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Oddworld, Abe’s Exoddus Review (PC)

Posted by DnJGaming On September - 26 - 2009

Released in 1998 Oddworld, Abe’s Exodus was a game that as a child, I spent many hours playing alongside my granddad, I would sit on his knee and instead of him telling stories, we would play games on their PC, which, at the time, was pretty damn good, it had a whole 512mb of RAM, that’s right, 512, they still have that computer to this day…

Anyway, Oddworld is a hugely unique game, it is a 2D platformer but with a twist, the main character, Abe, can use a special chant to take control of enemies in the game and use them to his advantage, be it to take out other enemies, activate a switch, or scout out an area undercover. The game also had a ‘Gamespeak’ option, in which the player could use preset commands that were delivered to other characters through Abe, or whoever he was controlling, talking, these commands could be used to make NPC’s do specific actions such as; follow, pull a switch or turn a wheel. The character could also take control of mine carts, activate various switches and levers, and pick up various objects such as grenades, rocks and bones that could be used for many purposes, such as knocking down a large rock or distracting a guard. Another feature that the game contained was the ability to quicksave at any point during play, so that if you die you can reload your save, and, before you get to the tough area make a quicksave which only takes around a second to make.

screenshot_23520_thumb300The main objective of the game is to free fellow mudokon slaves from mines and many other locations. By using the gamespeak feature whilst having mudokons following Abe, he can give them commands such as to sneak, attack or simply wait. The mudokons also have emotional states and various ailments that the player will wither have to work with or find a cure for, these can include being addicted to soulstorm (a drink made out of bones) or having been blinded by the slavers, leading blind mudokons through a tough area full of guards is one of the hardest parts of the game I can remember. Taking control of the enemies in the game to solve puzzles or just shoot things was one of my favourite elements of the game, from parasite mixed with spiders, ‘Paramites’ to half alien half machine slavers, ‘Sligs’ each enemy was unique, had its own set of abilities and its own perfectly drawn environments, but by far my favourite thing to take control of was the Scrab, something that is almost impossible to explain, but, I will try, if you thought, half Dwain Chambers mixed with the legs of a crab and the face of a rhino, you wouldn’t be too far off. The scrab had various different fighting moves and was incredibly powerful, if you could gain control of one near a bunch of Sligs, you could go nuts and have lots of fun doing so.

Having gone back and played it now, I realized that the game was rather scary, and an odd thing for a kid to be playing, but at the time I had fun with it, and hell, it wasn’t as scary as the time I thought I would look tough if I played Resident Evil 1… Those damn dogs.

One Of Exoddus' Beautiful Environments.

One Of Exoddus' Beautiful Environments.

The main story of the game is follows directly on from its prequel, Abes Odyssey which was released in 1997 when I was 5 years old, so, I never really got a chance to play through it until recently when I found a copy for the Playstation 1 in Game, and, the sequel truly is something, Exodus had so many improvements it makes the new Wembley stadium look like a caravan site.

The ending of the game contains a fantastic cutscene with some truly amazing 3D work for the time of release. Everything in the game has a perfect polish to it, from the fantastic sprites, level design and characters, all the way down to the music and sound effects. If you want to an enjoyable game that you can keep going back to and playing, even for a short amount of time, Oddworld, Abes Exodus is definitely one for you.


-Dean Case

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