OddWorld Stranger’s Wrath HD Remaster Review
The Oddworld series, which offered some really cool platformers back in the early 2000’s, is a franchise that was largely (and unjustly) ignored by most gamers. But, if you own just about any PC, you can pick up one of these gems that you probably skipped over back in the day on steam for $9.99. Oddworld: Stranger’s Wrath is a game that is half platformer, half first-person shooter and, believe it or not, melds the two together quite well.
You play as the Stranger, who can best be described as Clint Eastwood meets the Predator. He is a badass bounty hunter who hunts down bad guys for a living and is quite efficient at doing it. He moves around the map with all the force of a middle linebacker and uses “live ammunition” with his handy crossbow to bring in bounty heads either dead or alive.
The literally “live” ammunition for the crossbow is some of the most creative ammunition ever put into a video game. Whether you are using hornets that you captured to sting enemies to death or setting up pitfall traps with little rodent like creatures that hate being stepped on, and thus will attack an enemy en masse with bites, the ammunition is fun and still stands out as innovative to this day.
Though one could argue that the two-faceted gameplay makes the game awkward to play, I would disagree. Every skirmish can be handled a number of different ways and I often found myself going back to replay them because I thought of new ways to make them go smoother. The puzzles are not incredibly hard, which helps keep the pacing of the action, and the platforming aspect is done very well, allowing you to make decisions that can help or hinder your path to each bounty head. Whether you prefer to run-and-gun straight up the middle or you like to take a more detail-oriented and complex approach, O:SW has a playstyle for you.
Obviously, being a game from 2005, O:SW will not be the visual belle of the ball. If you are a graphics enthusiast you probably shouldn’t pick up this game, but the HD remake does a lot to make the game look prettier. One could also argue that the art style and wackiness of the game has helped it age easier, especially since it was never meant to look hyper realistic in the first place.
Locales you visit are filled with lore and life and all the dialogue in the game is well written; you will get dragged into listening to every funny conversation in town and out on the hunt. The Oddworld series has always been great at bringing wacky, cool and hilarious characters to life and O:SW is no exception.
In conclusion Oddworld: Stranger’s Wrath HD is a fun little game that can be played on just about any PC with some sort of graphics support. It is a pretty kid-friendly game, as long as you don’t mind your child being exposed to crude humor and language, and it will keep them busy for some time. For me, it was a nice little nostalgia break from the hustle and bustle of daily life to relive a childhood adventure that I loved. Oddworld Stranger’s Wrath HD gets a 4 out of 5 stars and it is definitely worth picking up on Steam.