand what places I’m describing, I have bad news and good news for you: you will miss the nostalgic factor this game delivers, but you will enjoy an amazing world created almost 20 years ago.

Despite such amazing graphical improvements, the soul of the game is intact and that also means those clunky and awkward controls have survived. It is still hard to move and difficult to maneuver Abe in very tight areas. Even basic actions like switch-pulls and ledge grabs have really small spots that can feel pretty unforgiving by today’s generous standards. You will often try different keys to grab that ledge to free your friends in order to realize the only issue was the spot you are in. The same goes for mines on the floor or jumps: if you are too close or if you miss a jump, down you go. There aren’t magical butterflies to save you or tons of checkpoints (well, actually there are more checkpoints this time). I will say this once again: This is a game almost 20 years old. This is a game difficult by today’s standards.  That is why it was and is so fun. You will usually feel it is easier to work out what you have to do than to actually get it done – and is occasionally frustrating, specially for a puzzle type of game. And it may make sense, but it wouldn’t be Abe’s Oddysee otherwise.

There are still multiple solutions to a lot of the puzzles. You don’t simply run, hide in the shadows, throw rocks to change your enemies patterns, dodge bombs, alarms and sensors, couch and roll difficult paths, but you also communicate in a prehistoric fashion with your crew in order to give basic commands and save them. There are tons of obstacles, death traps and enemies you can even posses and maneuver at will before killing them violently, but indirectly. You see, Abe is a cute character that will do no harm. All he does is create portals to save his friends, and throw a few bombs every now and then to dismember his enemies.

The design of the levels are smarter than ever in an age where the ease is prioritized and the difficulty lowered in order to focus on the story and the visuals. New ‘n’ Tasty is not like that even when there are new platforms and hidden tweaks that will make the game easier. And the story is as simple as ever: escape and try to save as many friends as you can, but the story is well told. You won’t get tired of it, you will get to love it while you try to best stronger enemies that for some reason are way more powerful.

Oddworld: New ‘n’ Tasty is a masterpiece. It was a fun game almost 20 years ago and it still is. The gameplay can be weird and could have been improved a little bit, but the huge amount of work on the visuals will make you forgive the developers while you enjoy a story that is as relevant as ever.

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