Review – Oddworld: Soulstorm –

Review – Oddworld: Soulstorm –

It’s a crazy world: Soulstorm was announced over half a century ago by the creator of the franchise, Lorne Lanning, as a sequel to the recently released Oddworld: New and delicious! Both games are designed as extended remakes of the PS1 classic, in the same vein as Final Fantasy VII Remake. Not only do they offer improved graphics and controls, but also new levels, scenarios and much more background information. After so many delays, Soulstorm is finally available on PC, PS4 and PS5. Was Abe’s debut on the latest generation of consoles worth the wait?

Review – Oddworld: Soulstorm –

This is how the game starts.

As a sequel to the first Oddworld (a remake of Abe’s Exoddus), I was impressed that Oddworld: Soulstorm doesn’t care if you’ve played the previous games in the series or not. It begins with Abe and the liberated Mudocons fleeing the Glukkons and Sligs from the previous game. The game doesn’t give you an explanation of what is happening or why it is happening. Frankly, I respect this decision to uphold a vision that is almost decades old. The game’s plot and setting can be confusing for newcomers. A strange world, though: Soulstorm is such a fun and well-written game that you’ll probably decide to read the summaries of the previous games because the world is so fascinating.

All the mechanics used in the previous Oddworld games are featured here. Abe can run, jump, flip switches, pull levers, and most importantly, he can use his mind powers and leadership abilities to protect his fellow Mudocons or possess nearby enemies. In each level, Abe must rescue as many slaves as possible, leading them past dangerous traps and enemies until he reaches the Bird Portal, a strange time-space anomaly that allows you to permanently rescue all slaves who follow you. If you own enemies, you can control them by using their weapons against their own kind.

Review – Oddworld: Soulstorm –

Oddball: Soulstorm has some impressive characters.

There is a lot of mystery surrounding this game mechanism. It’s a brutal game where the slightest mistake can get you killed, but that’s no problem at all. It’s a crazy world: Soulstorm is so generous with its checkpoints that there’s literally a new one before and after every puzzle, so dying doesn’t feel like a chore. In a few milliseconds, just before the puzzle starts, you will be rebooted. It is a perfect implementation of the tried and tested trial and error mechanism.

Many Oddworld fans have always complained that the previous games in the franchise used weighted controls that were heavily inspired by (outdated) games like Prince of Persia and Blackthorn. I am happy to report that this is not the case in Oddworld: Soulstorm. Of course, the game still has some of that classic cinematic platforming feel, but the main character, Abe, is more agile and responsive than ever. He jumps with Mario-like precision and can even double jump and change direction in mid-air. This has a direct impact on the overall level design of the game, as there are many hidden areas that can be discovered by performing jumping tricks.

Valley of Grief? What a seductive name!

It’s a crazy world: Soulstorm has great gameplay and controls, but believe it or not, that’s not what I enjoyed the most. I really enjoyed his presentation. I’m not going to claim that what I saw in this PlayStation 5 port could only have been achieved with the power of a next-gen console, but I’d be lying if I said I didn’t enjoy the graphics and sound design.

Surprisingly, the game is made with the Unity engine, and it looks great. Except for some ugly textures here and there in Oddworld: The shower tower usually consists of massive levels with great lighting effects. I could see the quality of light and shadows in the game by using Abe’s singing skills to light the way in a dark cave, for example. I was also impressed with the excellent animation of the characters and especially the cinematic cutscenes. Every character in this game is both intentionally disgusting and extremely charming. Abe is a mean mudblood, but his facial expressions are so vivid that I can’t help but hug him, just to tell him that everything will be okay in the end.

Review – Oddworld: Soulstorm –

My stealth skills are unbeatable.

The same applies to sound design. Every Oddworld game has been praised for its soundtrack, but I didn’t expect to like Soulstorm’s sound that much. All the characters have the strangest voices. The Mudocons look like a cross between Bubsy, Donald Duck and a heavy smoker. But they are portrayed with such enthusiasm and charisma that I could constantly see Abe interacting with someone who not only needed to hear him speak, but couldn’t stand his strange but endearing voice. The game also uses the built-in DualSense speakers to speak a few sentences from time to time, especially when Abe uses his singing skills.

Review – Oddworld: Soulstorm –

Me and the boys are going to the pub on Friday.

I don’t just adore the misfits: Soulstorm, I also deeply respect his vision. Lorne Lanning and his team have taken the time to create an incredibly well thought out game specifically for fans of the series. And yet the game is so engaging and addictive that even those who have never played an Oddworld game before will have a great time thanks to the charming characters, well thought out controls and creative puzzles. This game took forever, but it was definitely worth the wait.

Admittedly, Oddworld has a few ugly textures and a few graphical issues from time to time: Soulstorm has beautiful graphics with huge levels, gorgeous lighting effects and great character animations. This is perhaps the most impressive game ever developed on the Unity engine. It retains everything that worked in the previous Oddworld games, such as the voice acting and complex level design, and brings the controls back to an acceptable level. No more cumbersome mechanics when jumping, for example.
While Soulstorm’s soundtrack is pretty good on its own, I didn’t expect a game like this to have excellent dubbing. It’s a crazy world: Soulstorm is not only an immersive experience that will captivate even those who have never played a game from the series, but it is also an exciting and addictive platformer that offers an incredible amount of content.
Last block : 8.5

It’s a crazy world: Soulstorm is available now on PS4, PS5 and PC.

Tested on PS5.

A copy of Oddworld: The Soul Storm was provided by the publisher.


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