I was obsessed with the Oddworld series of games way back in the 1990s and would often spend hours coming up with inventive ways to kill the Mudokons in Abe’s Odyssey, 1997, and then again a year later with Abe’s Exoddus. I know the aim of the game was to actually save the Mudokons from their enforced slavery but they really shouldn’t have put so many different ways to kill them if they didn’t want us to experiment right? They could be blown up, shot, mauled to death by Slogs, shot by Sligs, electrocuted, chopped to bits by grinders, the list goes on. It was fun, it was different, and we hadn’t really seen anything like it in gaming before. How much time did we spend just having Abe stand there farting? You’d be lying if you said you didn’t.
Back in 2014 the first game in the series, Abe’s Odyssey, got a big remake from the ground up and was re-released with the new title: New ‘n’ Tasty. It looked and played absolutely beautifully and I was so happy to step into the corridors of Rupture Farms once again, I never thought I’d get to revisit Oddworld in this way. It seems I wasn’t the only one excited about returning to a once forgotten gaming franchise as the reviews across the board were positive and sales were up. Surely this meant it was only a matter of time before they remade Abe’s Exoddus, my personal favorite?
They are remaking it, kinda. Announced in 2016, again with a new title of Oddworld: Soulstorm, the upcoming game has been described as “a complete story retake inspired by our original tale”. Take from that what you will but I’m really hoping they don’t stray too far from the original plot as it was something I loved.
The events of the original take place immediately after the first game ends with Abe being visited by spirits named Weirdos who inform him that slaves are being used to exhume Mudokon bones from an ancient burial site. It turns out that the evil Glukkons are using the bones at their Soulstorm brewery to make their Soulstorm Brew: did I mention it also contains the tears of Mudokons which they obtain by electrocuting them repeatedly? It’s a similar plot to the original game but it’s still different enough to make it feel completely new.
GT Interactive was originally given only nine months to complete Abe’s Exoddus and the developers have since said that a lot of their original vision for the game was lost due to those time constraints. They’re seeing this chance at remaking it as a way of following through with their original vision for the Quintology. The series took a bit of a different route for it’s third and fourth entries as the story moved away from Abe with Munch’s Odyssey and Strangers Wrath being completely new characters and plotlines. There was a teaser at the end of AE about Abe’s mother which is something that ultimately got scrapped along the way and we never got to learn what it really meant. Perhaps if Oddworld: Soulstorm does well enough we can expect future games that will finally tell us that intended story? I really hope so.
We were recently treated to a teaser trailer for the upcoming remake which gives us a brief look at the characters and worlds we can expect to see. It looks absolutely stunning and seeing Abe herding Mudokon slaves through moving 3D environments looks superb. Sadly, the trailer also informs us that the game has been pushed back again with a slated release frame of “Early 2020”. It’s frustrating that we can’t have it sooner but them spending more time on it can only be seen as a positive. They want it to be perfect when it releases.