Sections

Oddworld Abe’s Oddysee interview: stick it to the man

Tuesday, 2 October 2012 16:59 GMT By Dave Cook

Oddworld: Abe’s Oddysee is one of the most unique games of our time. VG247′s Dave Cook spoke with creator Lorne Lanning about its origins and future.

Lorne Lanning

Founded Oddworld Inhabitants in 1994 with Sherry McKenna. The studio was based in California.

Released Oddworld: Abe’s Oddysee on PSone in 1997 to critical acclaim

Lanning is now working with Just Add Water on Oddworld: New N’ Tasty!

There are many truths of the game industry that ring true no matter what year, generation or country you look at, but few resonate quite so profoundly as new IP being a huge financial risk.

Money talks and bullshit walks, but unless you’re a million dollar entity, success in this market is never guaranteed. The Oddworld series goes against the grain so defiantly that it was always going to run into trouble at some point in its lifespan.

Initially planned by co-creators Lorne Lanning and his partner Sherry McKenna as a five-game series, the Oddworld Quintology only saw the release of three core games – not counting the originally unplanned sequel Abe’s Exoddus. The first title, Abe’s Oddysee launched on PSone in 1997.

The developer’s third game, the critically-acclaimed but criminally under-marketed Stranger’s Wrath would be the studio’s last release before receding to the sidelines in 2005. But now, in collaboration with British studio Just Add Water, the franchise is back in a big way.

Oddworld: New N’ Tasty! is an HD remake of the first game – as in, an actual remake from top to bottom – and it’s looking rather lovely indeed. The game will launch in due course, but what comes after that is anyone’s guess.

At Eurogamer Expo, VG247 caught up with Lanning to discuss the origins of the Oddworld: Abe’s Oddysee, and why the current climate of indies and digital distribution is perfect for a full-on Oddworld revival.

The million unit dream

We’re not even underway with our interview but we can already tell that Lanning feels like a man reborn, a person thankful to have a second chance to let his creations shine. His energy is heart-warming after everything he’s been through.

It’s a great thing to see in an industry riddle with lay-offs and closures, so we ask him just how thankful he feels for Abe’s success, and if he thought all of this would have been possible back at the launch of his studio in 1994.

“You know, the amount of money we borrowed to make Abe’s Oddysee – he had to succeed,” Lanning recalled, “He had to sell millions of units. He just had to man. I had to convince people that it would before I got the money, and then I actually had to deliver.”

“That impact was a little more than I’d kind of hoped for – the longevity of it. The number of people with Abe tattoos, and all that is pretty phenomenal. I didn’t really see that then.”

“But that said, what I never expected – I worked for it, I designed for it, but I never actually expected it – was that 15 years later, gamers would still have this passion, and that we would still be receiving emails about it.”

“I mean, we always designed Abe for the downtrodden, because that’s who I feel most of us are. Now it’s so much more clear, but we still get emails from people about how it really changed their lives at really critical times. Like, they decided not to jump off that cliff.”

“That impact was a little more than I’d kind of hoped for – the longevity of it, and the number of people with Abe tattoos, all that is pretty phenomenal. I didn’t really see that then.”

Lanning was lucky that his studio retained ownership over the Oddworld IP for so long. After all, this is a business teeming with big publishers vying for ownership over new franchises.

Calling it ‘splitting the baby’ – a legal term often used to explain part-ownership of a license or other asset, Lanning explained that he wasn’t too eager to hand over control of Oddworld to publishers readily, for fear of the quality suffering.

Lanning explained to us that digital distribution and a strong relationship with Just Add Water made Oddworld’s revival possible, but noted that any profit made strictly goes back into paying company wages and funding projects.

Rock n’ roll standards

The secret to making the Oddworld franchise reach new prominence today is reinvestment, and making sure that money is used wisely. That way Lanning and Just Add Water need never turn to a big publisher ever again.

“It started just by getting Abe’s Oddysee and Exoddus on Steam, that was the beginning of us self-publishing. It worked out phenomenally because then we had the Oddbox, Stranger’s Wrath HD and now Abe’s Oddysee New N’ Tasty.”

“Abe is something that resonated so well, and for so long that to-date, there may be about five-plus million units sold. That’s not phenomenal by today’s standards, but by rock n’ roll standards, that is huge.”

“That’s how we see it. We’re a rock band, not big business people with an exit strategy.”

“That’s how we see it. We’re a rock band, not big business people with an exit strategy. When I talked about babies split in half, if you look at the industry, there’s babies split in half everywhere – Halo, the BioWare games and others.”

“The initial passion is gone, but for us if the returns are bigger, we can start to take bigger and bigger bets. This allows us to do something that would be difficult for a publisher, which is to say, ‘hey, we’re going to love making these games as developers’, and put as much love into them as we’ve always done.”

“If I look at the landscape now it’s like, if I’m a big publisher and I don’t make a 5x return on my game in the first week, I’m dead. But now, at 50,000 units digitally, you have a business. It’s self-perpetuating.”

That freedom didn’t happen for Lanning overnight of course, so we get to the real meat of the conversation – the game that started it all – Oddworld: Abe’s Oddysee.

Odd origins

We ask Lanning what he set out to achieve when conceptualising Abe’s first outing and its dark, wacky world. After all, it wasn’t exactly conforming to industry trends, so it posed a big risk for the studio.

“Oddworld itself was based on the idea that we’re living in an unsustainable world and we need to wake up. I’m an anti-capitalist and proud of it because capitalism is evil. the beautiful thing is that today, people are seeing that more clearly.”

“In reality, a lot of what drove the creation of the content is more clear to the audience today, that basically, we’re all getting screwed. What inspired the games was, I knew what was happening with fast food companies and the deforestation of South American rainforest.”

”The creation of Abe was driven by deforestation and what was happing with diamond miners, and how indigenous cultures were becoming mandated to become financially dependent on bigger cultures.”

“I knew it, and I knew most people at the time didn’t. I would talk to professors and people who were meant to be intelligent, but they were clueless. That need to say, ‘look, we need to pay attention to these things’ was there, but how could we do that with a twisted funnybone?’”

“How can that be inspiring to people who know they’re getting the shaft? So the creation of Abe was driven by deforestation and what was happing with diamond miners, and how indigenous cultures were becoming mandated to become financially dependent on bigger cultures.”

“When we got to Munch’s Oddysee, that was about what was happening in the pharmaceutical industry on the legal end, and with animal testing in multi-billion businesses.”

“Stranger’s Wrath was more about me thinking, ‘where’s the warrior in all of this? Where’s the rogue samurai? I mean, my dad was on nuclear submarines for 17 years, and through that I saw true patriots. But those same guys are only now realising just who they’re working for.”

Designing Abe

But what about Abe’s quirky design? He’s a Mudokon, forced into working at food processing plant Rupture Farms. After learning that his people are next on the menu, he decides to escape the rusting factory and liberate his people.

Lanning explained his collaboration with Oddworld artist Steven Olds, “He was an amazing guy. He was self-taught but you’ve never met a guy with more discipline, he’s the Lance Armstrong of production design. He was a master.”

“But what I was doing was trying to come up with in Abe was the embodiment of the absolute downtrodden. I wanted what I was seeing in the heartbreaking pictures of guys covered in mud, emerging from the diamond mines of Bolivia, with their managers carrying M16s.”

“I wanted that, so we went back and forth. There was another thing I wanted but we haven’t gone into too much detail with was Abe’s little ponytail. One of the things I noticed from fishing – which is my first love – is that I would see the same species of fish looking very different depending on the quality of the water it lived in.”

“I later learned that you could take that fish and put it in better water, then after an amount of time it would change back into that beautiful thing. Now we get to Abe, and the Mudokon. In Rupture farms they are grey, their ponytails have shrunken.”

“The key is actually in creating the really difficult challenge that must be solved, and that requires a grand solution. Once you solve it, you look really smart.”

“But as they start getting healthy, being around trees, eating organic food instead of processed, and just finding themselves again, the real colour starts to come back, and their hair grows long.

“We need more successes to make new games that show all of that, but there is a lot more inspiration and logic that drives those characters so far.”

While Lanning’s inspiration and design concept for Abe is admirable, we ask him if he ever felt worried that Abe, who is largely a pacifist wouldn’t be an attractive lead in 1997, in the same decade that produced Doom and Metal Gear Solid.

“Abe was never going to carry a gun, and some of our designers at the time were like, ‘you’re just nuts, he needs a gun’, so I said ‘no he doesn’t, he needs a solution’. I say this often: that the essence of what appear to be brilliant ideas, is not necessarily brilliance.”

“The key is actually in creating the really difficult challenge that must be solved, and that requires a grand solution. Once you solve it, you look really smart. In the case of Abe it was more than embodying what we knew the audience was looking for, it was that we wanted to take the opposite approach.”

“He can never carry a gun, ever, and that is what birthed his power of possession. If you look at it as a designer like, how do we give him a gun and then take it away, but that it still feels ok?”

“It doesn’t feel limiting, it just feels like a power-up in this instance, and that is what drove possession. It was a good answer to that problem because we were dealing with this spiritually indigenous people that had kind of lost their roots.”

“They’re like the Aborigines in that they know something we’ve forgotten, and we need that recaptured.”

Gamespeak

Oddworld games have always included a system called Gamespeak, which gives players the ability to have characters talk which in turn triggers a response from NPCs, such Abe asking Mudokons to follow him, or even scolding them if they get out of line.

Lanning explains why his team implemented the system in Abe’s Oddysee, “What I felt was that I had no emotional connections to games on-screen. The closest I came was Prince of Persia, and I realised the reason for that was Jordan Mechner’s wonderful rotoscoped character animations.”

“Because it felt more lifelike and that the prince dies so suddenly and horribly, I was like, ‘oh!’. I remember there was like a dozen of us playing it one night smoking bongs, and playing Prince of Persia.”

“They were all like, ‘jump, jump!’, so I did and I fell to my death, then everyone was like, ‘aaaah!’ We were like totally traumatised, and I thought it was great. It was valuable.”

“So in an effort to make Abe more emotionally engaging, we had to show more character. I was thinking like, ‘well, how can an action embody more emotion and intent than a punch?’”

“I remember there was like a dozen of us playing it one night smoking bongs, and playing Prince of Persia. They were all like, ‘jump, jump!’, so I did and I fell to my death, then everyone was like, ‘aaaah!’”

“If it can be a word that gets a cute little response like ‘Hello?’, ‘Hello!’, or ‘OK?’, ‘OK!’ [In Abe's voice], then you immediately have more of a feeling of a life form, and less of a piece of art that’s just engaged in a challenging experience.”

“That was a bit part of driving it, and in Stranger’s Wrath we made that process simpler with one button, but more complex on the AI end. That all came from lessons learned, because Abe was a complicated game at the time.”

“We wanted you to feel responsible for Abe, and we wanted you to feel bad if you did bad for him. Most importantly, we wanted you to feel bad for character, not for your score. There’s a huge difference.”

“Gamespeak – I think – was the real beginning to get that feeling of, instead of throwing punch, you’re throwing a helpful word, or humour. Then you have the idea of saving guys rather than killing them.”

“But we had to make sure that if you wanted to kill them, we’d facilitate that beautifully, so that we still have integrity rather than becoming hooligans.”

What comes next?

Lanning’s inspiration for the weird and wonderful inhabitants of Oddworld come from many places, but these creatures all exist for the same reason. They exist to induce empathy in players, to test their ability and perhaps most of all, to provide fun and warm memories.

“That was always my goal, to create that sense of empathetic emotion and connection so that you’d feel for them. But if you wanted to be cynical about it and kill everything, we had to facilitate that where Nintendo wouldn’t with Mario.”

“You could never do that in a Nintendo game, and that annoyed me because sometimes I’m a sick bastard and I should be allowed to exercise that. We wanted that in the gameplay to give Oddworld an ethical message”

That message hasn’t ended yet in Lanning’s eyes, and thanks to his collaboration with Just Add Water and renewed interest in the franchise, we could just see the release of brand new chapters in this stunted story.

“In my opinion, Oddworld hasn’t really gotten started yet,” Lanning stressed, “I’ve tried some other business ventures and I’ve failed because I’m trying to earn the 20-40 million dollars I need to put it back into the franchise.”

“I mean, I don’t have kids. But then again I do – they’re green, they’re in wheelchairs and they’ve got horns. Those characters are my kids – quite literally – because I’ll never have other children.”

“They’re the ones, and I feel like they’ve just gotten started.”

Latest

  • Star Ocean 5: Integrity and Faithlessness – details on story and setting emerge

    Information pertaining to the story and setting in Star Ocean 5: Integrity and Faithlessness has been detailed by Famitsu. According to what Siliconera reports, several centuries after leaving Earth, humans have created the “Galactic Federation” in order to maintain unified order and peace after years and years of war. But all is not peaceful, as […]

  • This homebrew app turns your 3DS into a remote desktop – shown running World of Warcraft

    Modders are busy working on a Nintendo 3DS homebrew app which turns the system into a remote desktop. A post on the gbatemp forum (thanks, Eurogamer) shows the app in action running World of Warcraft on a 3DS – although not perfectly. At present, the app has a rather low frame-rate, but development is still […]

  • Release dates for three Hyperdimension Neptunia games announced

    Hyperdimension Neptunia fans will be pleased to know three games in the franchise have release dates for Steam and Vita. Hyperdimension Neptunia U: Action Unleashed, which was announced for western audiences last year, will arrive on PS Vita will be released digitally and and at retail in North America on May 19 and in Europe […]

  • Mass Effect 4 survey contains info on crafting, exploration, a Horde Mode more – RUMOR

    Remember when a Dragon Age: Inquisition survey popped up and outed possible content for the title? It’s happened again and this time it’s for the next Mass Effect game. Note: take the information contained herein with a grain of salt. Surveys, if this one is legit, are usually sent out to test ideas and aren’t […]

  • GTA 5 PC: modders poking around the files find Army Cavalcade, Feroci and SuperGT textures

    More GTA 5 information has been posted by modders poking around in the files of the PC version. This time, instead of zombies and horses, textures for the Army Cavalcade, Feroci and SuperGT vehicles have been found. New leaked vehicles Barbarian, Detonator and Tampa are also mentioned in the thread. A screencap of the files […]

  • Sony leaks: Uncharted movie similar to National Treasure but more “intense” and not as “silly”

    Sony Pictures wants the Uncharted film to be similar in tone to the National Treasure franchise, but not as soft or silly, and with deeper romantic storyline than the Nicolas Cage films. The information on the upcoming film was pulled from emails and database files derived from the Sony Pictures hack last year by North […]

  • Star Wars: Battlefront isn’t just a “big-budget Battlefield mod,” says DICE

    DICE boss Patrick Bach has promised Star Wars: Battlefront isn’t just a “big-budget Battlefield mod,” as the game carries the Battlefront title for a reason. Speaking with Eurogamer during Day 2 of the Star Wars Celebration yesterday, Bach said the team stayed true to the “core ethos” of the Battlefront series by adhering to what […]

  • New Steam policy restricts accounts to protect users from phishing scams and spam

    Valve has implemented a new policy on Steam which limits user accounts which have spent less than $5 through the store. The new policy is to protect users from phishing scams and spam. If the users hasn’t spent anything on the store, they at least have to have $5 sitting in their Steam Wallet. This […]

  • Latest Flash Sale on the US PlayStation Store discounts action games and movies

    Sony is hosting another Flash Sale on the North American store with plenty of action games, and some films, to help get your weekend started. The list is super long, so here’s a few highlights: Army of TWO The Devil’s Cartel Battlefield: Bad Company 2 Bayonetta Beyond Good & Evil HD Castlevania: Harmony of Despair […]

  • A new expansion for Postal 2 called Paradise Lost was released today

    It appears Postal 2 has a new add-on available. No, it’s not for the 2003 version, but the Complete Edition which was greenlit on Steam 10 years later. Called Paradise Lost, the add-on stars the Dude and contains a new single-player story campaign and new areas featuring free-roam gameplay. The original voice actor for the […]

  • GTA 5 patch 1.01 is now available for PC, fixes launcher and framerate issues

    Rockstar has released patch 1.01 for the PC version of GTA 5 and along with a fix to the character’s facial features changing when transferring to PC, the launcher will no longer drain your CPU and crash. Here are the full patch notes: Fixed an issue where the GTAV Launcher would use an abnormally high […]

  • Ultra Street Fighter 4 will arrive on the PS Store for PS4 in May

    Ultra Street Fighter 4 will be released on PlayStation 4 in May, Capcom has announced. All characters, levels and previous DLC will be included in the PS4 version, including a fix to input lag found in the PS3 version’s controls. The fighting game will be released digitally on the PS Store May 26 for $24.99 […]

  • Upcoming Dark Souls 2 patch to fix weapon degradation glitch

    Weapon degradation wan’t an intentional feature in Dark Souls 2, and now that it has carried over into Scholar of the First Sin, the glitch will be patched out in an upcoming update. The glitch also affected the framerate of Dark Souls 2 on PC, and on all platforms with Scholar of the First Sin. […]

  • Star Wars: Battlefront is now available for pre-order on Origin, Amazon, others

    Star Wars: Battlefront is now available for pre-order through EA’s Origin service as well as Amazon and GameStop. Star Wars: Battlefront pre-orders, as previously reported, will include early access to the free Battle of Jakku DLC. The planet is included in the upcoming film, Star Wars: The Force Awakens, and finds the New Republic coming […]

  • Star Wars: Battlefront – watch the lovely reveal trailer here

    The first trailer for Star Wars: Battlefront was released today after much anticipation. Watch the lovely game reveal below, all captured on PlayStation 4. The trailer was revealed during an EA panel today at the Star Wars Celebration, and featured Lucasfilm concept artist Doug Chiang, the game’s senior producer Sigurlina Ingvarsdottir, and other members of […]

  • Star Wars: Battlefront has 40-player battles, play as Darth Vader and Boba Fett

    Star Wars: Battlefront will take place during the original film trilogy’s timeline, according to a report from the Associated Press. It appears the information was posted ahead of time, (via Kotaku) as the report is written in past tense. According to the report, players will take part in “frenzied shoot-outs between up to 40 players” […]

  • Microsoft confirms departure of Xbox Europe VP Phil Harrison

    Microsoft has confirmed the departure of Phil Harrison, its corporate VP of Xbox in Europe. According to a statement, Harrison left to pursue interests outside of the company, Xbox boss Phil Spencer told GI.biz. “Following a successful tenure as Corporate Vice President in Xbox in Europe, Phil Harrison has chosen to pursue business interests outside […]

  • Battlefield Hardline Rent-a-Server option coming to both last and current-gen consoles

    Battlefield Hardline players will be able to take part in the Rent-a-Server program, similar to the one in Battlefield 4, when the first patch for the shooter is released. Rental servers will come to both last and current-gen consoles, and CPU issues will be addressed in the patch as well, which PC players will be […]

  • Chip’s Challenge and unreleased sequel Chip’s Challenge 2 arrive on Steam next month

    Chip’s Challenge, the 1989 top-down tile-based puzzler created by Chuck Sommerville, is heading to Steam along with the unreleased sequel Chip’s Challenge 2. After the release of the first game, Sommerville spent two years developing the sequel, only to find the trademark had been sold. The trademark’s new owners wanted him to fund the publishing, […]

  • Pillars of Eternity patch betas hitting Steam, update 1.05 to drop in May

    Patch 1.04 for Pillars of Eternity dropped yesterday, and according to Obsidian Entertainment, players can expect the next round of fixes to arrive in May. According to a post on the Kickstarter page, patch 1.04 contained quite a bit of fixes, and going forward, the team plans to continue squishing bugs, adding additional polish and […]

  • Goat Simulator comes to Xbox platforms

    Goat Simulator continues its plan to dominate all platforms under the sun by releasing on Xbox consoles. Goat Simulator has been released on Xbox 360 and Xbox One. The store page for the Xbox One version is now live, but the 360 one is lagging behind. Don’t know what this game is or what it’s […]

  • Alienation: first co-op footage revealed

    We have our first look at gameplay footage from Housemarque’s Alienation. Housemarque has finally given us a look at their upcoming shooter project, Alienation. The twin-stick shooter will feature co-op and the new video shows it in action. It’s a short one but still manages to demo several environments. The game was shown off at […]

  • ReShade SweetFX supports GTA 5, user-made presets begin popping up

    GTA 5 modders started making presets for ReShade SweetFX as soon as they realised the tool supports it. To the modding community’s delightful surprise, shader-altering tool ReShade SweetFX was discovered to support GTA 5. What this means is that anyone can download the tool, mess around with the post-processing options, and inject them into GTA […]

  • Project Cars goes gold, full track list revealed

    Project Cars has finally gone gold. Project Cars developer Slightly Mad has announced that the racer has reached gold master milestone. “We know the wait for the game to be released was worth it, as we’re confident the quality and realism level we have achieved will provide our fans with the game they are all […]

  • Dragon Quest Heroes has a stupid subtitle in the West

    The Western release of Dragon Quest Heroes has been given the most absurd subtitle. Square Enix announced a while back that Dragon Quest Heroes will come to North America and Europe this year. Unlike in Japan, it will launch only on PlayStation 4. Earlier today, the Japanese publisher revealed what the game’s logo will look […]

  • Minecraft vulnerability allows users to crash servers remotely [UPDATE]

    A security flaw discovered in Minecraft’s code that could give perpetrators the ability to crash servers remotely has been fixed via a patch by Mojang. Update: Mojang has released an update to Minecraft patch 1.8, listed as version 1.8.4, and it is available now. It fixes reported security issues, in addition to some other minor […]

  • Official Bloodborne merchandise now available, including a limited edition statue

    The PlayStation gear store has added a new section dedicated to Bloodborne merchandise. The first set of items is as good as you’d expect. If you’re a fan of Bloodborne and want to make sure everyone around you knows it, you’ll be happy to know that Sony has added a few pieces of Bloodborne-branded gear […]

  • Destiny Xur update: should you buy The Last Word?

    Xur is selling one of Destiny’s top hand cannons today: The Last Word. Is it worth grinding the coins for? The answer is a resounding YES. The Last Word is one of Destiny’s best Exotics, and one of the best Hand Cannons in the game. Our Destiny expert Alex notes that it’s one of the […]

  • Destiny: Xur location and inventory for April 17, 18 – The Last Word edition

    What did our good buddy Xur bring for us this week? Xur: Agent of the Nine, Destiny’s weekend vendor is back with more Exotic offers. Xur is your guy if you’re after Exotic weapons or armour, provided you have the Strange Coins for them. Head over to the lounge in the Tower Hangar, you’ll find […]

  • The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt discounted for Gold members, pre-load now live

    The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt files are now live on the Xbox Store. Xbox One owners with The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt pre-orders can start downloading the full game to be ready for launch. The file size was confirmed earlier to be just over 25GB. Those who have yet to pre-order can do so at […]

11 Comments

  1. Dave Cook

    It’s probably stupid to comment on your own story, but I have to say that it makes me happy to see this franchise in good health again. Can’t wait to see where they take the franchise next :D

    #1 3 years ago
  2. OrbitMonkey

    ^ It was a fine read Dave… It’s a shame all the guys are in another thread arguing Harddrive size… Boys will be boys eh? :-)

    #2 3 years ago
  3. Dave Cook

    @2 thanks man, appreciated :) Yeah, Abe deserves some love.

    #3 3 years ago
  4. ManuOtaku

    #1 yes iam happy also, i did love the ones released on xbox , especially strangers warth, it is a very different series that oozes style on every aspect all around, yep i cannot wait either to see what they do have in store for us.

    #4 3 years ago
  5. DSB

    I never really considered the political angle, but hearing about it just makes me glad that he didn’t end up doing something as nauseating and whiny as Avatar.

    #5 3 years ago
  6. Dave Cook

    @5 I had no idea about that either. Such an interesting guy.

    #6 3 years ago
  7. Beta

    Really interesting interview, Oddworld was and is one of my favourite franchises and I’m so glad it’s back! :D

    #7 3 years ago
  8. TheWulf

    Thanks for the interview, #1, that was a joy to read. I wish more shared those attitudes. The industry is so driven by big, polished titles today that ambitious ones where you can see that the developer was really trying to do something truly stand out.

    And things are changing, now. What with distribution networks like Steam, and things like KickStarter on offer. One of the big KickStarter things I eagerly await the pay-off of is Lifeless Planet. The demo of that was just fantastic, but I digress.

    This is the mindset we need in the games industry, though. We need someone with this mindset in every developer, and in positions of leadership in the bigger ones. Then we might actually see some progress. Polish has brought about nothing but stagnation, after all.

    So… yeah. These are the words I want to hear. If gaming were politics, it’s those with words like these that I’d vote for.

    #8 3 years ago
  9. Ireland Michael

    Support anti-capitalism ideals… by buying our games!

    Bleurgh!

    I never cared much for the original Abe games, though I could certainly appreciate their aesthetic and design – even now they hold up amazingly well in that regard. Stranger’s Wrath has a weird nostalgic place in my heart though, for reasons I don’t quite understanding.

    Modern gaming is great, but I do miss this kind of quirkiness.

    #9 3 years ago
  10. Dave Cook

    @9 It’s a self perpetuating studio though man, they put the money back into the studio and not to a big publisher. Surely that’s better? :)

    Agreed though, the art behind it looks incredible.

    #10 3 years ago
  11. bpcgos

    Ah, gamespeak. I remember played it all night just to make a rhyme from Abe’s voice. Still, the story itself made my ‘teen heart’ feels very disturbed. Eating something that can actually think and have feelings are very cruel (I hate monkey eater too)

    #11 3 years ago

Comments are now closed on this article.

  • Fix for GTA 5 PC Windows install bug releasing today

    Rockstar is set to release a patch today that will fix a bug preventing players from installing the game. The bug is tied to Windows usernames that use certain characters not supported by Rockstar. There’s already a workaround available on the Rockstar Support site, but those waiting for an official update will be able to […]

  • Prey 2 dev’s new mobile horror Lost Within out now on iOS and Fire

    Remember Lost Within, that mobile survival horror erstwhile Prey 2 developer Human Head Studios was making with Amazon Game Studios? It’s now available on iOS and for Amazon’s Fire devices, through the appropriate App Stores. There’s a little bit of extra info on it on the AGS blog, if you’re keen; unfortunately the blog doesn’t […]

  • Let’s take a look at Blood Bowl 2′s Chaos faction

    Blood Bowl 2: The Chaos Theory is only the latest in a much loved series of games based on a game based on two other games. Blood Bowl is a popular Games Workshop tabletop game which blends the fantasy universe of Warhammer with a fantasy sport drawing inspiration from American football and related games. It’s […]

  • “Second-person” shooter Screencheat coming to PS4 and Xbox One

    Goldeneye players should be familiar with the concept of screencheating, which is what this new indie is all about. Screencheat has been on our radars for a while but has now been confirmed for PS4, sparking a new wave of interest with a trailer and PS Blog post. However, it was one of a number […]

  • World of Warcraft Timewalking will make old dungeons fun again

    World of Warcraft will soon introduce a feature called Timewalking, designed to make you feel young again. When WoW players participate in a Timewalking event, they’ll be transported to a randomly selected classic dungeon. Upon entering, their level and gear will be scaled way, way down to the Dungeon’s Heroic level – so they won’t […]

  • Bloodborne and Dark Souls messaging – in real life

    Soapstone is a cool little app that mimics the messaging system found in Bloodborne, Dark Souls and Demon’s Souls. Bloodborne and Dark Souls fans will surely agree that the asynchronous multiplayer side of things, with players leaving anonymous tips, encouragement and jokes for each other, is one of the cooler aspects of the From Software […]

  • Mass Effect fans, get a load of this My Talking Elcor plushie

    I have been waiting to write about this all day because oh my god. Mass Effect attracted a devoted fanbase and Bioware has found tons of clever ways to satisfy that fanbase’s desire for clothes, collectibles, books, comics and toys related to the future world of Commander Shepard and company. The company has been so […]

  • Homeworld Remastered Collection headed to retail

    Homeworld fans can purchase a neat little package of gloriously remastered nostalgia soon. The Homeworld Remastered Collection has been available online since the end of February, but is now on its way to retail thanks to a deal between new rights holder Gearbox and Ubisoft. The PC exclusive will launch in physical form from May […]

  • The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt download size lower than predicted

    The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt has a hefty install footprint, but it’s not as bad as we expected. The Witcher 3 was expected to be a 50GB download after a note to this effect was added to the PlayStation Store. It looks like that might have been a placeholder figure, as DualShockers noted today that […]

  • Bloodborne, beaten with a Guitar Hero controller

    Come on now, you didn’t expect anything less from the Souls community, did you? Bloodborne has been vanquished with a Guitar Hero controller, just a few weeks after its release. Kotaku reports Bearzly took nine hours to finish the game, which is probably less than many players using a Dual Shock. You can watch a […]

  • Vendors? New social space? Your House of Wolves questions will be answered

    Destiny players learned more about House of Wolves in this week’s Bungie update than you might realise at first glance. Resident Destiny expert Arekkz cast his eagle eye over this week’s Bungie Weekly Update, which announced next week’s Reef tour livestream. I personally am most excited to learn about gear upgrade paths, but Arekkz points […]

  • GTA 5 playable with Virtuix Omni VR treadmill

    You’ve seen GTA 5 with Oculus Rift, Now see GTA 5 with the Virtuix Omni. GTA 5 PC has unlocked a number of exciting possibilities. Modders and hackers are still working on making the game’s files accessible to third-party creation tools, but several cool things have been produced even with this barrier still in place. […]

  • Mortal Kombat X: play as Rain and other locked characters on PC

    Mortal Kombat X players comfortable with tinkering with the game’s files can unlock unplayable characters. Mortal Kombat X includes a number of familiar fighters available only as opponents, not playable characters. if you’re super keen to try out Rain, Baraka and co, you can – with a bit of fiddling. Redditor XVermillion figured out that […]

  • Madden 16 release date set for August, of course

    Madden NFL 16 has a deeply unsurprising release date. Madden’s release date always falls at the end of US summer, and Madden 16 is no exception. EA Sports has announced that the NFL sim will release on PlayStation 3, PS4, Xbox 360 and Xbox One on August 26. We have absolutely no further information at […]

  • Star Wars Battlefront won’t have Battlelog support

    Star Wars Battlefront is not just Battlefield in a Hallowe’en costume, so don’t expect the same suite of features. Star Wars Battlefront is the subject of intense anticipation and curiosity, so it’s not surprising a bunch of rumours have turned up. One of these rumours suggests that Battlefront will have its own version of Battlelog, […]

  • Battlefield Hardline beats Bloodborne to top March NPD chart

    PS4 had a good month but it was EA’s multi-platform Battlefield Hardline that was the best-selling game. March 2015 NPD at a glance Total spend down 6% YoY. Hardware and software both down. Console hardware blamed for significant hardware dip. Accessories up. Battlefield Hardline tops software chart. PS4 outsells other consoles. Wii U, 3DS and […]

  • Destiny: House of Wolves gear upgrade paths will be revealed next week

    Destiny developer Bungie will reveal new equipment upgrade paths during a livestream next week. Destiny: House of Wolves will release on May 19, the developer announced last week, promising a full schedule of reveals over the next few weeks. It also gave a broad outline of some of the things it will be discussing in […]

  • Don’t forget: the Elder Scrolls Online Welcome Back Weekend kicks off tomorrow

    Just a quick heads up to remind you that The Elder Scrolls Online Welcome Back Weekend kicks off tomorrow, April 17 at 10am EDT. The free weekend is an incentive to bring back beta players which tried the game, but decided not to pursue a purchase. You can play the MMO until 10am EDT on […]

  • Tale of Tales announces May release for Kickstarter success Sunset

    Those attending Kill Screen’s Two5six Festival next month will be able to play Tale of Tales upcoming title Sunset before it’s released. Along with the news provided to us by BeefJack, Tale of Tales have also released new set of lovely screenshots which we have posted below. Sunset will be released on Linux, Mac and […]

  • Take 50% off select racing titles through the Codemasters online store

    Codemasters has launched an online store and is celebrating by giving you 50% off the titles listed. Here’s what’s on sale: F1 2013 Classic Edition F1 2014 – F1 RACE STARS BUNDLE F1 2013 GRID 2 GRID 2 Reloaded GRID Autosport DIRT 3 Complete Edition DIRT Showdown Toybox Turbos F1 RACE STARS Hit up the […]

  • Spy_Watch coming to Apple Watch from Surgeon Simulator devs

    Surgeon Simulator developers Bossa Studios have announced its working on an Apple Watch game called Spy_Watch. Spy_Watch, according to the developer, has players heading up a spy agency which isn’t faring too well. Players will need to train a spy and then send him out on various missions to “reclaim the agency’s former glory.” Real-time […]

  • Trine 3: The Artifacts of Power hits Steam Early Access next week

    Frozenbyte has announced Trine 3: The Artifacts of Power will launch on Steam Early Access next week. The early access title will run you $19.99/€19.99/£14.99 and you can purchase it come April 21. If the short video above isn’t enough to tempt you, a video showing nine minutes of gameplay was released last week.

  • Journey, Flower, flOw trilogy to be released this summer on PS4 in 1080p at 60fps

    A remastered version of the Journey Collector’s Edition is coming to PlayStation 4 from ThatGameCompany. According to Gamespot, the trilogy will contain PS3 titles flOw, Flower and Journey on one disc, and it will run in 1080p at 60fps. A standalone version of Journey will arrive close to the trilogy’s release on PS4 through the […]

  • Here’s a few screenshots of PS4-exclusive Alienation from Housemarque

    Screenshots for Alienation, Housemarque’s four-player co-op PlayStation 4 exclusive, have been released and you can have a look at them in the gallery we’ve posted. Announced at gamescom 2014, the game features three main character classes, weapon customization, and various team set-ups. The game has players shooting at things with twin-stick gameplay with a top […]

  • Star Wars: Battlefront website notes November 17 release, teaser video and first image hit

    The first Star Wars: Battlefront image has been posted, and apparently it appeared on the official website at some point this morning. The game will also be released on November 17, according to the official website’s source code. The release date is noted in the code located in the image below. Props to Gematsu for […]

  • Mortal Kombat X is the fastest selling entry in the series to date

    Mortal Kombat X has sold faster than any other game in the series to date, making it the “biggest launch” in Mortal Kombat history, according to creator Ed Boon. Speaking in a series of tweets, Boon said both the mobile and console versions have “literally millions of players getting online” resulting in the servers being […]

  • Shadow of the Beast reboot resurfaces with some new screenshots

    The Shadow of the Beast reboot, which was announced in 2013, has show its face once more with early screenshots. Screenshots of the Amiga classic remake show off the Karamoon’s desert and the main character, Aarbron. According Matt Birch, CEO and founder of Heavy Spectrum, the team is currently hard at work on the “core […]

  • Halo: Spartan Strike arrives on Windows 8, iOS and Steam today

    Halo: Spartan Strike is now available on Windows 8, Steam, iOS devices and Windows 8 phones. The mobile top-down shooter will run you $5.99. Halo: Spartan Strike tells a new story in the Halo universe set during the events of Halo 2 on New Mombasa in 2552. Those playing on Windows 8 devices can compete […]

  • Final Fantasy 15 video shows highlights from the Episdoe Duscae demo

    Square Enix has released a Final Fantasy 15 video which shows highlights from the Episode Duscae demo included with launch editions of Final Fantasy Type-0 HD. FFT0 has shipped over one million copies worldwide, and a player feedback survey is available for the Duscae demo until May 19. Final Fantasy Type-0 HD is available on PlayStation […]

  • Bloodborne has sold over 155,000 digital units since release – SuperData

    PlayStation 4 exclusive Bloodborne has sold over 155,000 digital units since it was released on March 24, according to SuperData’s latest report. The figure produced by SuperData is worldwide and comes on the heels of the one million units sold announcement earlier this week. “After the release of the beautiful but terribly short game The […]

  • Nintendo US eShop update: Mega May returns, Super Smash Bros. update, Mii Fighter costumes

    Nintendo has updated the North American end of the eShop with a Super Smash Bros. update and the StreetPass Mii Plaza games Battleground Z and Ultimate Angler. The update is rather detailed, and a bit larger than normal, and you may wish to pay special attention to the activities listed. Here’s the full update: StreetPass […]

  • Here’s your first look at Sony boss Shuhei Yoshida in Super Time Force Ultra

    Sony Worldwide boss Shuhei Yoshida is a playable character in Super Time Force Ultra, and today, Capy Games has provided a couple images of the man himself in the game. Yoshida was announced as a playable character in the game during Sony’s PlayStation Experience event back in December 2014. The PS4 and Vita version will […]

  • The wait is almost over – The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt has gone gold

    CD Projekt RED has announced the news we’ve all been waiting to hear: The Witcher 3 has gone gold. This means Geralt’s latest, and possibly last, adventure has been sent to the factory to be pressed into lovely gaming discs. “We worked so damn hard over the past three years to bring you this game,” […]

  • Everybody’s Gone to the Rapture is a “couple weeks out from beta,” new trailer

    Everybody’s Gone to the Rapture is just a “couple of weeks out from beta,” according to development studio The Chinese Room, and a release date will be announced “shortly.” To give you an idea of how development has been coming along since it was announced at gamescom 2013, the team has released a new trailer […]

  • GTA 5 on PC looks incredible, but I can’t recommend it to console players

    As much as Matt Martin loves GTA 5, he can’t recommend upgrading from console to PC just for a slick editing suite and even prettier graphics. “This is the third time in as many years that I’ve bought GTA 5.” I have a Grand Theft Auto 5 obsession, as I’m sure you know if you’ve […]

  • The Forest engine updated to Unity 5, major graphical and gameplay improvements made

    The Forest’s latest patch added substantial improvements to the game. The Forest version 0.16 is now live on Steam with plenty of new additions. The game has been ported over to Unity engine version 5. The plant and skin shaders have been replaced or rewritten. Many other visual tweaks have been made, such as model […]

  • Star Wars: Battlefront banner leaks from Star Wars Convention

    EA has been setting up the Battlefront booth at Star Wars Celebration, and one leaked picture shows what could be the game’s main art. Someone on Reddit posted a picture of the game banner at EA’s booth. Here it is: Lots of things happening here. There’s a Star Destroyer in the distance, TIE Fighters and […]

  • Get GTA 5 working with Oculus Rift using this tool

    There’s a way you can play GTA 5 in VR if you own an Oculus Rift Dev Kit and have a bit of cash to spare. VorpX, the go-to program for adding VR support to games has received an update recently to support GTA 5. This is far from perfect, as it only translates the […]

  • FIFA Ultimate Team: week of April 15 team revealed

    This week’s Team of the Week is now available for anyone to challenge in FIFA Ultimate Team. The team members get selected each week based on their performance during the weekend matches. You can fire up FIFA Ultimate Team on any platform and challenge this squad. You’ll also find some Team of the Week items […]

  • Deus Ex: Mankind Divided will let you stealth all encounters, including bosses

    Deus Ex: Mankind Divided will bring back one of the original game’s major features. Deus Ex: Human Revolution is considered by many to be a great game and worthy of bearing the franchise name. One of its grating issues though was its boss fights. You only had one way to fight them: be confrontational. The […]

  • Project Cars PC specs and supported wheels announced

    The release date of Project Cars is inching ever closer and more details have been revealed to answer all your burning questions. Project Cars developer Slightly Mad Studios has revealed the full list of supported steering wheels on all platforms, as well as the minimum and recommended PC specs. Minimum specs CPU – 2.66 GHz […]

  • GTA 5 gets custom FOV mod on PC

    Those not satisfied with GTA 5′s built-in field of view slider can use a new mod to push the number even further. The PC versions of GTA 5 – just like its PS4 and Xbox One counterparts – lets you switch between third and first-person view in shooting and driving. The game has an FOV […]

  • Win! GTA 5 on PC!

    Want to win a Steam key for Grand Theft Auto 5 on PC? Just enter here. GTA 5 released on PC this week and is going down a storm. We like it a lot, which is why we’re giving away a Steam code for Rockstar’s latest. All you need to do is enter your email […]

  • GTA 5 topples Skyrim’s record for highest concurrent players on Steam

    Not factoring in Valve games, GTA 5 is the new king of concurrent player numbers on Steam. GTA 5 is very popular on PC, even more popular than games like Skyrim in its heyday. The number of concurrent players for GTA 5 has peaked today at 301,246. This makes it the only non-Valve game to […]

  • Mortal Kombat X: what does a modern fighting game look like?

    Mortal Kombat continues to evolve as NetherRealm adds RPG systems and daily challenges to a solid fighting game, says Sherif Saed. “Mortal Kombat X takes many cues from games like Destiny, Call of Duty, and GTA Online with hourly, daily and weekly events.” For as many of its familiar facets, Mortal Kombat X has enough […]

  • J-Stars Victory VS+ coming west in June – new trailer

    J-Stars Victory VS+ will make the jump (see what I did there) to the west after all. J-Stars Victory VS+ is the western title for the fighting game which stars characters from a variety of Shonen Jump-published manga. Bandai Namco has announced the fighter will release in Europe on June 26 and in the Americas […]

  • Codemasters F1 license good through 2016

    Codemasters has at least one more F1 game in it. F1 2015 isn’t out yet, so Codemasters is naturally not talking about what it might get up to in the future. We do know what it can get up to, though; Codemasters’ Steven Embling told Videogamer has the option to continue the series. “We have […]

  • Project Cars has pretty deep graphics options on consoles

    Project Cars offers players a wide variety of ways to customise their graphic settings on PS4 and Xbox One. Project Cars is a graphics showcase and all early indications suggest it’s going to be one of the best-looking games out there. Slightly Mad’s commitment to graphics seems to go deeper than making things pretty, though: […]

  • Super Smash Bros. patch nerfs Diddy Kong – report

    Super Smash Bros. 3DS and Wii U is great but Diddy Kong is a beast and must be stopped. The latest Super Smash Bros. 3Ds and Wii U patch seems to have nerfed Diddy Kong, a character so over-powered that serious tournament players generate controversy by choosing to use him. Nintendo doesn’t publish patch notes, […]

  • Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel developer shuttered

    Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel developer 2K Australia has been closed down. Kotaku broke the news, and also had word from an anonymous source, who said that all staff have been let go. 2K responded to our request for comment with the following statement: We can confirm we have taken steps to begin the studio closure process […]

  • Samorost 3 trailer shows Amanita still in fine form

    Samorost 3 looks as delicately beautiful as its siblings. Samarost 3 developer Amanita Design has a reputation for gorgeous, slightly surreal world building. This new trailer for its latest adventure looks just as if not more lovely than the previous Samarost games and Botanicula. Samarost 3 is coming to Mac and PC later this year, […]

  • Amnesia dev’s new project SOMA now in beta

    SOMA is nearly here and I am torn between excitement and horrified dread. SOMA is the latest horror project from Frictional, the team behind Amnesia: The Dark Descent. We’re pretty excited to see what Frictional comes up with next, and we won’t have too long to wait, apparently; the developer has announced that SOMA is […]

  • Steam Guard mobile authenticator now in beta testing

    Steam is now testing its latest security measure. Steam helps you protect your account by offering two-factor authentication, a solution so beautifully elegant and effective that it’s astounding every gaming network doesn’t do the same (looking at you, Sony). Valve’s version is called Steam Guard, and it works via email. This isn’t always super convenient, […]

  • Godzilla battles Mothra in new trailer

    Godzilla lets you stomp around cities and battle classic kaiju. I’m in. Godzilla is coming to PlayStation 3 and PS4 in early July, but we haven’t seen a great deal of it since its December reveal. The new trailer below gives you an idea of just what Natsume has done with one of the biggest […]

  • Tales of Zestiria to launch this year – new trailer

    Tales of Zestiria continues Bandai Namco’s delightful new habit of bringing the popular JRPG series to the west before the shine wears off. Tales of Zestiria is coming west in northern autumn, the publisher has announced. That’s not a bad turnaround, given it first hit Japan in January, and localisation of text-heavy titles is expensive […]

  • Project Cars release date locked down, new trailer released

    Project Cars finally has a release date. Project Cars will release on May 8, Bandai Namco UK has announced. We haven’t yet had an update from Namco Bandai’s other regional offices, but its probably safe to bet the racer will release around the same time in the Americas, Europe and ANZ region. We can now […]

  • Attack on Titan: Humanity in Chains trailer shows combat, online multiplayer

    Attack on Titan: Humanity in Chains has plenty to offer fans of the anime. Previously known as Attack on Titan: The Last Wings of Mankind, the Spike Chunsoft action game is coming west thanks to Atlus. Gematsu reports it’s due in both Europe and North America in May, via the 3DS eShop. The trailer below […]

  • Bloodborne stamina recovery rate affected by equip weight

    Bloodborne players have unearthed an important gameplay detail not mentioned in the game’s menus or manual. In Bloodborne, players need to manage their stamina carefully for best results. A far more aggressively-tuned affair than past Souls games, Bloodborne does away with equip weight limits, and items have no listed weight details. As far as players […]

  • Street Fighter’s Ryu, Fire Emblem’s Roy spotted in Super Smash Bros. patch – rumour

    Street Fighter’s Ryu is rumoured for future Super Smash bros DLC following datamining of the latest patch. Super Smash Bros. 3DS and Wii U were updated recently, and hacker shinyquagsire23 claims to have found some interesting files while poking around in the 3DS patch data. As detailed on Reddit, the audio files included a new […]

  • Suikoden 3 PEGI rating suggests PS2 Classic re-release

    Suikoden. Suikoden 2. And now: Suikoden 3. Suikoden 3 has been rated by PEGI for PlayStation 3, presumably ahead of an upcoming re-release. Gematsu turned up the rating, and although we have no further information at this time, it’s not much a leap to assume the RPG will turn up as a PS2 Classic on […]