Game Over Online ~ Oddworld: Abe's Exoddus

GameOver Game Reviews - Oddworld: Abe's Exoddus (c) GT Interactive, Reviewed by - Wongmo

Game & Publisher Oddworld: Abe's Exoddus (c) GT Interactive
System Requirements P166, 16 MB Ram, DirectX 5.0+
Overall Rating 85%
Date Published Monday, December 21st, 1998 at 10:42 AM

Divider Left By: Wongmo Divider Right

Oddworld: Abe's Exoddus is the follow-up to last year's somewhat successful Abe's Oddysee. It tracks the journeys of the cute and brave little Mudokon Abe on an adventure to save his cute and wimpy little Mudokon friends from slavery, death and torture. For those of you who have spent the past year in the basement chained to a water heater (it happens), the Oddworld games are 2d platformers where you run, jump and fart your way to freedom. If you don't know what a 2d platformer is, my advice is to go back and try being born before 1985. They dominated the video game market for a period, but have fallen on extremely hard times with the advent of things like 'three-dee' and 'gameplay'. Not to say that all 2d platformers are bad, it just takes a heavy dose of creativity and intelligence to make them work, something that the original Abe's Oddysee had in abundance.

Ahhh...sweet cleverness. I'll say right off the bat that I thoroughly enjoyed Abe's Exoddus, but it comes nowhere near to matching the originality and innovative chutzpah of the first game. Much like with the recent Fallout 2, the designers have chosen to 'stick with what works' and forego seriously improving the game engine, instead concentrating on the puzzles and making the game longer. The scarcity of new features (most of them can be summed up with one word, 'farts') coupled with the lack of a grand vision really hurt this game. In the first one, you constantly wondered what wondrous locale the game would take you to next. In this one its pretty easy to guess where you're going since, except for a short interlude near the beginning, the entire game takes place in factories.

Abe's Exoddus looks just like Abe's Oddysee. Since for many people this is like saying Grepplesnaps smell just like Girfywads, I'll try to go a little deeper. First of all, as I mentioned before the game is 2d. Despite what some people will tell you, this isn't a bad thing. It features hundreds of different hand-painted backgrounds, which are truly spectacular. The characters are all pre-rendered, with enough frames that every motion is completely smooth. Clever and humorous animations keep things interesting, such as when a Mudokon watches one of its friends get killed. Depending on how many deaths it sees, it will get depressed to the point of slapping itself in the forehead until it dies. It supports dynamic lighting, so characters can move in and out of shadows, etc. Overall, it's a sweet little package, but one that hasn't matured since its first incarnation. I guess I should mention the movies too, which are abundant and of high quality. However, if you'll indulge me for a moment, let me say that movies are like spices. They make a good thing better but won't make a bad thing good, just cover up some of its faults. I always keep that in mind when playing games, and as a result try not to let movies play a big part in how I view a game.

Abe's Exoddus sounds just like Abe's Oddysee (notice a trend here?). What this comes down to is that most of your audio experience will consist of listening to a random assortment of whizzles, snorps and floops that do a good job of passing the time. All of the sounds are well done, as is the music, but I'm deducting a few points because SO much of it was directly lifted from the first game.

This is good stuff. The puzzles are smart and do a nice job of balancing action with intelligence. Some people might be thrown a bit by the fact that Abe has no direct attacks. He must either sneak past his enemies, kill them with his fearsome intellect, or (and this is my favorite) possess them and control their bodies, then murdering them in cold blood once they have served their purpose. The other big 'attack' is the fart, which can only be used after drinking some SoulStorm Brew. The farts can be possessed, flown around the level, then detonated. Its extremely challenging (the game, not the fart possessing). Many people will no doubt find it too challenging and throw it away, convincing themselves that the game is bad rather than that they just suck. I beat it in two days of heavy play, but I didn't rescue all 300 Mudokons hidden throughout the game, and I just happen to be very good at this type of thing. Most people should expect to spend much longer on it, as its absolutely huge, and very difficult at parts.

Fun Factor:
The thing about this game is that you'll either love it or hate it. I happen to love it, but there are many, many people that hated the first one and will undoubtedly hate this one. If you enjoy witty irreverent platformers then you should feel right at home here. On the other hand, if you lean more towards the mindless Neanderthal school of thought you should stay away by all means. Nothing against the Neanderthals as a people.

Abe's Exoddus is a direct continuation of Abe's Oddysee with few actual changes made. Even so, its still highly addictive, very charming, and a good way to waste a couple of hours when you're bored. If you liked the first one, grab it. If you hated the first one, subtract 15 points from my rating, then get mad at me because the score is still too high. If you didn't play the first one, I'd recommend getting that one (most likely for very cheap) and seeing how you like it. Abe's Exoddus is a worthy follow-up, but is more of a brother than sequel to the first. Lastly, after beating the game it told me to watch out for "Oddworld: Munch's Oddysee" in the year 2000. I couldn't tell if it was some joke I didn't get or what, but assuming its real I hope they completely redo and redesign everything. They weren't beating a dead horse here, but a third game would most certainly be flogging that pony.

The Good:
Beautiful artwork, engaging characters/animation, smooth gameplay.

The Bad:
Too derivative of the first one, the whole genre passed out behind the bar about 4 years ago. Neanderthals probably wont 'get it'.


See the Game Over Online Rating System






Screen Shots
Screen Shot
Screen Shot
Screen Shot
Screen Shot
Screen Shot

Back to Game Over Online