Saturday, April 17, 2021

Oddworld: Soulstorm Review – A NEGATIVE Batch Of Brew

Playing Oddworld: Soulstorm is as arduous as Abe’s quest to liberate his Mudoken brethren from slavery. Each step is a supreme test of patience as you methodically guide your followers through challenging hazards, sweating over the fact that one slip-up could unravel all your effort. If you enjoy putting up with that old-school challenge, you might love this journey. However, if you’re a newcomer or a fan that believes this style of platformer hasn’t aged very well, turn back now. Soulstorm doesn’t do enough to modernize the series’ tedious gameplay, and a litany of severe technical hiccups spoil Abe’s attempted comeback. A reimagining of Oddworld: Abe's Exoddus, Soulstorm’s gameplay remains largely the same: you recruit and guide followers through 2D platforming stages littered with dangers. As charming as the classic Oddworld games are, they can be frustratingly difficult and that hasn’t changed much in Soulstorm. Most Slig enemies and other hazards mow Abe down instantly, and I was infuriated by how little wiggle room I had to correct course when things went sideways. Abe drops so fast that it makes the health meter seem like a cruel tease. While playing Soulstorm, I often felt like I was walking on eggshells because of that high price of failure, retracing every step, re-recruiting every Mudokon, and carefully guiding them through a gauntlet of foes is soul-crushing when it all falls apart in seconds. Dying to unexpected perils, like being suddenly gunned down by off-screen enemies, feels cheap and happens way too often. A crafting system serves as Soulstorm’s biggest addition, but it doesn’t feel necessary. You must repeatedly gather the same ingredients every time you die (by searching lockers, trash cans, and fallen foes), which wore me down in a hurry after repeatedly replaying certain sections. The crafted tools themselves, like proximity mines, smoke screens, even a flamethrower, do add a welcomed element of flexibility and improvisation to gameplay. Dropping smoke screens to create hiding spots anywhere is nice, but I wished I didn’t have to make these items myself and grew tired of digging around the same spots over and over.   Even when Soulstorm’s difficulty eases up, the gameplay is bland. The action feels largely the same from previous games in the series, and that formula doesn’t evolve significantly beyond the first few hours. Even the more interesting sequences, like facing down a giant mech aboard a speeding train, are far too punishing to be fun. I’m glad that Abe controls better now (he even has a double jump), but the controls still have a mushy unresponsiveness that makes entertaining actions, like possessing Sligs, feel like a hassle. The controls also lead to additional deaths because Abe doesn’t act as swiftly as you need him to, especially during the ill-fitting, overly demanding combat arenas that pit you against waves of baddies while you try to protect fleeing Mudokens. Soulstorm would be a tough recommendation for anyone outside of diehard fans if it performed flawlessly, but I encountered several progress-sabotaging bugs (even after installing the big day-one patch) that should scare off even those players. When I died, Mudokens sometimes failed to respawn alongside me even though my tally indicated they were still alive and under my command. That meant I lost out on turning in followers that I’d spent ages trying to safely liberate, which negatively affected my overall quarma – a vital metric in determining which of the four endings you get.  Abe occasionally gets stuck in environmental geometry, forcing a restart. At one point, I fell into an infinite loop. One escape portal permanently vanished once I reached it, forcing me to abandon followers. A gun in a late-game turret sequence failed to shoot despite working fine in previous segments. After multiple restarts, I randomly discovered that clicking the right stick “fixed” the weapon for some reason, allowing it to fire. I spent over an hour trying to lead a large group of followers through a particularly challenging area, but once I opened the exit door an invisible wall prevented me from moving forward. I was forced to restart this entire, lengthy sequence twice before the exit worked properly. Soulstorm’s gameplay pushed my patience to its limits, but these bugs sent me over the edge and made me nervous every time I started a new level. “What on Earth is going to screw me over this time?” I regularly asked myself. Soulstorm’s faults are a shame because its narrative and presentation brought a smile to my face. Abe and his pals are goofy, delightful underdogs I couldn’t help but root for. The enjoyable story is packed with heart, and the cutscenes look great. I wanted to welcome Abe into a new generation of gaming with open arms, but Soulstorm fails to make a case for why its brand of cinematic platforming works today. In fact, Soulstorm only reaffirmed that Abe’s past adventures are best viewed with rose-colored glasses.
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    Embrace the primal wilderness of PS VR survival game Song in the Smoke

    Sunlight is setting, and the dense trees are casting long shadows over the forest. My fire is fading, too, its light flickering in the gloom. From the bushes, A growl is heard by me, low, and hungry.

    I’ve one question. The night time how do you survive?

    That’s exactly the same question we at 17-BIT want one to consider while you’re playing our completely new VR survival game, Song in the Smoke, arriving at PS VR in 2021.

    Song In The Smoke

    Song In The Smoke

    Song in the Smoke’s world is really a beautiful, deadly one yet, but fortunately, a later date it also provides player a variety of options to help keep themselves alive for. I cycle through them because the monster in the bushes comes closer quickly. 

    I possibly could craft a stronger weapon. A tree is had by me branch, and may take my knife to it, carve it in to the perfect shape for a fresh bow down, yesterday before stringing it with sinew that I dried. Or if the wood is broken by me, snapping it in two with a motion of my hands, before burning it for vital warmth, forever and keep whatever is stalking me away hoping that the flames last.

    Or I possibly could turn the tables by attempting to hunt what’s hunting me. I could hide from the beast, and discover it by tracking its scent and after its footprints then, taking the proper time and energy to crouch and sharpen my senses in the cover of long grass, before lining up a go with my bow and loosing an arrow into its heart. 

    Or possibly I will explore, look for a fresh camping spot prior to the sun falls. Yesterday i saw a strange green glow along with a cliff, night was closing in and I had a need to make contact with the heat of my fire but. There’s some daylight still, That rock could possibly be climbed by me face and uncover its mysteries, the night going for a torch to light my way and scare off the beasts of.

    Song In The Smoke

    Song In The Smoke

    Survive or die

    The initial priority is definitely survival in Song in the Smoke. Which means scavenging and trying to find food to push away hunger, also it means choosing safe campsite locations to sleep at in order to avoid exhaustion. This means concocting antidotes and healing tonics for poison and injuries also, along with staying warm, crafting building and clothes fires when i move from forests, through plateaus, to frozen peaks.

    In addition, it means defending myself against attacks from the predators that share this world with me. Song in the Smoke’s beasts move with a weight that’s only possible in VR, and their attacks feel just like being hit by way of a furry train. But while they’ve got their claws and teeth, I’ve got a weapon of my very own – a crafted club – that I could use to block and parry their attacks. Facing down 200 kilograms of angry lion isn’t easy, but easily time my deflection right just, I could disorient the beast enough to flee his attention long. Or I possibly could even back strike, swinging my club with my Move controller to send him running for safety along with his tail between their legs. If I’m lucky really, my blow might take him down once and for all, allowing me to plunder his corpse for trophies along with other valuable resources. 

    Song In The Smoke

    Song In The Smoke

    Hands-on survival

    It’s a dangerous world, but because of PS VR, my survival is placed into my very own two hands. I eat by bringing food to my real-life mouth; turn herbs into tonics by mashing them with tools and pouring them into containers, and carve wood by firmly taking a knife to its surface. When I have to defend myself – or search for my dinner – i quickly can also depend on human instincts. Firing a bow feels natural: I pull the string with my Move controllers, line my eye up with the arrow, and release. If I’ve aimed it right, my target is hit in its heart then, tonight and I’ll eat. EASILY miss, my prey will undoubtedly be spooked then, and I’ve wasted an arrow. 

    <span class want properly to consume, I’ll require a fire. After I’ve built a pit, I’ll smash two rocks together, longing for the spark that lights my kindling, before building my precious campfire slowly, tending its embers to become roaring flame. With enough fuel, The night time i could keep it burning through, preventing the creatures that call the dark their house, and ensuring I could awaken rested fully.

    Are you currently afraid of the dark?

    When I’m feeling braver, I could capture a few of that fire with a torch, and go out in to the dark. A few of Song in the Smoke’s most effective rewards are available under cover of darkness, but I’ve surely got to be cautious. Night, since it was to your distant ancestors, is really a real danger, and I’m not the only person padding through the depths of the forest far past my bedtime. Predators lurk in the gloom, watching from the shadows cast by my flickering torch. They’re joined by another thing, aswell – something primal – that stalks the midnight hours truly.

    But when i explore my environment, begin to learn its secrets, locate its items, and battle its predators, I could do a lot more than survive – I could begin to thrive. I could craft weapons better, build tanning and drying racks to upgrade my items, and outfit myself with warmer and stronger clothes. When I’m ready, I could begin to make plans to go to the next zone, towards the mysterious giant tree in the length, spurred on by visions of a strange shaman who appears to dwell in another global world. 

    Initially, the global world of Song in the Smoke is similar to our own, but spend some right amount of time in its starkly beautiful spaces and the strangeness becomes apparent. Deer drink at watering holes alongside dangerous purple-feathered bipeds; odd weasel creatures frolic through foliage before disappearing in to the undergrowth, and venture further in your journey and you also might catch a glimpse of a beast so large it looks similar to a lumbering boulder. Your journey may seem such as a solitary one, but if you’re lucky, you may spy some friendly souls to help you on your own path also, or the remnants of individuals and also require come before.

    Choose life

    Each time you play Song in the Smoke, you’re wanted by us to be thinking about these same questions. MUST I craft a fresh bow, or put up with old faithful? Is this an ideal campsite, or must i pack and transfer to that cave on the cliff side up? Am I prepared to fight that strange shimmering monster that I saw stalking just above the ridge line? 

    & most importantly of most: how do you survive? In Song in the Smoke, the decision is yours. 


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    By PlayStation Official blog (blog.playstation.com)

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