If you've been following along with all of the news so far for Oddworld: Soulstorm
, you'll have seen the images and teaser trailer to emerge from an ongoing ARG. It all started with an image
. Then there was a second image
, and a third
. After the fourth image
, we all wondered how many still images we'd get before we heard anything substantial about the game, so Oddworld Inhabitants changed tack - we got a teaser trailer
. At EGX, we finally got to see what it all means. Oddworld
creator Lorne Lanning took to the developer stage to reveal more details about the upcoming title, including the game's title sequence:
is a completely new title but it still retains the core principles of the original Oddworld
quintology. At the bottom of the pyramid of power as a mudokon slave, Abe's destruction of Rupture Farms in New 'n' Tasty
had ramifications that travelled further up the pyramid to irritate the CEOs of the factories. In Soulstorm
, which Lanning considers to be the true second title in the quintology, those ramifications will be travelling further up the pyramid of power and the flames of revolution are starting to appear. Abe's goal is to take out the ancient financial bloodlines at the very top of the pyramid, but he'll likely pick up a lot of enemies along the way.
Whereas Rupture Farms was a meat factory, Soulstorm
focuses on a new product: Soulstorm Brew. It's highly flammable and extremely addictive. As you can see in the opening sequence above, the conditions in these factories are no less brutal than before. There will be returning faces, like Abe and Alf, and there will be new characters, like Toby. Instead of being digital copies of each other, they will have more unique traits and appearances. The mudokons are more endearing to players because "you need even sweeter guys to light on fire, or something".
The unique appearances aren't just limited to the mudokons — the glukkons have received the same treatment. They may be cousins but they each have their own genetic traits; for example, Molluck now has the mark of Cain and is blind in one eye after his argument with a lightning bolt. They've also formed their own deeply entrenched societies and organizations, akin to the masons and templars of the past. Molluck belongs to the Stockgluks, who are in charge of running the slaughterhouses and the meat factories. Then there's the Ironchronos, who "make sure that the trains run on time", and the Bonesman who are the gravediggers, retrieving bones to be used in pharmaceutical products. There's also the Royal Society of Alchemic Science who is responsible for inventing products like the Soulstorm Brew.
At the end of New 'n' Tasty
, Abe had freed 301 mudokons from slavery. Players begin Soulstorm
with these 301 mudokons as followers that players must try to escort through the game, but they're becoming harder to manage. They couldn't help you in previous games and if anything, they were a burden. In Soulstorm, they can now help you by being put to work doing other things. As you gain more followers, your chi meter (your spiritual energy) will increase and as one of the two forms of currency in the game (moolah aka cold hard cash being the second), you'll be able to buy more things with that. On the game's user interface, the follower meter not only indicates how many followers you have, it also indicates their status. Green followers are fine at that moment. Those who are flashing red are taking damage, while those that are solid red have been killed.
The complications offered by the flammable Soulstorm Brew means that it isn't just as simple as killing enemies anymore. You have to think about how to take enemies down without blowing up everyone within a small radius. This means that there will be new items to pick up and a new inventory system. Consumer products can be converted into weapons and those weapons can then be crafted into more specialised things to help with this. In a perfect playthrough, nobody will die but this will be "hard as hell".Oddworld: Soulstorm
is shaping up to be a different game from its predecessors even if it does keep the core principles of those that came before it, but that's a risk that Lanning feels will be worth it for players of the upcoming title. What do you think? Are you liking the changes or will this deter you from a purchase?