When New ‘n’ Tasty was announced back at E3 2013 I was over the moon. The original game was the first game I bought when I got my original Playstation and its always had a place in my gaming heart so I couldn’t wait to play the remake and traverse Oddworld in full HD.
You play as Abe, a Mudokon slave working in Rupturefarms, a food production company. One night whilst working, he manages to overhear the board members having a meeting. Profits are down and a lot of the animals used in their food products have become extinct. But they plan to turn this around by turning the Mudokon slaves in to the new ‘n’ tasty treat. Abe realises he has to escape. After his escape, Abe realises he has a larger part to play in the world and his destiny is to free the rest of the Mudokon slaves still at Rupturefarms and shut down production at the facility.
For those who haven’t seen or heard of New ‘n’ Tasty or the original, the game is a side scrolling platformer. You have to traverse multiple environments whilst trying to locate your fellow Mudokons and leading them to portals dotted around the area allowing them to escape. This is not as easy as it sounds. The world is full of many ferocious enemies, devious traps and perilous pitfalls. Abe is a lover and not a fighter. The only way he is able to deal with the enemies in the world is to use the many hazards in environment to his advantage, from activating a trap door at the right time to turning on an electric fence and watching them fry. Abe is also able to take control of some enemies by chanting. Once in control of them he is can use them to open doors and use switches without having to worry about being killed. He is also able to make full use of their machine gun whilst possessing them. I found this extremely satisfying after being gunned down numerous times during the game.
This isn’t just a HD remake like we have seen from other games in the recent HD craze. New ‘n’ Tasty has been rebuilt from the ground up in the Unity engine and looks fantastic. Whilst playing the game I remember thinking that the game didn’t look much different from the original, but going back and looking at the original game it’s clear that I was looking back with rose tinted glasses. New ‘n’ Tasty sees the game get a much more colourful pallet and the world looks gorgeous with high levels of detail throughout. The game has also had all new voice acting done for the game. Abes vocabulary has been increased allowing him to have numerous lines of dialogue for each command button. Being a fan of the original, these new voices didn’t quite sit right at first but after a short while of hearing Abe converse with the other Modokons I soon forgot about this.
Its not just the graphics that are new, New ‘n’ Tasty has had a few gameplay tweeks added to the game. A quick tap on the Dualshock 4’s touchpad allows you the ability to quick save. Adding this to the game does feel like it cheapens the experience slightly, but when navigating some of the more trickier platforming in the game the ability to save as and when you want to is a welcome addition. The developers have also made a slight change to to the games control scheme. In the original your movement speed was adjusted using one of the shoulder buttons. This allowed you to have rather precise control of Abes movement speed which is necessary for traversing the hostile environment. In New ‘n’ Tasty the movement speed is controlled just by the left analogue stick. a slight push in one direction will make Abe walk in that direction. Holding the stick all the way in a direction will put Abe in to a full on sprint. I lost count of the amount of deaths I had in the game because Abe took off in full sprint rather than taking the two careful steps I needed him to. The last significant change to the game is Abe’s ability to instruct multiple Modokons at once. This makes getting numerous Modokons to a single portal a lot easier and less time consuming. The game has balanced this though by upping the amount of Modokons in the game. The original had 99 where New ‘n’ Tasty now has a whopping 298.
Overall I thoroughly enjoyed my return to Oddworld. The developers have handled this remake fantastically and have brought Abe and the Oddworld name back to a new generation of gamers who might not even have been alive when the original was released. Veterans of the series might have issues with some of the updates but it shouldn’t put them off playing this game. I’m hoping this game performs and we hear about an Abe’s Exoddus remake soon.
Reviewed on PS4