After Oddworld: New’n’Tasty, which was a remake of the first episode of the Oddworld series, it’s the turn of the second installment, Abe’s Exodus, to be revived with Oddworld Soulstorm. But this time, it’s good and good the Oddworld Inhabitants studio, at the origin of the franchise, which is in charge. Scheduled for April 6 and available for free to PlayStation Plus members, Soulstorm – which will be available on PlayStation 5 but also PlayStation 4 and PC – promises to exploit the haptic feedback of the DualSense wireless controller as well as a complete overhaul of the frame. of the original. As the wait draws to a close, let’s take stock of what is shaping up to be a nugget of the stealth genre.
Before starting, a reminder of the history of the license is in order. The Oddword saga is the work of two defectors from Hollywood cinema: Sherry McKenna and Lorne Lanning. In the 1990s, the duo formed the Oddworld Inhabitants studio with the deep conviction that video games can go even further than the seventh art, in particular thanks to its interactivity. At the time, 3D was still sketchy, so much so that those concerned chose to operate in 2D, relying on their knowledge of the world of computer graphics and special effects. This is how the Soulstorm projectsee the day. It is a satire of the capitalist world inspired by the film Soleil Vert and the novel Animal Farm by George Orwell, in which the aptly named Abe fights to save his own skin and that of his fellows. Renamed Abe’s Odyssey , the title made the front page of the specialized press and received a warm welcome when it was released in 1997. It was followed by several episodes: Abe’s Exodus , Munch’s Odyssey and finally La Fury of the Stranger . You will understand, by titling this remake Oddworld: Soulstorm , it is a nod that the studio makes to the genesis of the series. But what can we expect from it?
ABE TO THE RESCUE
In Abe’s Odyssey, the main character is an employee of a factory called RuptureFarms. First-class sweeper and elected employee of the month several times, Abe is happy but one evening, when he is not far from the board of directors of the company, he finds with amazement that his management, by way of the awful Molluck, decided to use the meat of Mudokons (the species of Abe) to boost sales!Horrified, he is spotted and runs away. He will then live a great adventure by doing everything for the turn to save his fellow slaves of this company with black designs. During his journey, he will notably use his various powers, including that of telekinesis, to undermine the strategy of RuptureFarms. Molluck not having said his last word, he finally managed to set up a new company, this time located in Necrum (a Mudokon necropolis), giving the starting point of a second adventure: the Exodus of Abe! And it is precisely this episode that players will revisit with Soulstorm.Mixture of platform and infiltration, the title of Oddworld Inhabitants is a series of paintings responding to various mechanisms, each painting being an opportunity for the player to use his brainpower by making the most of his environment.
At the time, one of the innovative systems in the series was called ALIVE for Aware Lifeforms in Virtual Entertainment. Behind this pompous name hides in fact a process of artificial intelligence allowing two or more creatures to interact with each other. It has just joined Gamespeak which, as its name suggests, is based on a principle of communication. Concretely, it takes the form of a system of words (Hi, Follow me, Wait…) that Abe can emit to make himself understood by his compatriots.Thus, we will find this concept again since Lorne Lanning, during the State of Play on February 25, spoke of more than 1,000 Mudokons to save! In the background, we understand that Soulstorm, although it is a remake of Abe’s Exodus, will be much more advanced than this one since there were “only” 300 Mudokons to save before. This will give rise to sequences, reminiscent of Lemmings , during which dozens of characters will take the loose. As in the past, it will be possible for Abe to take possession of the body of his enemies, but that’s not all! From now on, it will also be a question of craftingsince this dear Abe will be able to search his environment and steal objects to build a powerful arsenal (projectiles, grenades, drinks …) and thus defend himself. Better, the player will have to manage this inventory by providing weapons to the other slaves so that they too can get rid of the claws of the Glukkons. Suffice to say that the adventure promises many and many possibilities to achieve its goal and we can expect, as in the original, that there will be several endings.