When we last saw Abe, he'd just rescued ninety-nine Mudokans
from RuptoreFarms, and struck a serious blow to the Glukkons
of the rapacious Magaog Cartel. Once an ignorant, happy floor-
waxer, Abe now found himself a hero to his people. You might
think Abe had earned a wacation....
....but that was before he fell on his head, and had a vision.
Three restless ghosts let Abe in on a shocking secret.
RuptureFarms was just one of many slaughterhouses the
Glukkons are using to exploit the Mudokons. Even worse is
the Soulstorm Brewery, where super-addictive
SoulStorm Brew is made from the bones of dead Mudokons
mined from Necrum, the ancient Mudokon city of the dead!
Abe, being a schmuck - uh, hero - set out across the desert
with five friends to find Necrum. When the game opens,
Abe and his pals have snuck into the Necrum Mines.
Your mission is to destroy the Mines by sabotaging the boilers
that power the place. You'll have to find your five friends, too...
but keep them away from Soulstorm Brew! One slug of that stuff
and they'll get sick, and be no use to anyone...unless you can find a
way to heal them. And how do you do that? I bet those three
restless ghosts might have an idea. They're probably hanging
around their tomb. If you find the ghosts, maybe you can get them to
confirm the rumor that Scrabs and Paramites are running free in the
Vaults of Necrum.
What happens after that is up to you to discover, but if you think you're
going to get off with just blowing up the Mines, you haven't been paying
attention. Hellish train rides, bone-processing factories, a whole barracks
full of Sligs, and Soulstorm Brewery itself are in your future. There won't be
a dry eye in the house when you discover the secret ingredient of SoulStorm
Brew. And oh yeah, it wouldn't be a bad idea to rescue any other Mudokans
you find along the way. Never know when it will come in handy to have a bunch
of escaped Mudokans to call on. It sure bailed your fat out of the fire when
Mullock had you hanging over the meat grinders back in RuptureFarms
but that's ancient history.
Enemy possession, bone drills and more
inhabit the latest offshoot of GT Interactive's
burgeoning franchise on the PlayStation.
Abe's Exoddus, more of a carryover from last
year's Abe's Odyssee than an actual part of
the Oddworld quintology, picks up where the
original left off in terms of graphics, puzzles
and story development. This time around, the
alien hero, Abe, must free his fellow
Mudokans from the Glukkon Empire's iron fist
while destroying the huge mechanical factory
in which his people are enslaved. It's a
curiously darker take on the classic tale of a
hapless underdog who (with a little ingenuity
and a lot of help from the player) must fight
against the tyrannies of an evil emperor
exploiting the peasants for the almighty
To do this, Abe utilizes a host of unusual skills such as 'Gamespeak',
around in mine carts, possessing his enemies and his own farts (ick). There's
puzzles waiting around every corner which necessitate the use of all of the
above skills (and bodily functions) as well as a good share of dexterity on the
player's part - often requiring quick thinking and the frequent use of the
game's brilliant Quicksave feature. And this is where Abe's Exoddus really
flexes its muscles, taxing both your logic and reflexes at the same time. While
the game is packed with an abundance of puzzles as well as deathtraps, you
may execute either Quicksaves (the game will automatically load from the last
Quicksave point) or Memory Card saves (permanent record of your journey)
at any point during gameplay. This blessed feature reduces the frustration
factor and keeps the game moving at a brisk pace.
The careful balance of puzzle and action keeps the gameplay deep and
involving while serving up a convincing plot line. There are very few console
games that really succeed in pulling off this feat well, but Abe's Exoddus
accomplishes it with honors. Consideration must be given to both saving the
Mudokans and leading them to safety without being detected, killed or
destroyed. Every step in the process takes thoughtful planning in that the
path to the warp portal must be cleared of enemies and obstacles, which
complicates the process further. Add to this the ability to speak with each
Mudokan and appeal to their individual needs, such as verbally guiding
Blind Mudokans or sympathizing with the suicidal Mudokans, and it's easy
to recognize that Exoddus delivers a vastly complex and intricate experience.
But all is not peachy in the realm of gameplay for Exoddus. As a sequel,
Exoddus merely builds upon its predecessor's themes and only slightly
expands upon them with varied Gamespeak and a few new features. While for
fans this is what's to be expected from sequels that appear on the same
console as the original, this doesn't make up for the fact that Abe's Exoddus
seems to recycle many of its backgrounds from Odyssee. Though the
backgrounds appear painstakingly detailed and stand as among the best in
2D, there's not enough variety in environments to set it apart from the
original, or even the differing levels within the game.
Though the backgrounds are not necessarily the meat of Exoddus, the
controls for maneuvering Abe around tricky spots is much more an integral
part of gameplay. And the controls could stand to flow more smoothly,
especially when moving Abe up and down ledges. When the main thing that
stands between Abe and certain death is a steep set of platforms that must
be traversed quickly, your best bet is to always Quicksave to avoid the
inevitable frustration of running, stopping, squatting, then moving over, then
squatting, then moving over... Well, you get the idea. Even the most adept
Oddworld fanatic will have to agree that precision in controls is an
understatement when approaching such obstacles.
But even the questionable controls in certain areas and an overly familiar
of backgrounds can't put a deep dent in the solid gameplay of Exoddus. With
important ingredients like an immersive plot line to ingenious puzzle
segments, GT Interactive and Oddworld Inhabitants provide 2D platformer
fans with one of the most clever and challenging titles to emerge this holiday