Saturday, September 4, 2010

Oddworld: Stranger's Wrath PS3-Bound In 2011 Via PSN

In more fantastic gaming news, one of the best (and supremely under-appreciated at retail) original Xbox games is headed to the PlayStation 3 next year, courtesy of UK developer JAW (Just Add Water), creators of the excellent PSN/PSP "retro" arcade shooter, Gravity Crash. The unique "western" themed Oddworld: Stranger's Wrath was a single player focused first-person shooter/action game (with the ability to switch to third-person on the fly), excellent enemy AI, a capture or kill bounty system and an innovative "live ammo" aspect (among other amazingly well-designed features ahead of their time). And the story was great, also (in case you hadn't guessed). Despite excellent reviews, the game didn't perform that well at retail and soon afterward the Oddworld series dropped off the map until recently.

According to the press release below, the dev team is working closely with Oddworld founders Lorne Lanning and Sherry McKenna to insure the game is more than a mere port with glossier current-generation visuals. Between this, Duke Nukem, Valve's making my head spin off and Bad Box Art Mega Man (Hell, i haven't even gotten to Snowblind Studios' new Lord of the Rings game yet!), I'm feeling around 20 years younger.

My only gripe with the project: it's a download ONLY release, grrrrr....

A great game such as Stranger's Wrath deserves a boxed version with a "re-making of" feature on the game disc, a full-color art book and maybe even a soundtrack CD. Ah well... I still can't wait to play this one all over again as it was (and is) an amazing game experience.

Man, it's going to be a great year for games...

OTLEY, WEST YORKSHIRE, UK – 3rd September, 2010 – Just Add Water (JAW) is thrilled to announce the return of the critically-acclaimed Oddworld series – with an enhanced remake of the award-winning Oddworld: Stranger’s Wrath coming to PlayStation®3 next Easter.
Originally released in 2005, first- and third-person action-adventure Stranger’s Wrath marks the multi-million-selling series’ first appearance on a PlayStation® console since 1998’s Oddworld: Abe’s Exoddus. The game will be made available as a digital download via PlayStation® Network.

Stewart Gilray, Managing Director of JAW, said:

“Since word got out that we’ve been working with Oddworld Inhabitants there have been many rumours circulating about what we’re working on. Oddworld: Stranger’s Wrath is the first project in what we believe will be a long and fruitful relationship. Having the chance to update this great title and release it on PS3 is just a brilliant opportunity, not least for us, but for the fans too."

JAW has worked closely with Oddworld founders Lorne Lanning and Sherry McKenna to ensure the remake is faithful to the original moolah-chasing epic, while offering a raft of enhancements, including: stunning 720p visuals; much more detail in the characters; normal mapping and self-shadowing; re-mastered dialogue, support for PlayStation®Move; and additional bonus material still to be revealed.

In Oddworld: Stranger’s Wrath, players step into the role of the Stranger, a rough and tumble bounty hunter who tracks down outlaws for moolah. Using a special weapons system that gives a whole new meaning to “live” ammo, players encounter deviant species and hostile challenges along the way.

The 2005 original has a Metacritic rating of 88, was nominated for Outstanding Achievement in Animation at the Academy of Interactive Arts & Sciences’ Interactive Achievement Awards, and received numerous awards from the gaming press.

[ABOUT JAW] Boasting over 100 years’ combined development experience, from handheld projects all the way to multi-format AAA titles, the JAW team’s portfolio includes releases such as: Pinball Fantasies, Spec Ops, PowerMonger, Synnergist and Soldier of Fortune. The studio’s most recent release was the well-received PSN retro-shooter Gravity Crash.

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