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Score of the Game
by Kurt Johnstone

OddworldThe newest installment in the Oddworld series is now available for the Xbox game console. The game changes styles from a platform puzzle game to a die hard action/adventure first-person shooter. Collecting creatures to be used as ammo, all which have different effects on enemies. The newest game brings even more innovative ideas to the table this time around.

The graphics are generally very good. The environments are lush and crisp with a exaggerated charm. Character models look good away or close. The framerate is consistent with no slow down, and only slight popup problems seen throughout.

The game erases the platforming puzzle elements and characters from the previous Oddworld games. The new character you play as is a bounty hunter. He takes out outlaws for cash. You can snag enemies and bosses dead or alive, alive being the better alternative because you get more moolah. You suck your enemies up into a bag using some sort of vacuum to take to the bounty store later after you complete each area to receive moolah. With your moolah you can buy upgrades and new items for your character. The game is played primarily in a first-person view using your crossbow. You have several types of ammo which all have different uses. For example, Bolamite ammo look like spiders and wrap your enemies up in web making them easy to bag. Another ammo is the stingbees which act like machine gun ammo to finish off your foes and is useful against most bosses. There is also a third-person perspective for platform portions of the game. In this view you can run a lot faster and even use some useful techniques to knock out enemies and make an easy capture.

The game design is impressive and for the most part, well put together. The game never feels repetitive or boring. The boss battles keep the game fresh, interesting and exciting. Though the difficulty curve of bosses in particular are unbalanced. Some of the earlier bosses are much are harder than the later ones. The western theme is a welcome addition. The creative characters and imaginative world is what made me enjoy this game in the end.

Sound is pretty good and the music fits the game appropriately. The voice acting is good but lacks a variety of voices through the game. Every boss sounds almost identical and the chicken people all have similar voices as well. Sometimes it is very hard to understand what characters are saying.

This game is much better than any of its predecessors. The gameplay is innovative, creative and amusing. The game is entertaining from beginning to end; just when things start to feel repetitive the story takes a twist, keeping you motivated to finish the game. The humour was definitely amusing, although I never really liked the main character a lot. He seemed boring and dull, unlike all the other characters, but this is just a minor annoyance. Oddworld is one of the top Xbox games.

Overall… 94%

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