Game Release Date: USA: December/20/2010
Game Developer: Oddworld Inhabitants
Game Publisher: Electronic Arts
Game Description: A stunning and exquisitely realized masterpiece that delivers a gaming experience unlike any that we've seen before, Stranger's Wrath rekindles the artistic allure of Oddworld's previous works, and is truly visionary in its delivery of gameplay. Once you set foot in this imaginative world, you won't want to leave it.
Players assume the identity of the Stranger; a drifter turned bounty hunter that hides a secret that requires a specific, yet unrevealed, surgical procedure costing twenty grand. With each criminal that you bring to justice, you'll inch closer to this goal – a goal that leads to a shocking twist in the game. I gasped when I found out exactly what the Stranger was hiding.
Leading up to this point, the majority of your time is spent chasing down wanted criminals. By communicating with villagers via a streamlined Gamespeak system, players will learn the location of their targets, among other amusing things. The new Gamespeak interface is not as complex as it has been in previous Oddworld titles – it now requires just one button press – but it is just as humorous. I was often in tears over some of the things that were being said between Stranger and the inhabitants of this crazy world.
As remarkable as the presentation is, the true star of this title is gameplay. I was blown away by the game's ability to seamlessly transition between frenzied FPS and harrowing third-person platforming. Oddworld has also created a highly innovative ammo system. Not only are you using wildlife as "live" ammo, you actually have to scour your surroundings and hunt for more munitions. The ammo that you unload produces a variety of results. Firing a Bolamite at a foe will tie them up in sticky webbing. Stunkz scent will make anyone near it gag. Boombats explode. And the Chippunk is just so darn cute that enemies will go to any length to squish it. Boss fights are demanding of different strategies, and even the way that the health system is managed is a complete departure from what we are accustomed to, as you shake off damage like a wet dog does water. All told, the gameplay package is creative, fun, and the perfect fit for an Oddworld game.
If you are of the belief that you've seen everything that video games have to offer, getting to know the Stranger will make you realize that we haven't even begun to scratch the surface of what can be done in game development.