Oddworld: Stranger’s Wrath

PC - Rating: 7/10

This is the fourth Oddworld game. The first two were great 2-D puzzle platform games of which I was reminded of when I played the excellent Braid. In the X-Box era Oddworld moved into 3-D with Munch’s Oddysee. After having purchased all four games during a Steam sale, I immediately jumped in to Munch’s Oddysee. Oh my god. What a horrible game with horrible controls, animation, and everything. I gave up after about 4 hours of tedium. Fortunately, Stranger’s Wrath takes a completely different turn.

Stranger’s Wrath is a hybrid platformer/FPS game. Unlike its predecessor, this game actually manages to be controllable despite its limited console-inherited customization settings. The FPS parts of the game are nowhere near Half Life FPS game play standards, but they work well. The gimmick here is that you have a single weapon with a variety of ammo that does everything from tie up enemies to lure them into environmental hazards. I think the idea was that you would approach combat as though it were a puzzle with an ideal ammo solution. In reality, it doesn’t really work out like that. I just spent most of the time using the machine gun bees.

The story doesn’t really take shape until the last third of the game. Up until then, much of it seems like a series of samey quests. However, I did like the way the game’s main plot twist played out in that last third so stick with it if you can. If Oddworld Inhabitants ever decides to continue this series, they’d better hire some more voice talent. Having every creature in the game voiced by one dude is just lame.

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