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Xperia Play  header logo

Oddworld: Abe's Oddysee

For: Xperia Play   Also on: Steam

Ace oddity

Product: Oddworld: Abe's Oddysee | Publisher: Sony Computer Entertainment | Format: Xperia Play | Genre: Adventure, Platform | Players: 1 | Version: Europe
Oddworld: Abe's Oddysee Xperia Play, thumbnail 1
Few video gaming worlds are as unremittingly bleak as the one in Oddworld: Abe's Oddysee, yet for all its oppressive griminess this 1997 classic packs in more charm and innovation than the vast majority of cute and cuddly platformers you could mention.

The central character is Abe, a Mudokon slave who toils endlessly inside a sinister meat production plant called Rupture Farms, run by the evil corporate Glukkons, whose only concern is maximising profits.

To this end, they will happily drive entire species to extinction - and early on the game Abe learns that the Mudokons are next.

What follows is a platform-adventure that gleefully contorts the genre to create something that is startlingly original and surprisingly challenging. For example, Abe himself has no offensive powers whatsoever - if he bumps into a gun-toting prison guard, he usually comes off significantly worse.

Meat is murder

Abe's powers lie in stealth and subterfuge: he can conceal himself in the shadows to avoid detection, and he's able to use his latent psychic abilities to assume control of weak-minded enemies.

Herein lies one of the game's most unique elements: a room full of armed monsters may appear impossible to negotiate, but a quick spot of mind-control allows you to clear it quickly.

Simply jump into the brain of the nearest guard and use his weapon to fill the others full of lead, finally dispatching the controlled guard in the most brutal fashion imaginable.

Being a good guy, Abe's goal isn't just to extract himself from the factory but also to free the ranks of other Mudokons who populate it.

To do this, you need to guide them safely through the twisting and dimly-lit passageways using 'gamespeak' - a series of phrases which cover key commands, such as follow and wait.

Follow me if you want to live

Although Oddworld: Abe's Oddysee features jumping sections and often calls for quick reactions, it's not actually a traditional platformer - the puzzles will seriously test your mental agility and the process of guiding fellow Mudokons through the factory requires patience and forward-planning.

Bearing that in mind, Oddworld: Abe's Oddysee perhaps isn't totally suited to action fans who crave a quick fix. You'll need to be methodical and precise - qualities that are aided immeasurably by the Xperia Play's physical controls.

We honestly dread to think that it would be like navigating some of the game's trickier moments using a touchscreen interface.

Oddworld: Abe's Oddysee has gone down in gaming history as something of a classic, and its reappearance on the Xperia Play only confirms this common perception.

When you consider how quirky and off-beat some modern iOS and Android titles are, it's refreshing to see that a game that is over a decade old can provide just as much innovation and charm.

Oddworld: Abe's Oddysee
Reviewer photo
Damien McFerran | 26 April 2012
Oddworld: Abe's Oddysee's appeal hasn't diminished one iota, despite the passage of fifteen years. It's one of the best PlayStation games yet released for the Xperia Play and should be purchased without delay
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