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ODDWORLD: STRANGER'S WRATH



 
General Description

Oddworld: Stranger’s Wrath HD is a newly polished version of 2005’s first-person shooter, originally developed by Oddworld Inhabitants, remastered by Just Add Water and released on the PlayStation Network in December 2011. The PC release of the game, originally available in 2010, is scheduled for a patch that will include HD’s new content within a few months of the PlayStation Network release. A PS Vita version has also been announced.

 

Players control Stranger, a dark, mysterious figure who traverses a grimy spaghetti-western landscape, populated by creatures that include talking chickens and only get weirder from there. Stranger is a bounty hunter, traveling from town to town and capturing local outlaws in the hopes of saving up enough money for an operation that will save his life.

 

One of the game’s central mechanics is the live ammunition that players collect. Stranger uses a crossbow to fire tiny creatures at his foes, many of which offer effects that might be expected from the guns of more traditional games.

 

The game’s educational strengths are in creativity. The game’s settings and characters are memorable and fantastic, and it offers players plenty of room to experiment, particularly with some of the more eccentric weapons, which allow players to set traps and otherwise manipulate enemies.

 
Grade by Game Type Overall Grade
C- C-
Ratings at a Glance
 
Facts: 1 Title: ODDWORLD: STRANGERS WRATH
Creativity: 5 Publisher: EA Games
Business: 2 Developer: Oddworld Inhabitants & Just Add Water
People: 0 Year: 2011
Problem: 5 Genre: 1st Person Shooter & Action/Adventure
Simulation: 0 Strengths: popularity, creativity, problem
Popularity: 8 Platforms: PC
PlayStation 3
Playstation Vita
XBox
Extra: 0  
Rating Details

Classroom Facts

 

Stranger’s Wrath does not focus on classroom facts. Some basic math is used in conserving ammunition and in purchasing goods.

 

A radar indicates the locations of nearby enemies, and even indicates their range of vision, allowing Stranger to keep just enough distance to avoid being spotted.

 

Creativity & Imagination

 

By the Player:

 

The most notable of Stranger’s Wrath’s mechanics, in this sense, are its weapons. A few types of ammunition in particular allow players to experiment with placing traps and toying with foes. One is a type of angry fuzzy little guy that can be fired onto floors and walls to spring onto passing enemies. Another is a squealing chipmunk that attracts enemies to its location. Still others knock enemies backwards, tie them up, and incapacitate them with nausea.

 

The nice thing about the game is that its level design tends to encourage players to sneak around while never making things impossible for players that get caught. Even in more straightforward combat players will find ways to use the trickier weapons, and there are always standard machine gun hornets, rocket bats and even hand-to-hand combat to fall back on.

 

Branching paths and small secrets tucked away in the game’s world add to the depth that a curious player will dig into.

 

By the Developer:

 

Stranger’s Wrath has a truly unique aesthetic sense, from its distinct, outlandish character design to its crazy twist-filled plot. Many of its mechanics also show a real creative spark, from the live ammunition that looks at you while it sits on your crossbow to the strange combination of third-person action and first-person shooting.

 

The game’s world is also really remarkable. The dusty wild-west setting introduced in the game’s first half is distinctive enough, but the shift in focus - aesthetically and otherwise - in the second half of the game is bold and memorable.

 

Stranger’s Wrath is visually beautiful and it has plenty of great ideas, and it’s not afraid to mix them all up to get new results as the game progresses.

 

Business Skills

 

Players collect money from defeating foes, searching the environment and particularly for bagging the local bounties that act as the game’s bosses. Stranger’s ultimate goal is to save up $20,000 for his life-saving operation, though he has plenty of opportunity to spend it on ammunition, armor upgrades and other oddities throughout his adventure.

 

One of the game’s more interesting mechanics involves capturing enemies alive. Stranger can use a strange vacuum item to gather defeated foes in order to turn them in for extra cash at the bounty store. Using certain weapons will allow him to knock them out instead of killing them, which increases their value. This also applies to the game’s boss battles; knocking out one of these bosses is particularly difficult, but the increase in reward money is substantial.

 

People Skills

 

Stranger’s Wrath is exclusively single-player, and players have little means of interacting with the game’s characters in any meaningful way. If Stranger attacks townspeople, whatever money they were carrying is scattered on the ground. If he does this enough, local citizens will run inside their homes as an alarm sounds, and Stranger will be fired on by local authorities. This has no lasting effect on the game, however, and is more a novelty than anything else.

 

Problem Solving

 

Stranger’s Wrath has solid level design throughout, and because of this it is able to explore most of its mechanics thoroughly. Underneath its impressive art and character design, Stranger’s Wrath is an action game. A few segments of the game focus on platforming or exploration, but these are secondary to combat.

 

Most of the game’s levels are split into defined sections filled with enemies, and as players get their bearings in each they’ll begin to figure out what their viable options are. Some areas are conducive to long range sniping, while others ask for a more direct approach.

 

There is a distinct risk/reward balance in any given battle. Gunfights are always frantic, especially as more enemies become involved, and players have to decide whether to capture enemies alive - which nets more money - or to let them perish. Depending on their intentions they need to use different weapons, and trying to capture unconscious outlaws also leads to the risk of them recovering before they can be scooped up. Bosses in particular are considerably more valuable if captured alive, but their recovering stamina bars make it a much greater challenge.

 

Simulation

 

Stranger’s Wrath is not a simulation game.

 

Popularity

 

Stranger’s Wrath has been praised for its unique platforming and FPS ideas, as well as for its weapons and other quirky mechanics. This new remake has also been praised simply for making the game more accessible to audiences that don’t have access to an original Xbox, which until now has been the only way to play the game.

 

Controls & Options

 

Stranger’s Wrath offers three difficulty levels, as well as standard audio, visual and control options. A collection of artwork and some particularly interesting concept videos are unlocked as the player makes progress in the game.

 

Tips

 

Oddworld: Stranger’s Wrath HD was rated Teen by the ESRB with descriptors for Blood and Gore, Strong Language and Violence.