Beautifully rendered and illustrated world, intelligent puzzles hampered by frustrating gameplay and control mechanics.

User Rating: 7 | Oddworld: Abe's Oddysee PC
Certainly this game would have been fantastic in 1998; the gorgeously designed dark, yet comical world has an authentic, hand-drawn artistic style to it (much of it is hand drawn), and despite its low resolution, visually the game still holds up in 2012. An immersive and visually satisfying experience is achieved as you lead your protagonist through various locations, revealing a very simple yet engaging plot. Impressive sound design complements the visuals.

Where this game has aged is in its control mechanism. Abe's Oddysee requires finesse which it does not deserve to demand. The engine is based on set animations and offers no flexibility. As soon as you begin running in one direction, for example, you cannot back out by immediately stopping, you have predetermined a certain amount of distance you will travel. Often you will run from an enemy to the next screen but a proximity bomb will be lying on ground at the beginning of the next screen and you will die instantly - because you can only jump at certain intervals in the run cycle. A majority of the time spent playing is a process of trialing and experiencing inevitable death (hit a button, a dog will come from one side of the screen, if you're not already holding sprint in the correct direction you will die), then repeating until you've memorised exactly how to complete a level. And no, you cannot just save anywhere.

In 1998, this may have been ok, but today it's hard to justify the 10 or 12 hours spent finishing the game. The payoff isn't there. If you don't rescue 50 of your own kind throughout the game, at the end of the game you die. I couldn't justify spending any longer on the game, going out of my way to rescue Mudokens. Nonetheless, many of the puzzles were still fun, the protagonist likable and the visuals beautiful. 7/10