THE FIRST TIME I LAID EYES ON ABE was in 1998 at a birthday party in my parents’ garage. He said "Hello", and eventually we wound up spending a lot of time together. It was an emotional journey, believe you me.
While it clearly draws inspiration from titles like Another World and Flashback as another 2D platformer, Abe's Oddysee's bleak world, dark comedy, and bizarre characters come into a concoction that's just so darned tasty. The eerie music and sound effects further capture this living, breathing world.
Abe is a cleaner at meat factory RuptureFarms until he fi nds out his species, Mudokens, is next on the menu. At fi rst your motivation is simply to escape and rescue enslaved Mudokens. But then Abe begins to realise he has a far greater destiny: to protect all of Oddworld’s creatures, and to stop RuptureFarms once and for all.
When most games tend to revolve around killing countless enemies, Abe's Oddysee stands out when your protagonist has no attack button. It's all about running, sneaking, and just being crafty. Abe can still do damage however, with mind possession, grenades on occasion, as well as death by lever.
On a recent playthrough I had nearly reached the end of a tricky level, when I tried to communicate with a fellow Mudoken, only to accidentally start the possession chant. There’s a machine that doesn’t like you doing that – it zapped me and I instantly dropped eight grenades. I looked in horror as both of us blew up into tiny little pieces, and I cracked up at the absurdity of it all.
Ever since that fateful day in my parents’ garage, I've been spelling ’odyssey’ the wrong way. Abe’s planet is truly one of the most interesting worlds I've ever explored.