Oddworld: Soulstorm Overview – IGNApril 14, 2021
In the event you’ve by no means performed an Oddworld sport and seen the way it all comes collectively, you then’ll most likely be horrified to be taught that virtually all of Oddworld: Soulstorm is one large escort quest. Not solely that, however the followers you’re escorting don’t have the brains God promised a goat, are gruesomely killed by something that a lot as sneezes at them, and complain almost always – and all of this has been completed by the builders on goal. The problem of this uncommon action-platformer is in conserving these hopelessly ineffective creatures alive via more and more lethal ranges by way of trial and lots of, many, many errors.
Although it may be infuriating at occasions, the genius of the Oddworld sequence is within the moments simply after I or my followers have been met with a completely avoidable dying and I can’t assist however facepalm and chortle earlier than making an attempt once more. Your lemming-like followers will thoughtlessly dive straight into lethal obstacles, take approach too lengthy to stroll via an space that requires exact timing to outlive, and do virtually nothing to defend themselves when attacked. You might be shepherd to the world’s dumbest flock of sheep, which is usually entertaining and nearly all the time enormously difficult.Oddworld: Soulstorm is a ground-up remake of 1998’s Oddworld: Abe’s Exoddus that reimagines the extremely weird setting that’s Oddworld. However the remake stays simply as diabolically tough as video games of the PS1 period: every stage finds a brand new technique to imperil the lives of you and your followers in a devious take a look at of your cleverness, creativity, and endurance. One space may require you to sneak previous armed guards who you’d haven’t any hope of difficult in open fight, whereas one other asks you to maintain waves of enemies busy lengthy sufficient for tons of of your followers to run away.
Soulstorm’s single act of mercy – and its saving grace – is its checkpoint system, which saves your progress after almost each impediment. Minimizing the quantity of powerful challenges you’ll need to replay does wonders in the direction of your means to chortle it off while you get maimed by an armed guard or get a dozen followers killed by wandering right into a entice. Repeated failure with minimal threat permits you to grasp every part and devise the proper technique for overcoming the newest hurdle with you and your followers intact. The downside is that the checkpointing system doesn’t will let you manually save everytime you need, which results in some annoying sections the place you must re-loot an space and re-craft all of your weapons after each single dying. That eats up a ton of sport time and will get previous actually quick.The principle instrument you may have at your disposal, although, is Abe’s superior signature means to own enemies and use them as meat puppets in opposition to the enemy. You may make possessed enemies kill their buddies, or show you how to resolve a puzzle, or straight-up explode simply to get them out of your approach. That’s a extremely nice technique to offer you an edge in opposition to the large odds which can be stacked in opposition to you. Soulstorm is a bit stingy with how typically you’re capable of truly use your shamanistic powers, although, as a result of the enemy locations anti-chant gadgets in every single place that’ll offer you a zap if you happen to attempt to possess something. Then once more, it most likely wouldn’t make for a lot of a problem in the event that they didn’t.
The worst sections are while you’re compelled to depend on your followers to help in fight, which is usually an unmitigated catastrophe. Your incompetent allies are extremely inconsistent, even when instructed to face in a single spot and manually geared up with one of the best weapons for the job. Sluggish to react and fully clueless, your mudokon buddies typically let themselves get killed with out placing up any type of combat and may simply stand there with a clean expression whereas they watch a slig with a shotgun bloodbath a dozen of their buddies. These sections are surely my least favourite as a result of they appeared to depend on full luck, which had me roaring on the display screen.
Whereas the respectable problem is an entertaining uphill battle, there’s additionally some unlucky unintentional issue added within the type of bugs, and Soulstorm has an entire lot of them. In my playthroughs, I encountered the whole lot from visible glitches to doubtlessly game-breaking points like my followers disappearing from the extent altogether. Within the overwhelming majority of instances, backing out to the primary menu and reloading the extent or closing and relaunching Soulstorm mounted the problem, however bugs are so frequent it’s more likely to enhance your frustration in a sport that revels in pushing you to the restrict on goal as it’s.
In a single occasion, one among my followers refused to enter any portals and run in the direction of freedom, which means my otherwise-perfect run on a very difficult stage was burned. In one other, I wasn’t capable of hear any dialogue throughout an end-of-level cutscene and needed to replay the whole stage to keep away from lacking the story. Typically sure enemies would simply be resistant to my makes an attempt to break them for no motive. The listing goes on and on. Developer Oddworld Inhabitants is conscious of many bugs and has already launched a number of updates to handle a few of these points, however with so many bugs to squash it’s clear Soulstorm would have benefitted from a little bit extra polish (as is the case with many video games developed within the period of COVID-19).
Oddworld: Soulstorm Screenshots
After all, you can all the time simply say “screw it” and push via every stage with out saving anybody, however doing so will inevitably result in an early finish to your journey with a finale that’s fully miserable (and well-deserved, you egocentric monster). There are 4 endings in whole: the worst ending, the dangerous ending, the nice ending, and one of the best ending. The worst and finest endings are merely small variations on the dangerous and good endings respectively, the latter which may be seen by solely essentially the most devoted gamers and the previous which honors those that are impressively terrible at conserving their companions alive. The variations between the nice and dangerous endings, although, are very important. By mastering every stage and exploring each nook and cranny to rescue all your enslaved brothers, you’re rewarded with two further ranges on the finish of the marketing campaign and an ending that’s worthy of your exhausting work and willpower. It’s an unbelievable incentive to maintain as a lot of your followers alive as doable, and pushed me to shoot for a flawless completion in each stage.
When you’ve performed via Soulstorm you unlock the power to replay ranges, which may be helpful if you happen to weren’t capable of attain the nice ending in your first strive. The caveat right here is that you must beat a complete stage in a single sitting on a replay. This looks as if an intentional alternative and could be wonderful if the whole lot labored 100% of the time, however with tons of bugs – a lot of that are mounted by quitting out of the app or backing out into the primary menu – this implies a bug may cause you to lose a complete hour or extra of progress. Ouch.
One of many issues that makes Soulstorm fully well worth the absolute ache within the neck that its difficult ranges and quite a few bugs typically are is its story. The mudokon rebels are loveable, pitiable goofs, the power-hungry glukkons are disgusting, opportunistic monsters, and the setting’s dystopian depiction of untethered capitalism and environmental destruction is exclusive, extremely distinctive, and hilariously macabre. All the things about Soulstorm is so charming and otherworldly it’s simple to get drawn into Abe’s journey from clueless slave to unlikely revolutionist, and as quickly because the credit rolled I discovered myself crossing my fingers for a (hopefully much less buggy) remake of Munch’s Oddysee within the close to future.
Controls have additionally been reworked from previous entries to be extra responsive and, though it may nonetheless use some extra work, the maneuverability you may have in Soulstorm is one of the best the sequence has seen. There are positively some areas needing enchancment, just like the hit-or-miss nature of your means to mantle up ledges or swing from pole-to-pole throughout platforming sections, however it’s nonetheless night time and day in comparison with the clunkiness of Oddworld: New N’ Tasty. Specifically, the responsiveness of the double bounce permits you to extra exactly navigate obstacles and survive the trove of lethal traps that await you in any given space.The weapons stock and crafting system is neatly designed and provides an enormous incentive to discover each nook and cranny in the hunt for instruments that make the going simpler. For instance, you may craft rubber stick balls to immediately apprehend nearly any enemy, however the useful resource price required to take action is kind of excessive. You may also craft sticky explosive grenades to blow open pathways to new areas and detonate enemies, or construct a flamethrower which makes the going a lot simpler in each stage.
The draw back is that you must begin from zero supplies firstly of every stage, which generally is a little irritating after you simply spent the previous hour accumulating a full arsenal within the earlier one, however it’s comprehensible as a result of it controls the instruments you may have entry to in each stage so as to add some attention-grabbing challenges. For instance, firstly of 1 stage you may solely have the provides wanted to craft smoke bombs, forcing you to make use of stealth alone to get via the world. In a while, while you collect extra provides and may craft completely different instruments, your choices for approaching the subsequent areas opens up fairly a bit.
Though most areas signify a large enchancment over Abe’s Exoddus, if there’s one space that might nonetheless use some work it’s Soulstorm sound design. Fairly frankly, other than the superb voice performing, Soulstorm is an auditory nightmare. For starters, the sound ranges are wildly inconsistent – generally voices are approach too quiet and sound results are approach too loud. Typically I may barely hear what was occurring and would flip up the quantity, just for issues to change into earth-shatteringly loud a number of moments later, which had me frantically grabbing for the distant management. Monkeying round with the audio ranges in settings doesn’t do a lot to enhance the state of affairs, since there’s little or no consistency in how loud any of the noise is.
Music can also be scarce in Soulstorm, which means more often than not you’re listening to equipment clinking round within the background or dog-like creatures known as slogs barking always (or whining for his or her lives after they’re killed, which made my pores and skin crawl). I used to be tempted to easily hit the mute button and spare me the unpleasantness, particularly throughout lengthy classes. For a remake that improves upon a lot that has outlined it up to now, it’s disappointing that Soulstorm generally is a actual headache to hearken to.