Crack Open A Cold One With Your Mudokons
Oddworld Soulstorm is the first original Oddworld title since the Abe’s Oddysee remake, New ‘n’ Tasty in 2014. Much like its predecessor, Soulstorm is a “remake” of the original Abe’s Exoddus, following a direct sequel to its remake like Exoddus was to Oddysee. This, of course, would lead to Stranger's Wrath deviating from Oddworld's classic formula and Abe's story. The general plot of the first two titles is the same, with Abe and his fellow mudokons being threatened once again when their hideout is destroyed by enemies.
Said enemies wish to kidnap the mudokons and use them to fuel a brew known as “Soulstorm,” which means Abe once again has to rescue his people while not getting killed himself. While the original story from Exoddus is left intact, leading directly to the events of Munch's Oddysee, several elements differ from its original counterpart. These include high-definition cutscenes and bonus scenes that offer a broader perspective on Abe and the supporting cast of characters. These cutscenes also introduce artifacts and plot points that were either referenced in passing in the past or not mentioned at all.
Save Your Homies, It Leads To Good "Quarma"
This continues the “retcon/remake” that New ‘n’ Tasty set before Soulstorm, which polarized long-time Oddworld fans for feeling “too modern,” and the latter is no different. Soulstorm is a 2.5D platformer (That the game describes as “2.9D” on the box description) which requires Abe to get from Point A to Point B. All the while, Abe needs to avoid enemy fire from Sligs, avoid hazardous traps, and save his trapped mudokons. The latter, much like the previous game, determines Abe’s Quarma meter at the end of each level with killed mudokons resulting in Negative Quarma and saved mudokons resulting in Positive Quarma.
Abe cannot fight, nor do much else to defend himself against the enemy Sligs aside from using the environment to his advantage. There are several bottles he can throw, including water bottles and brew bottles, which can put out fires and cause fires respectively. At times, there are doors blocking pathways that can only be destroyed by setting fires with brew bottles and they are also a method used to kill enemies, in which Abe will laugh at their death.
Abe Isn't A Fighter But He Can Be A Murderer
Because Abe is defenseless, he will have to sneak around enemies, as shown by a meter that determines the state of enemies surrounding him. Calm means that they don’t recognize Abe’s existence, making it safe to sneak while also pickpocketing their loot. A caution meter means that Abe is at risk of getting detected and the enemies will be at high alert, with danger meaning that enemies have spotted Abe, will fire on sight, and will frantically survey the area should they lose sight of him.
The graphics are dynamic, showing the background affecting the foreground in real-time, including when the Sligs invade the home of the mudokons and caverns begin to catch on fire, toppling into Abe’s path. During these moments, Abe should explore his environments as he may find beneficial secrets including additional resources and health recovery pick-ups.
From the first level and a half alone, Soulstorm seems to be a faithful remake to Exoddus much like New ‘n’ Tasty was before it. Oddworld Inhabitants have been diligent in making their rebooted series as close to the original as possible. Oddworld Soulstorm is also as different from the original’s release as possible at the same time. While some of the modernized changes may polarize some fans, for newcomers into the series it’s a great follow-up to a series that has been going strong for over two decades.
Oddworld Soulstorm is available on the PC, PS4, and PS5. Xbox One, Series X, and Series S versions will release in November 2021