GAME NAME: Abyss Odyssey
DEVELOPER(S): ACE Team
PLATFORM(S): PC(reviewed), PS3, Xbox 360
RELEASE DATE(S): July 15, 2014
I was excited to see Abyss Odyssey fall into my review queue. The trailer looked great and I had no prior knowledge of the game before that. I was extremely surprised. ACE Team created something yet again unique. They originally released Zeno Clash, Rock of Ages and now Abyss Odyssey. Being an old school NES/SNES gamer I have to say I had some nostalgic flashbacks. Abyss Odyssey is a game structured pretty different, it’s a combination of generated levels, 2D platforming, detailed combat, online co-op and community driven progression of the game. Normally you wouldn’t see a developer blend all these facets well but ACE Team rocks it out and created a game that meshes all these features seamlessly.
The story starts you in 1890 Santiago, Chile. Cracks start forming in the ground all over the city revealing a hidden nether world realm of the sorts we haven’t seen before. This realm contains creatures, monsters and all sorts of beings from unknown origins. The Chilean army is trying to hold the line against these nightmarish creatures and out of nowhere this sexy and strange woman appears brandishing a sword and jumping into the battle. Her name is Katrien and she reveals to the soldiers that the Abyss that was created and these creatures are the product of a very powerful warlock who is stuck in a dream state below the city and his dreams are manifested into reality. That is all I’m going to say about the story, let’s just say I found it very captivating.
Abyss Odyssey has a blend of RPG and fighting mechanics within it. This title feels a lot like a blend of Castlevania and Super Metroid which is amazing. Each level is randomly generated and you navigate down through the Abyss and then left or right through the levels. The RPG elements are pretty nice as well. You’ll level-up, acquire skill points and collect equipment that you can keep upgrading. In regards to controls you can jump, strike attack, block, parry and dodge. You will also be able to unlock a set of special skills and assign them to specific buttons. Don’t think this will be a breeze though, like its platform predecessors Abyss Odyssey will kick your ass on easy so its definitely a fun game that takes a bit of thinking. I loved that about this title, its not just a mindless hack and slash platformer. One of the coolest mechanics is the community driven goal. As players defeat bosses they will be contributing the final goal of destroying a piece of the Warlocks mask. The intention is to get all players involved and keep the game going, so there is some meta game involved which is quite different from normal games. Every time a mask is destroyed new things happen within the game.
In terms of graphics, the game is very beautiful.There’s a mix of 2d illustration and 3d graphics all based on Chilean lore and mythology. It’s fun to see the different horrifying creatures and descend further into the Abyss to see what madness awaits. The music and sound is always very good and matches the tone of the game and immerses you in the story and levels. In terms of navigating, the map is pretty straight forward you go left and right and go down to progress. Abyss Odyssey is built with persistence and replayability in mind so there is no “perma-death” in the game. Every time you die you will come back as a solider and will have the opportunity to revive your hero when you find an alter. You’ll be able to carry over your characters through multiple playthrough. Each level does change though and is randomly generated so the experience is always unique.
Abyss Odyssey also supports online co-op play, which is drop-in and drop-out on all platforms. Unfortunately there is no cross-platform compatibility but the fact that all versions have this is excellent. The PC version even has an extra PVP mode which is very fun.
If you are a fan of adventure platforming titles and love old school Castlevania & Metroid, then I would definitely recommend Abyss Odyssey. The game has a lot of depth (No pun intended), lots of characters and lots of items to unlock. For $14.99 it’s hard to find a title that’s developed so tightly with such high replay value.