Abe’s Exoddus is the superior sequel to the game Abe’s Oddysee. The Oddworld quintology was originally to be a series of five games, each one starring a different character. However, after Abe’s Oddysee‘s success, gamers wanted more Abe, and Oddworld Inhabitants responded with this—essentially a spruced-up Oddysee. They called it a Bonus Game, and claimed each game in the quintology would have one or more Bonus Games. This too went to hell.
Abe’s Exoddus is a strategic platform game in the vein of Prince of Persia. You control Abe (amongst others—but I’ll get to that later) in his quest to save his Mudokon friends from torture at the hands of the Glukkons, who are harvesting their bones to make Soulstorm Brew. The plot is updated as the game goes on through humorous cutscenes (the standouts being the newsflashes) and “Story Stones.”
The main innovations in-game are possession and Gamespeak. The Gamespeak merely amounts to a series of key combinations that make your character order people around (“Hello,” “Follow me,” etc.). The possession, however, is what lends the game its edge. Run into an armed guard. No problem—hold the shoulder buttons down and possess him! Walk him around, blowing up all his friends, then destroy him. It’s very satisfying.
The controls are good; the Gamespeak is especially easy to grasp. The game is responsive and plays smoothly. All the characters have their quirks, so you are required to master several different methods of travel. For example—Glukkons cannot defend themselves, and must order Slig guards to do their dirty work for them.
The game is of a flip-screen structure, so each room is a small puzzle of its own. It is VERY rewarding to figure out a tricky problem, most of which require a bit of lateral thinking. The Mudokons you must rescue are an emotional bunch, frequently getting sad, angry, or wired! You must deal with their emotions before you can command them—but if you are not nice to the depressed workers, they may commit suicide!
The game’s difficulty ranges from insultingly basic to teeth-grindingly hard. Certain segments (the Glukkon section that finishes the Bonewerks level especially) are amazingly frustrating—multiple replays and learning of the course are required. Thankfully, Oddworld Inhabitants have included an excellent quicksave system.
The voice samples are crisp, clear, and well-acted. The dialogue is funny and memorable. The music is mostly ambient and highly pleasant, but when danger strikes, or a certain character is possessed, the music changes to suit the occasion.
This game won a BAFTA for its cutscenes, and it’s easy to see why. Beautiful animation! The in-game graphics are also impressive. The areas are all pre-rendered images and as such look extremely impressive. The character sprites have personality and charm, and the explosions and other special effects are impressively meaty.
There are 300 Mudokons to find and rescue, and some of them are extremely well hidden. The levels are enjoyable to replay, especially finding new and rewarding paths through them that lead to secret areas. Also, Abe’s farting never, EVER gets old.
This is a rare piece of PSOne magic, and you should check it out as soon as possible. Rent, then buy.