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Quick Look: Oddworld: Soulstorm

Abe paves the way to freedom with chanting and stealth but is it all worth it if you can't fart on command?

Sit back and enjoy as the Giant Bomb team takes an unedited look at the latest video games.

Apr. 15 2021

Cast: Jeff, Brad, Vinny

Posted by: Vinny

In This Episode:

Oddworld: Soulstorm

35 Comments

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bathala

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Edited By bathala

Thanks Alex

See you on another Beastcast

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Humanity

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Triple threat Quick Look

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professorx86

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I always enjoyed the beginning portion of Abe's, but then when it gets later on into the game and the puzzles and adventure become way more complex and difficult, I begin to turn away and become less interested. I've never been able to fully complete one of those games.

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Big_Denim

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@bathala: So about 3 years from now then? :P

I kid. I heard it's long though. I almost started playing it the other day, but the length of it deterred me. Are you liking it so far?

More on topic, that main menu eye functionality is...something else.

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AV_Gamer

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Edited By AV_Gamer

@bathala said:

gotta start playing this after I finish Valhalla...............

Took the words out of my head.

Edit: On second thought, I see now why they quickly made it a PSPlus game. I don't see too many people buying this, especially with the charge gate for the next level.

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damonkey64

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I wanted to get through this game because it's so unique, but I just could not get into some of the stealth stuff here and had to nope out.

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Chummy8

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Rollin down to the phat station

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dezvous

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Edited By dezvous

@av_gamer: the charge gate is really only in a handful of areas throughout the entire game and literally none of the levels up until Vinny got to this one hahah. I think I saw maybe 10 total throughout the 17 levels and 3 or 4 of those are in the level they picked here? It's just a very minor and infrequent added difficulty challenge that requires you to stick around the enemies a bit more instead of just blasting through it - plus - in the fiction the whole story centers around a hyper capitalist society and this is an example of the employers literally charging their employees to get from place to place while at work, so a small bit of world building as well. If you're not trying to run through the whole thing and restarting every 5 minutes it takes only a couple extra seconds per. I get it's not for everyone but the charge gate thing is such a non-issue haha.

The most glaring issue is definitely the checkpoint system, the game desperately needs quicksaves (or alternatively the ability to re-trigger a checkpoint & switch to a previous checkpoint as a backup) if you're trying to save everyone as the difficulty ramps up later. Though if you're totally fine letting some Mudokons die it's not so hard at all. I really enjoyed it, wish they could have showed some of the excellent cinematics.

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Firepaw

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This game clearly needs more of everybody's favorite Gabbit - Munch!

I really love the world of Oddworld, but have only ever really enjoyed the 3D outings, so boo to Jeff for badmouthing Munch's Oddysee :)

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agoaj

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I'm glad Vinny found the part of the game I worked on (Abe's eye controls on the titlescreen).

I spent weeks working on a mode that got cut, but the 15 minutes I spent messing with the titlescreen will live on forever.

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MeierTheRed

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Edited By MeierTheRed

@professorx86 said:

I always enjoyed the beginning portion of Abe's, but then when it gets later on into the game and the puzzles and adventure become way more complex and difficult, I begin to turn away and become less interested. I've never been able to fully complete one of those games.

I tried many of them, but as you i start getting frustrated with my self. I have never been good at platformers or puzzle heavy games.

And i always found these games hard as nails. Completed every From Soft Souls game, but never beaten any in this series. I just can't.

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bathala

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Edited By bathala

I feel like I should play the remake first

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so1337

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@agoaj: Thank you for your service.

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benjo_t

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Edited By benjo_t

This game, and New N Tasty before it, wear the skin of Oddworld, but they just don't quite cut the mustard if you're more familiar with the source material. Something about the gameplay, the tone, maybe even the change from static screens to a scrolling camera, just stops these games from having that original quality that made Abe's Oddysee and Abe's Exoddus the classics they are. I think these newer games have been given a bit of a free pass on the strength of the Oddworld name (and it helps that Lorne Lanning seems like a really nice dude), and I can't help but think we wouldn't really be talking about the newer games if they didn't carry that legacy.

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Impati3nt

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This looks neat! Want to play the originals first though.

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Relkin

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Love these games; looking forward to playing this. New n Tasty was a great look back at the original; interested to see in what ways it changes and what ways it stays the same here in this one.

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Edited By csl316

@benjo_t: I think that might just be nostalgia talking. I liked the grimy aesthetic of the originals and everything, but these are just modern takes on that world.

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benjo_t

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Edited By benjo_t

@csl316: It could be! I tend to replay them once a year, and they are super low-res these days. But in their day, these games had some of the best pre-rendered environments around, and I don't think the remakes match Oddworld Inhabitants in their prime. Exoddus came out like a year after Oddysee, whereas Soulstorm has been in development for like seven years with eight studios involved, and it still doesn't meet that relative standard. Something about them just didn't survive the move to 3D rendering, for me at least.

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permanentsigh

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Edited By permanentsigh

So I just remembered that way back in '98 I first encountered this game's franchise through a music video for a track by a German electro-dance project that features Abe's Oddysee: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2eacxC3D4uo

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csl316

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@benjo_t: It's how I feel about Sonic making the 2D to 3D jump.

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rusalkagirl

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Edited By rusalkagirl

thanks Alex

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Humanity

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This really seems like it has not learned any lessons about modern game design over the past 20 years. Whats worse is that I don't think it looks particularly great either? I mean it's neat with the 2.5D but it's not like 2021 great? I'm sure it will appeal to the core fans.

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cornbredx

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Edited By cornbredx

Just as a response to the continued discourse of Giant Bomb's members never being very interested in Oddworld platformers (except maybe Vinny- their comments on it have always been the same and I am not judging it but Brad was acting here like no one wants more of these games): I love the Oddworld games that are these kinds of platformers (The other ones where they did other stuff not so much). I buy them every time I see them release somewhere.

I'm very much looking forward to this even with it looking like they made this exactly the same as the original ones except on a newer modern engine- and maybe added crafting. Knowing what they keep doing over the past decade I bet they had a poll on the website where they asked and the response to the poll was "I want another one of those." I suspect that's why the mechanics and game play are pretty old school from the look in this quick look. For me this is not a problem as I have always liked the way these games play. I love that they haven't compromised that if that is the case (I'll know when I play it).

Not every game, or media of entertainment, is made for everybody. And it shouldn't be.

I'm super looking forward to playing this. I may play Odyssey and Exodus again before I play this just... because they're so much fun. Some of my favorite games of all time- like top 20 or so.

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darthbojackson

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Thanks, Alex.

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UnlivedPhalanx

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The frame pacing looks awful on PS5

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whitegreyblack

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Edited By whitegreyblack

Stranger's Wrath is the only Oddworld thing I have enjoyed but I love that they've kept the franchise alive after all these years.

That moolah requirement at each main checkpoint is enough to keep me away from this one.

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Mikebill1

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@whitegreyblack: Having just beaten the game I can tell you not to worry about the Moolah requirement. It's not for checkpoints. Those are ALWAYS free. You occasionally get doors that need Moolah to pass. 99% of the time you get some stuff around them that provides a bunch of Moolah, and a good chunk of them are optional. Some are shortcuts back to the start of an area, others are to get to some Mudokons, and a small handful to progress (progression ones tend to have low requirements). Plus if your playing like they intend and searching all the lockers, dumpsters etc. And remembering to trade in the empty bottles you get, the requirements are a joke and may as well not exist

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Edited By Onemanarmyy

I quite like stealth games, but what irks me about these games is that it feels so limited. When i think about my favorite stealth games, it's the ability to clear out entire levels methodically without being seen with a decent amount of tools and pathways at your disposal to do so. But here it seems to be limited to puzzle-timing your way through a level and using lockers & smoke to hide yourself in time. Which is pretty much the least interesting aspect of stealth games in my eyes. Not to mention that especially stealthgames thrive in 3d spaces. The ability to choose which pathways you take and lure your opponent around the area is so core to a good stealth game.

Just as Vinny i do like possession mechanics quite a bit too. But once again, here it seems to be limited to opening a door and maybe shooting another dude. It's not on par with a game like Messiah or Psi-ops in that regard.

So all that is left is me once again hoping that eventually this series will take another stab at a Stranger's Wrath-like; a 3d action adventure. But maybe the budget will never allow for a reasonably modern full 3d adventure from here on out. It must already be quite a stretch to get people to pay 50$ for a game that sticks so close to the type of puzzle platforming we were doing over 20 years ago. After all if you like these type of puzzles, wouldn't you rather check out the classic puzzle-scenario's that people still have love for and are out there for a fraction of the cost? But hey, there seem to be some fans out here in the comment section, so maybe i'm underestimating the fandom for this series greatly and this will do fine.

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MichiganJack

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tea43

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@agoaj: Were you recreating the beloved Gamespeak! Grew up with these games, gotta lotta love for 'em. Guess I'm one of those mythic Oddworld fans