Oddworld New 'N' Tasty Review

By Blair Nokes on September 10, 2014

The talented Oddworld Inhabitants team have long since made delightful platformers of different variations. From the traditional 2D platforming found in Abe's Oddysee, to the first person shooting and third person platforming found in Stranger's Wrath. They have a strong emphasis on storytelling, narrative, and memorable characters that take you along for their journeys. Abe's Oddysee was such a memorable cult hit in fact, that independent team Just Add Water decided to pay homage to it by announcing a full blown remake of the game. Titled Oddworld New n' Tasty, players got to revisit the original game rebuilt from scratch while still maintaining the classic 2D platforming in 3D environments.

The story is narrated by our main protagonist, Abe. Abe was a prisoner of RuptureFarms. He and other members of his kind have been slaves to the owner of RuptureFarms - Molluck the Glukkon. RuptureFarms is the biggest meat processing plant on Oddworld, with Abe working as a floor-waxer. While working late, Abe overhears Molluck's plan to use his Mudokon slaves as new meat products, frightening Abe to escape.

As he escapes the plant, Abe notices a large moon in the sky, with an imprint of what looks like his own hand. Abe took this as a sign that he and his fellow Mudokon were chosen people and at that instant he fell down a cliff and hit his head. Coming to him in a vision, BigFace - Mudokon Shaman revealed to Abe that he is to go on a quest to free the other enslaved Mudokon and restore the lost land. The game takes you to various locations, each completely different from one another, and all brimming with colour and charm. The story itself has Abe narrating in rhythmic verses, making it seem like a poetic adventure.

New features have been added to this remake, including leaderboard options, a classic mode which is the game's hardest setting and a real challenge for players. The game also sports a cooperative mode which allows multiple players on different controllers to take over the gameplay when one player dies. Those who choose to pick up the PS4 version will be happy to know that they do plan on incorporating a cross-save feature.

The gameplay is a sidescrolling platformer with a strong emphasis on puzzle solving. New and Tasty has been reimagined as a 2.5D graphic style that fully utilizes the Unity engine. Abe has the ability to talk and direct other Mudokon slaves using an enhanced GameSpeak feature. Because of this, Abe has more dialogue and gesture based options that are used to either converse with other Mudokon, or solve puzzles. The main goal is to rescue all 299 slaves and the game has two endings based on the number of Mudokons you rescue. Abe has no way of attacking directly and to make matters worse there are lots of different ways to die. Abe has the ability to chant and possess certain enemies that all wield firearms, but cannot jump. Other enemies that cannot be possessed can be dealt with by solving some environmental puzzles and elaborate traps. In some cases, enemies must be outrun, and in most of these cases Abe has a mount called Elum that helps him move faster.

The visuals have obviously received an enormous overhaul from the original Playstation title. Using the Unity engine, Just Add Water have rebuilt the game from the ground up, and had the ability to transition between levels using a scrolling screen as opposed to the original flip screen. Because of this, some secrets and puzzles needed to be redesigned. Some secrets have been expanded, and others are entirely new to the game. Another factor the team had to consider with their real time screen streaming was how enemy AI would reset. The previous version you could just head back to the previous screen and have them reset, so with a continuous scroll in place they had to consider the AI behaviour and tweak them to suit this new approach.

Final Thoughts

Oddworld New n' Tasty is a fantastic remake of an old classic platformer. Just Add Water worked closely alongside the Oddworld Inhabitants to ensure and preserve the classic feel with a new 3D physics engine. The visuals can be a real treat, the characters from our main protagonist to random NPCs all have their own charm, and the game itself can be quite a challenge on the hardest difficulty, with one hit kills and enemies that spot you more quickly. For $15, this is a game that comes highly recommended for fans of the genre.

Beautiful remake.
Challenging and rewarding.
Charming narration.
Now do Stranger's Wrath!
Some of the puzzles you might remember have been changed slightly.
Enemy AI might be a little different than you remember it back in the day.
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