Version tested: PSOne
Oddworld: Abe's Exoddus (1998)
- Developer: Oddworld Inhabitants
- Publisher: GT Interactive
The Oddworld games occupy a rather curious part of the gaming spectrum. Their humour and relatively straightforward play mechanics made them highly prized by the casual gaming sector which was really only winking into existence in the late nineties, while those same play mechanics caused a lot of more hardcore gamers to turn their noses up at what was on offer. Their loss; Oddworld was great, and has stood the test of time remarkably well.
The decision to stick with pre-rendered graphics and animations rather than delving into the PlayStation's limited 3D capabilities may have seemed backwards at the time, but with hindsight, it was the right decision. Oddworld's inhabitants (sorry) have more nuanced personalities than could have been possible with blocky 3D models, and in Exoddus, the game uses this to wonderfully convey status effects like anger, sadness or giddyness for the player to deal with.
Combining platform game sensibilities with Lemmings-like concepts and the skill of true character creators, Abe's Exoddus outdid its predecessor, Abe's Oddysey, in almost every way. The ability to quick-save and the addition of status effects for the characters whom Abe gently shepherds through the levels made for a far more rounded, enjoyable game - and one which, viewed now through the lens of an industry more accustomed to mass-market success, looks ahead of its time.