Oddworld: Soulstorm is the intriguing reinvention of 1998’s Abe’s Exoddus. A sequel to the highly-praised Oddworld: New ‘n’ Tasty (itself a remake of the original Abe’s Oddysee), Soulstorm sets out to accomplish a complete retake of Exoddus’s story.
Since the release of New ‘n’ Tasty back in 2014, Oddworld Inhabitants have been quietly working away on their next project in the five-part Oddworld Quintology, only releasing two cinematic teaser trailers to whet fans’ appetites. Now at last we have a decent look at some gameplay footage.
Soulstorm has clearly evolved from its 2D puzzle-platforming roots, and now includes several features prevalent in modern games such as ability development, a crafting system, and tower defence mechanics. The game has evolved narratively too, so don’t expect the story to follow the path that Exoddus did beat for beat.
Series creator Lorne Lanning has stated in past interviews that Soulstorm will be the game that he wanted Exoddus to be, and that it would explore darker themes than its original. Game making technology was more restrictive back in the late 90’s, and it forced the Oddworld Inhabitants team to compromise on their vision for Exoddus. Not so with Soulstorm.
Soulstorm utilises a perspective that Lanning and his team have coined “2.9D”. Where Oddworld: New ‘n’ Tasty was 2.5D, every object in Soulstorm will be fully 3D rendered – with the majority of gameplay still occurring in the franchise’s signature 2D side-scrolling format. This allows the game to show unparalleled depth of field and bring the environment to life in ways you wouldn’t expect. At one point in the trailer a train comes hurtling towards the camera, cutting across the 2D plane.
The Oddworld series is a commentary on the consequences of unchecked capitalism, unethical industrial practices, and the exploitation of the natural world. It is a message which is especially poignant in today’s world, and one we should all take heed of. Also it’s goofy and there are fart jokes galore.
Oddworld: Soulstorm is due to release sometime in 2020. Final platforms have yet to be confirmed.
If you’re not already up to speed and you want to see more of Soulstorm, you can watch the two previous cinematic teasers below.