After the success of Oddworld: New 'n' Tasty, remake of the first chapter of the platform adventure series created by Lorne Lanning, the boys of Oddworld Inhabitants are ready to leave their mark again with Oddworld: Soulstorm, revisitation of Abe's Exoddus which promises darker settings and the introduction of new unpublished mechanics for the saga, with the aim of offering an even more profound and multifaceted experience. While waiting for the title to make its debut at the beginning of 2020, Lanning's latest statements and the recent trailer published by the developers have provided further details on the production, allowing us to draw an overall picture of the game's salient features. We took the opportunity to gather all the information currently known on Oddworld: Soulstorm, so as to understand what we can expect from Abe's new adventure coming next year.
Between innovation and tradition
Soulstorm looks like the sequel to New 'n' Tasty a title with which it shares the 2.5D platform adventure platform, this time enriched by a completely new mechanic for the series: crafting . In the course of the adventure, in fact, we will be able to create different objects to be used in fighting and in solving environmental puzzles, keeping them in an inventory that we can recall at any time. A rather interesting novelty that promises to widen the freedom of action of the player, encouraging his imagination and his ability to improvise. To take a simple example, Abe can hit a sleeping guard with a flammable bottle, then throw something to create a spark and turn it on, in order to knock the enemy out. In the substance Oddworld: Soulstorm remains a platform adventure 2.5D with the possibility of approaching problems both aggressively and stealthily, thanks also to the presence of a level design that offers different solutions to overcome obstacles. As can be seen from the last trailer, the scenarios of the game world are structured on several levels, with numerous environments to be explored gradually as the story progresses.
In this regard, the story told in Soulstorm will revolve around the drink of the same name produced in the factory where the adventure is set, an energy drink with a diabolical purpose that will unfold mysteriously during the main campaign. Continuing the story told in New 'n' Tasty, Abe's goal will be to save the mudokons enslaved in other parts of Oddworld.
As seen in the original Abe's Exoddus, the mudokons will follow us and we will be able to give them orders to solve the puzzles or to keep them out of danger. We will also be able to arm them to make them able to counterattack, with the ability to take more favorable paths than others (or unfavorable) in order to save all the mudokons of the game (or send them all to the slaughter).
Judging from what has been shown so far, Oddworld: Soulstorm seems to make a masterful use of the 2.5D to offer a great visual impact and a more layered level design. Lanning calls it "2.9D", noting how much the scenarios of Soulstorm aim to develop in greater depth than those of New 'n' Tasty, allowing players to see areas and environments in the distance that can be reached later in the course of the adventure.
Discovering how to access those areas will require a lot of exploration, which should make all the levels look more like real spaces, instead of simple corridors that can be walked from left to right. The game director has specified that the Soulstorm setting will be half industrial and half natural. Most of the game will unfold along a linear progression, but at some point you will reach a gigantic railway hub from which you can guide Abe to five different locations, in any order.
Each of these it will be big enough to push players to explore the levels with great care. Speaking of longevity, Lanning says the main campaign can be completed around 12-15 hours reaching a maximum of 100 hours if you decide to go back to explore the levels and do not miss any of what there is to see. The development of Soulstorm is not yet complete, and there is a team of about 30 people committed to releasing the game within the first few months of 2020. So far the project has been entirely financed by digital sales of the previous Oddworld chapters, a result of which obviously Lanning is proud, and that it would never have been possible without the support and affection shown by the fans. It is still too early to say whether Abe's new venture will keep his promises, further raising the qualitative and productive bar of the series. To tell us this can only be the work done by Oddworld Inhabitants .