Oddworld: Abe's Oddysee
Description official descriptions
Abe is a Mudokon, a member of a once prosperous race which has now been enslaved by the Glukkons, forced to work in their huge corporations. The food factories have found a new type of meat, delicious to all the inhabitants, though no one knows the recipe. Following his stomach, Abe eavesdrops on the corporate leaders' conversation and makes the most frightening and disgusting discovery: his own race is that secret delicious food.
Alas, Abe has been spotted, and the guards are marching towards him. He must escape, but he can't leave his friends to the mercy of the Glukkons and their henchmen. He must rescue as many as he can, and tell the world the truth about what he has found out.
Abe's Oddysee is the first game set in the fictional Oddworld universe. It is a platformer with puzzle-solving elements, focusing on the portrayal of a weak, underpowered character in a grim and hostile world, who has to rely on his cunning to outwit enemies and overcome hazards. Abe is almost completely helpless: he cannot use weapons and is usually instantly killed by his brutal enemies if he confronts them directly. For this reason, most of the game involves careful exploration, timed movement, sneaking, and outsmarting the foes through various means: throwing stones to confuse them, luring them into traps, etc. Abe can run, jump, climb, tiptoe, crouch, and roll; in most areas, these actions are essential to his survival. A few stages involve Abe riding a large animal known as Elum.
Abe's only special power is chanting, which he can use to stun certain enemies for a while or possess them. When Abe possesses an enemy he gains his abilities: for example, possessing the body or a ferocious Slig allows the player to shoot from his machine gun, communicate with other creatures of his kind, and even commit suicide, clearing the way for Abe.
Chanting is also used to open "bird portals", which is the final action needed to bring a fellow Mudokon to safety. Before that, Abe needs to locate his enslaved friends and lead them out of the hostile environment by using a communication method called "Gamespeak". Gamespeak is a way of verbal communication through simple commands, which are assigned to various expressions, such as "Hello", "Follow me", "Wait here", etc. It can also be used to memorize passwords given to Abe by other Mudokons in a few areas. Many areas in which Abe can save Mudokons are hidden and not required to complete the game. However, the ending of the game differs depending on the number of Mudokons saved by the player.
The game has pre-rendered background graphics and uses CG movies of similar style to advance the story between the levels.
- Best of Infogrames / Atari releases
- Console Generation Exclusives: PlayStation
- Gameplay feature: "Simon says"
- Gameplay feature: Multiple endings
- Gameplay feature: Possession
- Genre: Cinematic Platformer
- HUDless games
- Oddworld series
- PlayStation Greatest Hits releases
- PlayStation Platinum Range releases
- Protagonist: Extraterrestrial / Alien
- Replay (GT / Infogrames / Atari) releases
Credits (Windows version)
112 People (72 developers, 40 thanks) · View all
|Lead Technical Director|
|Sound Design & Music|
|[ full credits ]|
Average score: 85% (based on 44 ratings)
Average score: 4.1 out of 5 (based on 108 ratings with 3 reviews)
Graphics in the game are what you'd get out of a steampunk movie with the grisly details of a slaughterhouse. Although the detail is top-notch, only the correct settings can allow you to fully enjoy the cutscenes without frame skipping. What adds to the level art is that the background is just as busy as the layout of the level, making it a convincingly realistic place.
While there is no proper tutorial in the game, the hint messages you get at least help you practice the moves. It will come as a surprise to find hidden rooms where you're expected to have forehand knowledge of the gameplay to rescue the Mudokons and escape them alive. The more you progress, the more interesting challenges await you, ranging from disarming traps to stealth to mind-controlling Sligs. You essentially have all the means at your disposal to get through the levels, which is half the challenge, and rescuing at least 50 Mudokons for the good ending is the other half. And if you get tired of the main game, it's fun to play with Abe's speech.
The controls are nowhere near as tight as they should be. If you're accustomed to cinematic platformers like Blackthorne, you'd expect to be able to pull off a move or action with the light tap of a button, but then you find Abe killed before you've made your running jump or climb. You can make better jumps on Prince of Persia. And the running is so sensitive, you'll find yourself thrust forward to the middle of the screen before you have the chance to stop. While it's okay for getting across rooms faster, it's not okay when trying to hurry from one dangerous room to the next. When throwing a grenade, pressing up makes you throw it forward and pressing the opposing direction makes you throw it upwards. That doesn't even make any sense. The throwing direction should correspond with the arrow keys. Furthermore, there's no arc indicator to tell you exactly where the grenade will land, you just have to experiment.
As if the game wasn't difficult enough, there are some annoyances that should have been stamped out, such as secret portals permanently vanishing if you skip them and platform edges that don't let you climb down, you just crouch instead. The lack of checkpoints in the more desired rooms adds to the frustration, so expect Abe and/or other Mudokons to die lots of times until you've rehearsed the precise steps and moves, sometimes ruined by the unpredictable behaviour of the Sligs.
The Bottom Line
You think you're a master at cinematic platformers? Well you don't know Oddworld. The difficulty is ramped up way more than Broderbund's, Delphine Software's or even Blizzard Software's platformers. For the most part, you're going to need a lot more luck than reflex to play this one perfectly. But learning patterns and steps is where the fun really gets to players. No matter how hard it gets, you know you want this title. With the amount of carnage and meat processing, you'd best hope it doesn't put you off your next hamburger.
Windows · by Kayburt (27391) · 2021
I always like a game where you can make the PC fart (check out GTA)! This was one of my first PS games, and the intro really blew me away. After having gathered myself from the bits and pieces splattered on the walls, I was struck with awe by the in-game graphics and sound. Still recovering from the massive head trauma I started playing...
...and also wondering how people capable of making a game this beautiful, both aurally and visually, can't write a bloody manual!? It took me several weeks of playing to find out that you could take over the bad guys' bodies by chanting for a while. Now this is something those of you who read the tips columns in magazines or on websites would find out on day one, and normal console game players would probably get to the point where the game tells you this in about two hours, but for someone accustomed to the easy-going playability of Duke Nukem (the real DN, not the crappy ones), this game is dead hard. And it doesn't get any easier once you get the hang of the controls (all those different buttons for burping, chanting, jumping, etc), since a lot of screens require split-second timing, and even when you get it right the level designers have decided you deserve a kick in the teeth: I played this with a friend (both in our twenties), and we nearly shitted our pants when a shrieking squid-headed alien jumped from the roof in a dark part of a level we THOUGHT we'd cleared.
Otherwise, all the usual console game gripes apply.
The Bottom Line
For a "cute" platform game this certainly has an atmosphere awfully close to the original Doom. Whether this is a good thing or a pain in the ass is up to the player, but I found this game to be well worth the time and effort (and laundry detergent, if you're very sensitive) put into it. The variety of gameplay and the fact that the designers have really put a lot of thought into the story and setting of the game combined with the solid presentation make this an instantly appealing game - especially if you don't mind popping a few bloodvessels in your head just once in a while.
PlayStation · by Late (77) · 2001
- very detailed, believable World - interaction with AI characters in the game - ambient soundtrack
- sometimes super frustrating - you have to try some passages over and over again
The Bottom Line
Okay, this game is pretty unique! Though it uses recipes that had been there for a while - what I mean is the “trial and error - jump'n'puzzle” game, but adding a unique world with fascinating creatures and new gameplay elements like communication. The puzzles take some time to solve - and the game requires you to have good timing skills to perform the actions. Abe's Oddysee can get frustrating as you need to try some running and jumping parts over and over again to get to the goal. But it is also quite fun to get the "aha!" idea how to solve puzzles. In overall a very good game and the prerendered 2D graphics look good even today. The ambient soundtrack is a plus to the atmosphere of Oddworld.
PlayStation · by cosmo ruski (39) · 2011
Oddworld Inhabitants made a TV commercial for Abe's Oddysee called "Guardian Angel", which features the shrink, a strange spider-like robot that warns Abe about his oncoming adventures. Eventually, this commercial got cancelled because it could scare children. Rumors say that the shrink was originally supposed to be a boss in the game but it was "cut out". According to Oddworld Inhabitants, shrinks are robots, whose purpose is to keep the captive Mudokon mother happy in order to produce eggs for the industrialists. Shrinks were also supposed to appear in Oddworld: Munch's Oddysee, but they were left out.
There are two different endings. If Abe save less than 50 Mudokons, the player sees a bad ending. Bonuses are awarded for killing more than 76 or saving all 99 Mudokons. In the PlayStation version, the reward for saving all Mudokons is the "Guardian Angel" commercial described above.
In this first Oddworld game, the Mudokons had four-fingered hands, but in later Oddworld games, they have three-fingered hands. This was changed after complaints from the Japanese government. Four-fingered characters are offensive to the Japanese, because Japanese meat-workers will often lose a finger (thus making them four-fingered). To make it extra ironic, Oddworld: Abe's Oddysee begins and ends in a meat factory.
References to the game
This game is referenced in the Eiffel 65 song My Console.
Oddworld Inhabitants boss Lorne Lanning provided every voice heard in the game.
- Electronic Gaming Monthly
- March 1998 (Issue 104) - Best Graphics Runner-Up
- March 1998 (Issue 104) - Best Sound
- March 1998 (Issue 104) - Side-Scrolling Game of the Year Top Write-In (Readers' Choice)
- March 1998 (Issue 104) - Strategy Game of the Year Top Write-In (Readers' Choice)
- New York Festivals Awards
- 2002 - 3 Gold Medals for Best Computer Generated Images
- GameStar (Germany)
- Issue 01/1999 - Best Action-Adventure in 1998
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Contributors to this Entry
Game added by MAT.
PSP, PlayStation 3 added by Charly2.0. PS Vita added by GTramp. Android added by CrankyStorming. OnLive, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5 added by firefang9212. PlayStation added by Grant McLellan. DOS added by Crawly.
Game added March 16th, 2000. Last modified December 4th, 2023.