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.
More
    Home Tags Videos

    Videos

    October 2020 Free Games for PlayStation Plus and Xbox Live Gold

    October 2020 Free Games for PlayStation Plus and Xbox Live Gold Sony and Microsoft have both announced the slate of October 2020 free games that will be available to subscribing PlayStation Plus and Xbox Live Gold and Xbox Game Pass Ultimate members. PlayStation Plus members will receive two titles, the racing video game Need for Speed: Payback, along with the supernatural horror adventure Vampyr, both available from Tuesday, October 6 until Monday, November 2.

    Mandatory Streamers: Fargo Returns For a fresh Story Occur the 1950s

    Mandatory Streamers: Fargo Returns For a New Story Set in the 1950s Welcome to Mandatory Streamers, our column covering the best new streaming content coming your way every week! For the week of September 21, Fargo returns with a new installment in the Golden Globe and Emmy winning anthology series led by Chris Rock and set in the 1950s. Check out the best shows debuting and returning online this week as well as the latest renewal announcements below, and be sure to visit our mother site Mandatory by clicking here! FX Fargo, Season 4 Premiere: In 1950, at the end of two great American migrations — that of Southern Europeans from countries like Italy, who came to the US at the turn of the last century and settled in northern cities like New York, Chicago — and African Americans who left the south in great numbers to escape Jim Crow and moved to those same cities — you saw a collision of outsiders, all fighting for a piece of the American dream. In Kansas City, Missouri, two criminal syndicates have struck an uneasy peace. One Italian, one African American. Together they control an alternate economy – that of exploitation, graft, and drugs. This too is the history of America. To cement their peace, the heads of both families have traded their eldest sons. Emmy winner Chris Rock plays the head of one family, a man who — in order to prosper — has surrendered his oldest boy to his enemy, and who must, in turn, raise his son’s enemy as his own. It’s an uneasy peace, but profitable. And then the head of the Kansas City mafia goes into the hospital for routine surgery and dies. And everything changes. It’s a story of immigration and assimilation and the things we do for money. And as always, a story of basically decent people who are probably in over their heads. You know, Fargo. Award-winning creator, showrunner, writer, and director Noah Hawley returns for the new season, along with Joel & Ethan Coen, Warren Littlefield, and John Cameron returning as executive producers. The new installment in the anthology series will debut on Sunday, September 27, and will be available to stream on FX on Hulu. [embedded content] Amazon Prime Video Utopia, Series Premiere: Based on the British series of the same name written by Dennis Kelly, the drama mystery focuses on a group of young adults who meet online and are mercilessly hunted by a shadowy deep state organization after they come into possession of a near-mythical cult underground graphic novel. They discover the conspiracy theories in the comic’s pages may actually be real and forced into the dangerous, unique, and ironic position of saving the world. Starring John Cusack (1408), Jessica Rothe (Happy Death Day), Rainn Wilson (The Office), Dan Byrd (Cougar Town), Cory Michael Smith (Gotham), and Sasha Lane (Hellboy), the Gillian Flynn-created adaptation will premiere on Friday, September 25. [embedded content] Apple TV+ Tehran, Series Premiere: In the new drama thriller directed and co-created by Daniel Syrkin and starring Niv Sultan, Shaun Toub, and Navid Negahban, Tamar (Sultan) is a Mossad hacker-agent who infiltrates Tehran under a false identity to help destroy Iran’s nuclear reactor. But when her mission fails and she’s trapped in a new life, Tamar must plan an operation that will place everyone dear to her in jeopardy. The series will begin streaming on Friday, September 25.  Renewals Harley Quinn, Season 3: HBO Max has renewed the popular adult-animated series Harley Quinn for a Season 3, with a return in late 2021! The first two seasons are available to stream now on DC Universe and HBO Max. Power Book II: Ghost, Season 2: Starz has renewed the Power spinoff series Power Book II: Ghost for a second season! The early renewal comes after the series became the network’s most-watched new show with record-breaking multiplatform views in its debut week.

    Must Read

    Get notified on updates    OK No thanks