I played Oddworld: New and Tasty on the PS4 a while back and really enjoyed diving back into the world that Abe exists. So I was happy to get my hands on Oddworld: New ‘n’ Tasty – Alf’s Escape to once again explore Rupture Farms. The Oddworld series has had various characters and creatures. You play as Abe, a slave at a meat factory who discovers his entire race is to be put to slaughter. Naturally he tries to escape, ideally while taking as many of his fellow mudokons with him as possible. This time there’s a different character called Alf, who keeps things interesting.
This is the first time that completely new and original content has been developed for the Oddworld universe since Stranger’s Wrath in 2005. In some ways, you can think of this as a taster of what to expect from the Just Add Water team as they start creating new titles and content for future Oddworld titles. Set in all new never-seen-before areas of the factory, Alf’s Escape is an expansion pack designed to challenge even the best New ‘n’ Tasty players. The game is about freeing Mudokons form their demise. This time we meet a character called Alf, who has to be broken out of the zone known as Zulag. You then have to help him to safety.
Alf’s Escape looks as aesthetically good as New ‘n’ Tasty, with vibrant colours, nice animations and impressive backdrops. I also really love the sound in the Oddworld games. I loved the musical scores and loud metal clanging and banging. The ambient sound effects really add another level of depth to the world.
I remember playing the original game when I was a lot younger and this has to be the most difficult entry in the series to date. I died many times trying to figure out how to take on each challenge. I really enjoyed some of the humorous ways in which I died. Some of the puzzles and challenges are much harder than the stages in the later parts of New ’n’ Tasty.
One of the trickiest parts of Oddworld: New ‘n’ Tasty – Alf’s Escape is the introduction of spinning blades that chase after you, which means you have to think a lot faster when heading into each section. Getting to Alf is tricky, but getting him out is when the game truly ramps up. Alf is like other Mudokon followers, but he has a little more intelligence when it comes to waiting in dangerous situations. Your average Mudokon would casually fall to their grisly fate, whereas Alf has his wits about him.
You control Abe foremost and often Alf will be following you but on a different path. This is where things get tricky. You have to really pay attention to both characters if you wish to succeed. There’s an array of obstacles to overcome including saws, mines, grinders and many more. Typically, Abe has no weapons or combat skills. The player must use their wits to overcome the game’s deranged menagerie of enemies, its environmental hazards and often elaborate traps. Controlling Abe himself can often be frustrating, as he’s not particularly light on his feet. Even after considerable practice it can be very hard to get him to stop exactly where you want. It took a lot of trial and error during sections to finally get it right. This is what I really enjoyed about the game though.
The tricky jumps and spiteful environmental puzzles give a great sense of satisfaction when you beat them. It’s almost Dark Souls like in terms of how each section is about getting as far as you can without meeting your gruesome death. You will die a lot but this only adds to the overwhelming desire to overcome the challenges thrown at you.
Overall Alf’s Escape is a great piece of DLC. I have always loved the series and was delighted to play through New ‘n’ Tasty. This is more of the same but ramped up to the max in terms of difficulty. Oddworld: New ‘n’ Tasty – Alf’s Escape is beautiful, quirky, funny and was a pleasure to jump back into. It’s an insanely tough game thanks to its brilliantly created puzzles, and their will certainly be dozens and dozens of deaths. I would certainly recommend Oddworld: New ‘n’ Tasty – Alf’s Escape if you like a challenge.
REVIEW CODE: A complimentary Microsoft Xbox One code was provided to Bonus Stage for this review. Please send all review code enquiries to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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