Oddworld: Stranger's Wrath

Oddworld: Stranger's Wrath - Review Xbox

Oddworld: Stranger's Wrath - Review XBOX

Oddworld Stranger's Wrath is the latest in the internationally acclaimed character-based action series by Oddworld Inhabitants. Oddworld Inhabitants have partnered with EA to bring their quirky universe to a larger audience in this latest installment Oddworld Stranger's Wrath . The three previously released chapters, Oddworld: Abe's Oddysee, Abe's Exoddus and Munch's Oddysee have been heralded as revolutionary for their mix of brilliant graphical artistry, unique personality and compelling gameplay and have incorporated both 2D and later 3D platform and level and puzzle style game-play.

With Oddworld Stranger's Wrath, Oddworld team has taken a combination of traditional gaming styles such as 3D platform and level RPG and FPS and added their own unique twists to deliver a refreshingly new interactive experience. You will step into the role of the Stranger, a wild west-style bounty hunter, who chases outlaws through the enthralling new frontier of the Oddworld universe. As the story unfolds you will find yourself being drawn into the complex and inspiring story of the Stranger and come to grips with his true nature in his hunt for the ultimate bounty.

You play as The Stranger and for the most part you will follow the tracked path through Oddworld hunting outlaws and bringing them in for the bounty. When fighting you can kill your enemies but very early on you learn that each outlaw is worth more money alive. The reason you have to amass loads of cash is to pay for a mysterious operation that as the story pans out the reasons why become apparent through stunning looking cut-scenes. The cut-scenes and the story are definitely a very strong part of this game and I must commend Oddworld Inhabitants for their success in creating such a good quality story.

Controlling The Stranger is interesting. As I mentioned above you have the ability to switch between first and third person views. You will use third person, which is the default, for most of your jumping and climbing which features highly in the game and is similar in its system to other RPG titles such as Ninja Gaiden.

  Oddworld: Stranger's Wrath - Review Xbox
Oddworld: Stranger's Wrath - Review Xbox
Oddworld: Stranger's Wrath - Review Xbox

Melee attacks are also best dealt with this way Stranger can perform various melee moves such as a crunching head-butt and some rather funky kung-fu type punching and kicking. First person mode is very useful at certain points but unlike other third person games that let you jump into first person mode you can still move, jump, climb and everything else while in FPS mode unlike Ninja Gaiden.

What is beautiful about this game is its unique approach to creating a world, there is nothing quite like Oddworld in any other game and this unique design philosophy really comes to life where the weapons are concerned. Weapons within Oddworld Stranger's Wrath will not as in most games get bigger and better as you progress through the game in fact you are armed only with a simple crossbow – instead it is the ammo that evolves giving you more and more fire power as time goes on. All the ammo is live, yes I mean alive, you get to fire a large array of forest creatures from your crossbow and when you run low on ammo you just hop off into the forest to collect some more – genius! I won't spoil the surprises but I will go as far as to say ammo consists of lots of small furry creatures and other things generally found in the woods.

The graphics and general look of Stranger, the other inhabitants of Oddworld and the impressively unique and lavish scenery all help to pull you into the story. I really do think the look and the style are the strongest element of this game and although the developers have done well in most other departments Oddworld itself is what's really outstanding. If I were to mark the game on these elements alone then it is a 10 out of 10 title. Sound within the game is all done quite well. The sounds of the world and its creatures are well recorded. It is when we get to the voice acting that I can see much room for improvement. Games based around a world need to use sound to its up most ability to realize the world the developers are creating. This was done so well recently in Fable where the character acting, background classical score and ambient noises were all amazingly recorded. Unfortunately Oddworld is a bit of a let down, mainly because other than the Stranger himself there is too much repetition in the voices and general sounds are only of ho hum quality.

To wrap up my review I will say, if you fancy taking a rather strange journey with a mysterious character through a magical land of outlaws then Oddworld Stranger's Wrath has what it takes in the story and inventiveness departments to thoroughly entertain you. The third and first person perspectives are put to good use here and there is a hell of a lot to like about the feel and characterization of the game. Oddworld Stranger's Wrath has a huge personality and if this is what attracts you to gaming then you must see this one.

8 out of 10

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