24th Apr2015

‘Oddworld: New ‘n’ Tasty’ Review (Xbox One)

by Phil Wheat

oddworld-new-n-tasty

It’s fair to say as a gamer I was VERY late to the joys of a Sony-made console. I didn’t own a Playstation until the release of the smaller form-factor PSOne, which coincided with the launch of the PS2. But that didn’t stop me from voraciously collecting and playing a whole heap of original Playstation titles, in fact it helped that I was so behind – it meant that games were often a lot cheaper, especially given how many people seemingly traded their PSOne titles in order to upgrade to the next-gen. It was the fact that games were cheaper that led me to take chances on games and genres I normally wouldn’t; and that’s how I discovered Abe’s Oddysee.

Well now, almost 20 years after the original game was released, Abe has returned to consoles and in particular for this review, the Xbox One, with Oddworld: New ‘n’ Tasty. A redux of the first game in the franchise, re-developed from the ground up by the folks at Just Add Water.

New ‘n’ Tasty (re)tells the tale of Abe, a hapless Mudokon who learns that his fellow meat factory co-workers are to be the main ingredients in the company’s next line of tasty treats. Abe must escape RuptureFarms and beyond, liberating as many of his fellow workers as he can. Along the way, he’ll learn the secrets of his civilization and journey across perilous lands filled with dangerous creatures and lethal traps before returning to the sinister meat factory to put right the injustices faced by his long suffering species.

If you played the original Abe game back in the late 90s/early 2000s, you’ll no doubt remember just how frustratingly difficult the game could be at times. In fact I remember playing the game on easy mode and still struggling with some of the games more intricate “puzzles”. Well you’ll be pleased to hear that Oddworld: New ‘n’ Tasty retains that hard-as-nails difficulty level, only this time is sugar-coats the frustration with the most beautiful graphics you’ve EVER seen in an Abe game. That’s if you can call Oddworld, in particular RuptureFarms, and its inhabitants beautiful!

And believe me, you’ll certainly be frustrated by Oddworld: New ‘n’ Tasty… Even on the easiest difficulty there are times when you’ll be pulling your hair out in anger – from puzzles that are, on the surface, impossible to beat; to enemies that are seemingly invincible and/or omnipotent, able to pre-empt and predetermine what you – the player – are about to do (obviously that isn’t the case, it just FEELS that way). Then there are those times when the solution to the problem is so left field… In all honesty I had to resort to a walkthough of the game a number of times to be able to even bring you this review!

For completetists Oddworld: New ‘n’ Tasty offers plenty or replay value. The possibility of not only completing each level is there but so is the possibility of 100%-ing every level, rescuing all the Mudokon’s without a hitch, and when some of them are not only behind some pretty tricky traps but also hidden, you can spend a LONG time trying to truly complete this game. Side note: Who knew you had to fall down, off-screen, so many times to find hidden areas? You do that a LOT in the early stages set at RuptureFarms.

In the end though, Oddworld: New ‘n’ Tasty is one of those games that really pays off for those who are willing to put in the work. Given how “easy” some modern games are (yes, I am one of those people that subscribes to that particular theory), the sheer satisfaction at beating this title, with it’s often ridiculously hard level design, is – for a longtime gamer such as myself – on a par with conquering the likes of the Dizzy games back in the Commodore 64 days. And for those that enjoyed the original game? Well this is a very worthy successor.

Oddworld: New ‘n’ Tasty is out now on Playstation 4, PC, Mac and Xbox One.

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