Oddworld Inhabitants has unveiled Oddworld: Abe's Oddysee New N' Tasty!, the new name for the remake of the 1997 PSone classic.
Oddworld founder Lorne Lanning and developer Just Add Water's Stewart Gilray took the stage at Eurogamer Expo this afternoon to show the game running for the first time. You can see it in action in the video below.
In an interview ahead of the world exclusive reveal, Lanning and Gilray told Eurogamer about the new game, which is created in 3D with fancy dynamic lighting and other modern visual techniques but plays in classic 2D platforming fashion.
In terms of the gameplay New N' Tasty! is the same as the original to a large degree, but the flip screen scrolling is, obviously, gone, and subtle camera movements have been added to show more of the environment. The faster Abe moves, the more the camera shifts, up to around 15 degrees.
"It gives you a better perspective of the graphics," Gilray explained, "so you can see more into that 3D world, and it also lets you see farther in front of you. So if you suddenly see a Slig patrolling and think, oh s**t, you can hammer on the brakes, slow down a bit and creep past him.
"In the original game you looked through a screen flip and it was like, ah! You run away or you're dead. You had to make your decision before you went through the screen flip in the original game. But with this, because you can see farther in front of you, you can make that change in your gameplay there and then without having to go, I've died, I have to go back to the check point and re-do it."
Lanning said the new 3D graphics mean JAW can take a "retro neo approach" to showing off the game world. All the FMVs from the original are now rendered in real-time using the game engine without breaks in the gameplay.
The level design and puzzles are 80-90 per cent the same as in the original. Gilray provided an example of a difference. "In the original game, the fifth screen into it, there was a sleeping Slig. When you walked into the screen he woke up. To reset it you just walked off screen and came back on screen again creeping. We don't have flip screens any more, so we've made it so he times out. Say he walks around for 10 seconds and you haven't moved, he won't have heard anything and will go back to sleep again.
"It's little things like that. We've not changed it. We've just modernised it because it's not a flip screen game any more."
Other changes include improvements to play balance, the implementation of a quick save system and modified puzzles so they're "friendlier to gamers".
Gilray said he didn't want to use the term "HD" in the game's title because it's synonymous with an up-rezzing of an old game. "We're not doing that," he said. "We're starting from nothing and rebuilding an entire game from scratch."
New N' Tasty! launches on PS3, PS Vita, PC and Xbox 360 via Xbox Live Arcade in autumn 2013, giving JAW about a year to build the game. "The nice thing is we're not reinventing the wheel," Gilray said. "We know the wheel. We're just putting better spokes on it."