Electronic Theatre Preview: Oddworld: Stranger’s Wrath HD

Set for release next week, it feels as though the high-definition (HD) makeover of Oddworld: Stranger’s Wrath, simply known as Oddworld: Stranger’s Wrath HD, has been a long time coming. The promise of a return to the world of Oddworld, the teasing of the Stranger’s […]
VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 0.0/5 (0 votes cast)

Electronic Theatre ImageSet for release next week, it feels as though the high-definition (HD) makeover of Oddworld: Stranger’s Wrath, simply known as Oddworld: Stranger’s Wrath HD, has been a long time coming. The promise of a return to the world of Oddworld, the teasing of the Stranger’s HD visuals, the ‘will it, won’t it’ of the Xbox 360 version, all of this has finally culminated in a PlayStation Network launch that has attracted much attention, and with good reason. Oddworld: Stranger’s Wrath was an under appreciated release as an exclusive title on the original Xbox, and now Just Add Water are giving it the opportunity to shine once more.

While the videogame is set to arrive in just a matter of days, the build Electronic Theatre got hands-on with most recently is some months old. There were a number of issues with the presentation, most noticeably enemies disappearing through walls and floors, but the representative of Just Add Water on handElectronic Theatre Image promised that these glitches would be ironed out prior to release. And Electronic Theatre has no reason not to believe him, as elsewhere Oddworld: Stranger’s Wrath HD sparkled with the kind of attention to detail that any HD remake should enjoy, but so very few do.

The area in which Electronic Theatre was allowed free run was reportedly a few hours into the videogame: all of the training had been surpassed, but the challenges weren’t yet at the point where any significant skill was demanded. A short run down a liner path introduced our first bout of combat against some rather easily fooled enemies. The player is given several options as to how to take down their foes, largely revolving around the available ammo types. At this point, the simplest option was to attract the attention of the small group, then retreat into some long grass, taking down the enemies one-by-one while remaining hidden. Once this section had been passed and a small amount of platform gameplay had been entertained, new ammo types were made available dramatically increasing the options at our disposal. From wrapping the enemy in spider webs and slowing their movement to limited stun ammo, the opportunities for improvisation are never less than impressive.

That aforementioned platform gameplay isn’t quite as daunting as you might be expecting. First-person shooters (FPS) have a chequered past when it comes to platform gameplay: for every Duke Nukem 3D, there’s a Turok: Dinosaur Hunter. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t. Of course, the difference with Oddworld: Stranger’s Wrath HD is that of the switch between first-person and third-person cameras. In Oddworld: Stranger’s Wrath HD, the playerElectronic Theatre Image is afforded the feedback of animation cycles for their on-screen avatar that FPS videogames traditionally lack, and therein lays the opportunity to present platform challenges without frustrating: death is a result of the player’s negligence, not due to a lack of visual information.

Due for release as a digitally distributed title via PlayStation Network, Oddworld: Stranger’s Wrath HD is given the opportunity to attract the audience it deserved the first time around. While there’s no denying that the innovation and intelligent design of the Xbox original retains it’s attractiveness here in Oddworld: Stranger’s Wrath HD, only time will tell if the videogame can achieve the commercial success that the 2005 original was inelegantly denied. Oddworld: Stranger’s Wrath HD launches on PlayStation Network next week, and Electronic Theatre will keep you updated with all the latest details on the Oddworld videogame franchise.

-END-

Related Posts: