Oddworld: Soulstorm Overview – Odder Than Ever
Oddworld: Soulstorm is an enchanting sport all-around. Its grim world is endlessly intriguing, as is the earnest presentation by which the story is delivered. The gameplay goes between pleasantly tense and irritating, however the ambiance is top-notch. It’s a suitably odd sport to get into, however you’ll discover it may be fairly rewarding when you dig into it.
Developer: Oddworld Inhabitants
Worth: $50 (free on PS+ for April 2021)
Platforms: PS4, PS5 (reviewed), and PC
MonsterVine was supplied with a PS5 code for evaluate.
I’ve by no means performed an Oddworld sport earlier than, however the sequence is so numerous that it in all probability doesn’t matter. There are 2D platformers, 3D platformers, and shooters all throughout the franchise, although Soulstorm follows the unique sport, Abe’s Oddysee, as a 2D platformer. This works fairly properly in some respects, although I feel it’s the world of Oddworld that basically steals the present for a newcomer like myself.
The story of Soulstorm picks up following the escape on the finish of Abe’s Oddysee. Abe and the opposite Mudokons have discovered themselves being hunted as soon as once more. As they flee in the direction of freedom, a mysterious sickness begins to unfold amongst freed Mudokons, main Abe into a brand new journey stuffed with conspiracies and train-hijacking. There’s one thing immensely interesting to me a few severe story about capitalism and slavery blended with these doofy trying muppets, all introduced fully earnestly. I used to be taken off-guard when a buggy-eyed Mudokan was realistically dying of a bullet wound in one of many first cutscenes, however I sincerely love how critically the story takes itself. It makes issues really feel much more grave and somber, which one way or the other works properly with the subject material.
The entire world of Soulstorm is outstanding to me. It’s so soiled and dystopian that it’s exhausting to not sympathize with the downtrodden Mudokons, who simply need out of the hell that they’re subjected to. I particularly like how ranges change relying on how near civilization you might be, with checkpoints and tutorial stones altering from rustic totems to digital screens and tablets. It successfully sells the truth that you’re going deeper into dystopia, which makes development really feel each rewarding and uncomfortable.
“I really like the designs of the completely different species as properly, as one take a look at every character tells you every thing it’s worthwhile to learn about their personalities.“
Soulstorm’s gameplay teeters between enjoyably tense and frustratingly structured. You spend lots of time navigating harmful areas with quite a lot of obedient Mudokons in tow. You must command these followers so as to management how they act, to make sure you can information them to security. When issues work, it’s very rewarding to ship a big group of Mudokons right into a portal in order that they’re secure. This will result in some very horrifying moments the place you’re hoping an enemy doesn’t see you as you attempt to time a bounce along with your crew, which is splendidly disturbing. Plus, the Dualsense options that make the triggers resist you whenever you chant add some additional enjoyable to the combination.
When issues don’t work, your Mudokons will go the fallacious route or bounce into the road of fireplace for no purpose, resulting in useless Mudokons and restarting from a checkpoint. Because the quantity of Mudokons you save provides you a rank on the finish of every stage (and unlocks the final two ranges and the nice ending) you’ll be restarting rather a lot to attempt to save as many as potential. It may be very irritating to see them die when it feels such as you did nothing fallacious, particularly when one of many sport’s bugs is accountable. There have been just a few occasions the place I fell by platforms, acquired caught behind an invisible wall, and one time the place I acquired softlocked and needed to restart a stage. These bugs will hopefully be mounted quickly sufficient, however they’ll add as much as make the sport much less satisfying.
I used to be fairly impressed with the visuals of Oddworld: Soulstorm, as you possibly can nearly really feel the grime layered on every thing. It’s an incredible trying sport that takes benefit of its inventive and bizarre artstyle and amplifies it on the PS5. I really like the designs of the completely different species as properly, as one take a look at every character tells you every thing it’s worthwhile to learn about their personalities.
The Closing Phrase
Oddworld: Soulstorm is a really distinctive sport. It may be disturbing and enjoyable on the similar time, and it options one of many weirdest and most intriguing sport worlds of latest reminiscence. The platforming can often get irritating, however the honest storytelling and payoff of saving Mudokons makes it a sport value enjoying.
MonsterVine Ranking: 4 out of 5 – Good