Oddworld: New 'n' Tasty is a solid remake of the 1997 classic Abe's Oddysee and it's finally available for Switch so here's my review.
Oddworld: New 'n' Tasty originally released back in 2014 for PlayStation 4 and it's basically a complete overhaul of Abe's Oddysee. I first played Abe's Oddysee shortly after it released for PS1 and remember finding its premise and game world to be quite disturbing. You play as Abe who is part of an enslaved race known as the Mudokons. You begin the journey in a factory which features gruesome sights such as a slaughterhouse and guards that won't hesitate to murder you whenever you're spotted. The goal is to carefully navigate through each area while freeing as many Mudokons as you can and trying not to die. Anyway, I enjoyed the original and years later, I played New 'n' Tasty which blew me away with its much-improved visuals and I even included it in my very first PlayStation 4 games top 10 list.
Although Abe's Oddysee features a gruesome and grim premise, there is plenty of humour throughout which adds a welcome sprinkle of levity to the otherwise oppressive atmosphere. My favourite part is when you kill a Slig guard because you do so using your environment so they basically die of their own stupidity and after they bite the dust, Abe usually reacts with a cheeky laugh. Who knew he was such a sadistic fellow? Anyway, as I mentioned, the graphics are a huge step up from the original game and this is illustrated best when you move between environments and varying light sources. You can really see the attention to detail as you control Abe's shadow while he tiptoes around in the background then jumps into action to skillfully take out a guard or deal with some sort of deathtrap.
The gameplay of Oddworld: New 'n' Tasty is a blend of 2D adventuring, very light platforming, stealth, and puzzle solving. It's an exceptionally unique mix that has definitely stood the test of time. One of the most stand-out aspects, especially back in 1997, is the ability to tap buttons to speak to other Mudokons in order to command them to follow you or wait. Hearing Abe say his little phrases and having others respond appropriately was quite a novel concept back in the day and it's still charming now.
As you progress through each area, you'll quickly realise just how tricky it can be to save every single Mudokon. In fact, one of the first ones that you come across has a tempting lever beside him and if you activate it, he falls to his death so you really have to pay attention. Once you manage to save every single Mudokon in an area, it feels great. In fact, it feels much more rewarding than similar challenges in other games because the very idea of freeing your enslaved comrades has a lot of substance on its own.
Of course, considering this is a re-release of a 2014 remake of a game from 1997, it's bound to have some retro baggage. The most annoying aspect by far is the controls. Whether you accidentally miss a jump and fall to your death or come too close to a rescue portal thus making it disappear; it's sure to get on your nerves from time to time. Speaking of which, some of the scenarios are far too complex so you'll end up resorting to using a guide from time to time which takes away from your sense of accomplishment. Finally, I wish this Switch release featured more incentives to warrant a purchase, especially for those who already own it on another console. I don't even think that the Alf's Escape DLC is available in any capacity for Switch which is a shame and I looked all over for it.
If you're a 2D puzzle adventure aficionado who doesn't already own Oddworld: New 'n' Tasty on one of the half dozen consoles that it's currently available for then it'll make for a worthy purchase but those who do have it will find little reason to get it again on Switch.
- + Fantastic blend of stealth, puzzle solving, and 2D adventuring
- + Lovely visuals set in a disturbing world
- + Saving everyone is a rewarding challenge
- - Clunky controls require too much precision
- - Some parts could be more self-explanatory
- - Nothing new in this Switch version