Oddworld: Stranger's Wrath
|Oddworld: Stranger's Wrath|
Just Add Water (PC/PlayStation 3)
Oddworld: Stranger's Wrath is an action-adventure video game developed by Oddworld Inhabitants and published by Electronic Arts for the Microsoft Xbox. Music for the game was written by composer Michael Bross. It was released on January 25, 2005. A version for the PlayStation 2 was planned, but cancelled.
The game details the adventures of Stranger, a fearsome bounty hunter. Throughout the game, Stranger pursues and captures outlaws in order to collect bounties. The goal is to ultimately earn enough moolah (in-game money) to pay for a mysterious life-saving operation. One of the most notable features is the "live ammunition" system, which is ammunition made of living creatures like fictional insects and small mammals, each with different uses and effects against enemies.
The game is re-released as part of the Oddboxx, a collection which includes all the Oddworld games released. It was scheduled to be released in the first quarter of 2010 on Windows through Steam, but became available 20 December 2010. Development team Just Add Water developed an updated version of the game for release on the PlayStation 3 which was released on the PlayStation Network on December 21, 2011 in Europe and December 27, 2011 in North America.
The premise of Oddworld: Stranger's Wrath is that the bounty hunter Stranger must earn moolah (in-game money) by tracking down outlaws with bounties on their heads and apprehending them, bringing them in dead or alive. The game utilizes both third and first-person perspectives. In third person, the player controls Stranger when travelling long distance, platform jumping, rope climbing and melee combat while first person is like that of first person shooter games where ranged weapons are used. Enemies can be approached head on like a straight up action game or stealthily by hiding in long grass out of enemy sight (as indicated via mini map) and luring foes away from or toward the player. Once enemies are encountered, they can be killed or knocked down/stunned temporarily; in this state they can be captured, thus earning more moolah than if they had been captured dead. Upon an attempted capture, Stranger is unable to perform other actions and thus is vulnerable. The player has two status bars, health and stamina. When damage is taken, the health bar drops; if it fully depletes, it will result in the death of Stranger. Stamina drops when the player performs actions like melee attacks or falls from a great height. While it refills itself over time, it can be used to shake off health-bar damage, thus healing the player, but draining the stamina quicker.
One of the game's main features is Stranger's crossbow that is used in a first person perspective that uses live ammunition in the form of using small fictional versions of real creatures as projectiles for differing effects. Live ammunition can be bought from the game's vendors or found scattered throughout the game world. When acquired, two different kinds of ammo can be assigned to the crossbow at any given time for two kinds of firing attack. There are nine critters in total that can be used as ammo, such as Stunkz for stunning large groups of enemies, Thudslugs that work as cannonballs, Boombats that work as rockets, and Bees that are fired at foes like an automatic rifle.
The game incorporates many role-playing elements in the form of earning moolah with each bounty fulfilled allowing it to be spent on upgrades such as crossbow, ammunition, storage and armour upgrades and other items such as binoculars and knuckle dusters.
The game begins with a bounty hunter, known only as the Stranger, catching various Outlaws and criminals to try to raise money for a mysterious operation. Later on, he hears a story about a town of creatures called Grubbs that is being tormented by a demon. The town used to be protected by a race of creatures called the Steef, but they are extinct.
When Stranger arrives in the town, he discovers that the river near the town has been dried up by a dam, which was built by a person called Sekto. It is revealed that Sekto is responsible for the extinction of the Steef. Sekto is offering a bounty for the Steef, believing that there are still a few around. Sekto believes that the Stranger knows where the Steef are hiding, so he hires an outlaw named D. Caste Raider to capture the Stranger and interrogate him. During the interrogation, Raider discovers that the Stranger is a Steef. After this revelation, the Stranger escapes from Raider’s hideout and makes his way to the Grubb’s town.
When the Stranger meets the Grubb leader, he discovers that Sekto is the demon that stole the water from the Grubbs. The Stranger then confronts Sekto. As they battle, the dam is destroyed, flooding Raider's hideout. As Sekto lies dying, they discover that he is a Steef, possessed by the demon. The Demon is then seen swimming away from town in the river.
Upon release, Stranger's Wrath received much critical acclaim with an average critic score of 87% at GameRankings and 88 out of 100 at Metacritic. It later was nominated for and won numerous awards for multiple media outlets. It was nominated for Outstanding Achievement in Animation at the Academy of Interactive Arts & Sciences' Interactive Achievement Awards, Best Artistic Graphics at GameSpot and Best Cinematics and Best Character (Stranger) at G4, while it was runner-up for Most Innovative Design on Xbox at IGN and won Best Xbox Exclusive Game from Play magazine and was listed in Game Informer's Top 50 Games of 2005 and Stranger included in their Top 10 Heroes of 2005. Game Informer's Andrew Reiner gave Stranger's Wrath a 9/10, calling it "A stunning and exquisitely realized masterpiece that delivers a gaming experience unlike any that we've seen before....and is truly visionary in its delivery of gameplay."
The game was released on December 21, 2011 in Europe and Australia, and on December 27, 2011 in North America on the PlayStation Network, and includes enhanced 720p visuals, more detailed character models, re-mastered dialogue, 37 trophies, bonus material and support for the PlayStation Move peripheral to be patched later along with 3D support.
The PC port of Stranger's Wrath was released on Steam on December 20, 2010 as part of The Oddboxx, a collected anthology of all four Oddworld games. It is a direct port of the original 2005 Xbox game, with added support for Steamworks Achievements. A patch containing the enhanced content was planned to be released 2–3 months after the PlayStation 3 version is released, and was eventually released on September 14, 2012. In November 2011 before the release date was announced, a XMB Dynamic Theme and LittleBigPlanet 2 costume based on Stranger's Wrath was released on the PlayStation Store.
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- Oddworld Inhabitants, Inc., ed. (2005). Oddworld: Stranger's Wrath game manual (Xbox). Electronic Arts. p. 6.
- The game credits credit this steef as "Olden Steef"
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