Back in 1997, at the young age of 12 my eyes were opened to the beautiful (yet dark and foreboding) Oddworld. Forever was I changed, the sounds, the sights and the incredibly realised digital world that I viewed on my friends tv (through the mighty power of the ps1) took my breath away, I wanted to explore the landscape in front of me. When puzzles stumped us, we didn't care, after sleeping dreaming of a way past the obstacle, during our morning form meeting we would draw a sketch, meticulously pouring over solutions.

Now at 30, myself and that same friend took a good few hours out of our time reuniting, fired up the PS4 and dove into the remake of that same game, but what has changed?
It took some time to get back into the swing of things, but JAW (just add water - the developers) have done a stellar job, welcoming back fans of the classic and introducing an entire new generation. I cannot state enough how much of a technical achievement this game is, reworked v/o, entirely new animation, character models, everything is new (and indeed tasty). Even the inclusion of a button to run and a button to side hop, helped us first generation players get up to speed.

Some of the most notable changes here are the shifting camera angles, allowing for more secrets to be uncovered and increasing the tension in other areas, it also helps set the scale of some of the larger set pieces of the game. Considering the technological limitations of the time, the first was a truly groundbreaking masterpiece, you can tell JAW love the roots of the original and as much this is a remake it is similarly a truly loving recreation. The inclusion of the quick save and quick load feature makes this game a darn sight easier than the original, I highly recommend playing it on the hard setting (just like the original was intended) and relishing the fear of all your failures.

There are some things I am not such a fan of, the idle chatter from the Mudokon slaves that litter the dark and gritty corridors of Rupture Farms is a clear example, where in the original they merely let out minor groans and discontented sighs (I mean the fact they still have punishment posters for talking all around you only enforces just how jarring this update is). I suppose in retrospect there are a lot of changes which may have not necessarily been required, but I can see why they were made. From a gameplay point of view, it took a while for me to adapt (having that whole button to hop and to run option really helped) but I think todays gamer should have more games such as this in their lives.

In conclusion, I thoroughly enjoyed my dive back into Oddworld, it didn't feel like it was betraying the original, only seeking to bring a fresh perspective. For me it birthed a true feeling of satisfaction in saving those helpless Mudokon slaves, (something scarcely captured in games today) going back I find I love it just as much.

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