"Odd Bless. Odd Say: Leave Not, The Odd"
Back in those idle days of yore, in a world tragically less Odd than the one
we now inhabit, the side-scroller was king. Those were the days before the invention
of 3D game accelerators (which have brought us into a new world, ohm... ohm...).
Those were the days of happy-go-lucky action jumpers and shooters like Super
Mario Brothers and Contra. Those were also the days of inspired puzzle
games like Prince of Persia. Soon after came the days of Flashback,
possibly the ultimate amalgam of all that was good in both types of side-scroller.
was a huge gap in time before there was another game that captured the true
quality that could be expressed in a brilliant side scroller. None could stand
out as true evidence of gaming genius. Then came Oddworld: Abe's Oddessy.
At last, we once again had a truly divine side scroller, and the only game since
Flashback to have a similar level of quality. Now, one year after the
release off Oddyssey, we have Odd to thank for the sequel, Oddworld:
Abe's Exoddus. Notice that's exODDus, not exODus.
In Exoddus, you reprise your role as Abe, the cheerful, cute, blue-skinned
Mudokon. In Oddessy, you destroyed the meat packing plant Rupture Farms,
run by the fiendish, armless, lizard-like Glukkons, who were planning on turning
Abe and other Mudokon slaves into their next freezer section item. Now the Glukkons
have even more serious chutzpah: they are digging up the bones of Mudokons (using
blind Mudokon slaves), powderising them, mixing them with electrically extracted
Mudokon tears, and selling it all as the tasty, green, and refreshing SoulStorm
Like Oddessy, the game is narrated by Abe in past tense as a sort of
flashback (pun intended). As this is all a memory, you cannot actually die.
More simply, you have unlimited lives. Exoddus mostly involves you completing
tasks that require perfectly timed acrobatic feats and puzzle solving know-how.
You have no gun. You are not Rambo. You are a small, blue, weak, fishy little
guy who sounds like he has a cold and wears nothing but a loincloth. However,
you can use the surrounding environment to kill, you can occasionally grab grenades
(for the purpose of killing), you can expel ultra-explosive farts, and you can
possess things. In possessing stuff (including Glukkons, Sligs, Scrabs, Paramites,
and your farts), you can make enemies kill a few things and then walk them a
dissinto-ray barrier. Mmmm...tortuous.
In addition to wreaking general havoc on the workings of the fiendishly capitalist
Glukkon plans, you must rescue your fellow Mudokons and transport them through
bird portals to safety. There are a total of 300 Mudokons, 150 of which you
must save if you want the game to end happily, without any major head trauma
In helping your fellow Mudokons, and in completing many of the game's tasks,
you must utilize the clever GameSpeak system. You have to talk to other things
in the game. One very appreciated improvement that Exoddus has over Oddessy
is that you can now talk to more than one entity at the same time, which cuts
down heavily on tedium. In Oddessy, you would sometimes have to go back
and forth for interminable amounts of time to get all of your buddies to safety.
course, being a savior does require some tasty images. The pretty pictures in
Exoddus are indeed very, very pretty. Although the game engine has not
been changed at all since Oddessy, the backgrounds are somewhat more
intricate and detailed and the sheer artistry with which Oddworld was conceived
and realized is stunning. Exoddus reeks of personality and unique style
that no other game out there (save for Oddessy) can touch. This also
goes for the excellent movies, which seamlessly segue into gameplay.
Gaming is not still-life. In drooling over these lovely works of computer
rendering, the ears are well treated to some very atmospheric, well-made sounds,
not to mention some moody music perfectly timed and responsive to the onscreen
I should mention something about Oddworld, the setting of this game.
It is a highly deadly, very moody, and incredibly comic place. Be prepared to
laugh you ass off until some little cute critter punctures your brain with one
of its adorable spikes.
One of the chief complaints with the original Oddessy was a very restrictive
save system. If you died in Oddessy, you would have to trudge through
several gamplay screens before again attempting whatever perilous task it was
that brought about Abe's temporary demise. In Exoddus, you can now save
anywhere, and there is a quicksave feature. This is highly appreciated as Exoddus
is a harder game with more challenging puzzles.
Exoddus is an excellent game, but it suffers slightly from one pitfall:
there is not very much that is new here. The graphics are very similar, the
game engine is unchanged, the gameplay mechanics are largely the same, and most
of the sound is taken directly from Oddessy. The improvements in Exoddus
make it a much more streamlined, polished gaming experience, but not quite a
full sequel in any terms other than plot line.
That aside, Exoddus is a better game overall than Oddessy was,
and that makes it very good indeed. As only the second game in a proposed quintology
of Oddworld games (the next one being titled Oddworld: Munch's Oddessy)
gamers everywhere can enjoy this polished, stylized, highly addictive, unforgettable
adventure and look forward to a bright future for the dark, hilarious world
of Odd. That said; "WE'RE SCREWED! PANTS, PANTS, I NEED SOME PANTS!"