Review | Oddworld: Soulstorm
Oddworld: Soulstorm is not a game that I would typically enjoy on a daily basis. I must admit that I don’t have much patience when it comes to progression in games. With that in mind, you might wonder why I’d want to go head first in a stealth-based platformer that requires quite a bit of patience. To be honest, it’s because I’ve always been drawn to the universe of Oddworld. It’s dramatic and funny at the same time, and the developer knows how to keep us on our toes. How? Well, the Oddworld series has delved in quite a few different genres, from a third person shooter to puzzlers, and even 3D platforming.
With Oddworld: Soulstorm, this is a reimagining of 1998’s Oddworld: Abe’s Exoddus. The story takes place hours after the events of New N’ Tasty, following the escape of Abe and his fellow Mudokons from Rupture Farms. Saved from slave labor and being turned into edible products, a few hundred Mudokons follow Abe on his adventure while facing grueling challenges. Molluck the Glukkon, CEO of Rupture Farms, hunts them throughout the entire game, making their lives worse with every step. The goal is to close Rupture Farms for good and free everyone who was left behind. Ultimately, it’s up to you to find out if that’s possible or not.
As previously mentioned, the game is not a walk in the park. You’ll die often and you’ll have to replay some levels quite a few times. The game is still much more forgiving than its predecessor, but not to the extent that it’s too simple. A new addition to the gameplay is the crafting system. You’ll have to be on the lookout for as much loot as possible on your adventure. With said loot, you’ll use it to craft and customize different weapons that will give you the edge in combat.
Despite requiring patience, the level design is clever and will keep you engaged most of the time. You’ll get to play in 17 levels (including the bonus stages) set in caves, factories, the middle of nowhere and why not; lava-filled dungeons. As you might know from previous games in the series, Abe is not good at direct confrontations. Players will have to craft and use many items while relying on good ol’ stealth to pass to the next level.
Since this game is available on PlayStation 5, there are some next-gen details to consider. Unfortunately, things don’t seem to be going in the direction I would have imagined. There are a lot of PS5 games, Oddworld: Soulstorm included, that don’t use the DualSense controller to its full potential. Also, aside from the phenomenal looking cutscenes, the graphics in the game are not at all mind-blowing. I know it’s sometimes difficult for a game in this genre to visually blow minds. Despite this, I know it’s not impossible, and I’ve seen it in the past multiple times.
Another gripe I have with the game is the lack of precision in the controls. It’s already hard to finish a game with the goal of testing your skills at every corner when everything works correctly. Unfortunately, it becomes almost impossible to handle when the controls are not as precise as they should be. This sometimes makes things even worse with some chaotic checkpoints that will force players to re-loot items over and over again if they die.
Oddworld: Soulstorm might not be the Dark Souls of platformers, but it’s still a hard game. I strongly advise you to think long and hard if patience is something you don’t have. I’m not one to recommend easier games, but I don’t like to promote games to people who don’t manage to finish or enjoy them. If you’re undecided about spending your hard-earned cash on it, thankfully it was included for free for PlayStation Plus subscribers on PlayStation 5. Unfortunately, that isn’t the case for PlayStation 4 and PC users. There’s still time for PS5 users to claim their monthly games for April. Be sure to check your library, as Abe’s adventure will be waiting for those brave enough to embark on it. Otherwise, this might still be an enjoyable and charming purchase for fans of the series.
Final Score: 7 out of 10