|This page is about the game by Oddworld Inhabitants. For the beverage, see SoulStorm Brew.|
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Oddworld: Soulstorm is a modern re-imagining of the 1998 title Oddworld: Abe's Exoddus, built on a new engine and with an expanded story. Soulstorm is the second game in the new quintology and serves as a direct sequel to Oddworld: New 'n' Tasty. The game was released on April 6th, 2021 on PlayStation 5, PlayStation 4, and the Epic Game Store.
- 1 Plot
- 2 Gameplay
- 3 Differences compared to Abe's Exoddus
- 4 Development
- 5 Marketing
- 6 Notes
- 7 See also
- 8 Gallery
- 9 Videos
- 10 References
Warning: The following section contains spoilers.
Backstory and setting
Soulstorm is set on the fictional planet Oddworld and a continent called Mudos. Mudos is inhabited by various sapient races and plenty of merely sentient ones. The Glukkons run the continent's industry and use the Mudokons as expendable slave labor. Soulstorm picks up directly after the events of New 'n' Tasty. Abe has just saved 300 fellow Mudokons from a conspiracy to use his species own meat to save Rupture Farms' dwindling profits. While he and his followers expected to live out their lives in peaceful freedom, his status as the leader of the first successful uprising has triggered a series of events intended to free his whole species from the chemically bound shackles they are chained to.
- Abe - Once a lowly floor waxer at RuptureFarms, he witnessed his boss' plan to turn the Mudokon species into the next tasty treat. During his escape he learns he is destined to be the leader of his people and spark an uprising.
- Molluck - The former CEO of RuptureFarms, before Abe managed to liberate all the slaves and destroy the factory. Molluck is now on the run, trying to capture Abe before he causes anymore disasters that Molluck's investors will attach his name to.
- Alf - A simple Mudokon scrub who once ran a small Soulstorm Brew bar deep in the depths of RuptureFarms before Abe rescued him. His knowledge of the Brew is of vital significance throughout the story,
- Toby - A fellow escapee from Rupture Farms who gained knowledge of train management through a stolen instruction manual. His skills help Abe and his followers wreak havoc across the continent.
- Brewmaster -The Glukkon in charge of SoulStorm Brewery 401 and it's coveted inventor. He is the most esteemed industrialist in Mudos, and is heavily defensive of his position.
- CEO Ludwig von Aslik -The Glukkon in charge of FeeCo Depot, a massive train station, shipping and distribution hub, presumably the only one in Mudos. Known to take naps after Lunch.
- The Keeper - An elderly female Mudokon that archives the true history of Mudokons, deep within the Necrum catacombs.
- Baron Morguer - The CEO and Bonesman of Necrum Mines. He is sceptical of the Brew, and is quick to question its reliability.
- Sligs - The Magog Cartel's henchmen. Relatively stupid but keep grudges.
The game starts in the deserts not too far outside the Free-Fire Zone. A lone Mudokon escapee from Necrum Mines runs, searching for where the escapee of Rupture Farms hid. He is wounded from a bullet, and hunted relentlessly from Flying Sligs. In his hand is a package containing a bright orange light. The light gives him hope, and runs to the smouldering ruins of Rupture Farms, unaware that the forces of Baron Morguer are closer than he thinks.
While the freed Mudokons from RuptureFarms celebrate their release, Abe consults with a shaman who urges him to cut away his lip-stitches to "find his voice", but Abe refuses to do so as he recalls the stitches are the last memory of his mother, Sam. Unfortunately, the escapee from Necrum Mines has unwittingly led a force of Sligs right to the sacred caves, and the panic (along with the spilt bottles of Brew), set the Monsaic Sanctum alight. Abe and the surviving Mudokons, led by Alf, run away to safety amidst the flames. As Abe escapes, he comes across the Mudokon escapee slowly dying from a gunshot wound, who urges Abe to save all of them while giving him a wrapped package, telling him to find someone named "the Keeper" before passing away.
Molluck, in his blimp, looms overhead, surprised at what he assumes to be the Mudokons burning down their own hideout. Desperate to prove his innocence against the allegations of arson fraud, Molluck hunts Abe through the Gorge, separating Abe from the rest of the Mudokons. Although Abe is able to ensure the safety of his fellow escapees, he cannot follow. Alf informs Abe that the mineshaft that the rest of the Mudokons were escaping too would lead to the Old Trellis. However, the surface route would be too long and dangerous, so Abe must take a path through Sorrow Valley to a Phatoline Station, where he can stowaway on a train to the Old Trellis.
As Abe escapee Molluck's ambush and makes it to the safety of Sorrow Valley, he finds a large number of escapees from other factories, who were all near death due to a mysterious illness. Abe discovered that the ones who lived had done so due to chewing on certain flora and, combined with some "by-products" from some fauna, created an antidote for the illness. Using the help of the Mudokon he cured, he made it further into the abandoned mining facility, where he found that Molluck had set another trap. He also found a dead Mudokon, with a note telling the reader that he had a tape that must be taken to Abe. Abe pockets the tape and makes his way past the ambush to a Phat Station, where a train had stopped for fuelling. Abe makes it through the facility and manages to board the train. As Abe hijacks the train, Molluck is left to wonder if his name will ever be cleared as his dreams are left in ruin. Abe manages to stop the train at the Old Trellis, load his fellow Mudokons on it, and escape.
At the train, Abe confides to Alf and Toby his findings, including the wrapped package - which is an amber amulet with a Quarma-based insectoid creature - and the tape, which Alf tells Abe he can listen to at a communications tower at the Slig Barracks, which also is the train's next stop. Infiltrating the communications tower, Abe cuts off all communications along the train line with the other destinations. Abe watches the tape, which is revealed to be the Brewmaster's project showcase for the SoulStorm brew. The Brewmaster explains that the Brew is inteded to keep Mudokons loyal through addiction, as well as improving their physical. The most sinister aspect. however is the "sickness" that Mudokons who have drunken the Brew suffer from not drinking, to the point where 48 hours without the Brew will kill any aspiring escapee. Realizing the scope of the danger to his followers, Abe urges Alf to head to Necrum so he can find the Keeper.
At this moment Morguer was in his office. Recently, a not insignificant number of Mudokons had escaped, and he wanted to tell the Brewmaster about the failure of his Brew to keep the Mudokons addicted and reliant. He was watching anew broadcast about the the fire that destroyed Rupture Farms, a news program that indited Molluck as an arsonist. Interrupting the program, a phone calling Slig informed him that all across the train line, the default forms of communication had failed (while the Slig is suspicious about the failure, he was unaware that Abe had caused it). The Slig also informed Morguer about the "conspiracy theory" that instead of Molluck, a "supernatural slave" had instead burnt the site down. Morguer wonders whether it was truly insurance fraud, or whether his escapees and Molluck's Farms disaster were two symptoms of a failing Brew.
Infiltrating the mines, Abe travels deep within until he reaches a large, underground chamber of elder Mudokons, all encased in hexagonal amber, where he comes across the Keeper, revealed to be an elder, female Mudokon. The Keeper kicks Abe in to a trial, recovering a gemstone called the "Stone of the Fragon's Eye" within a Sleech-infested catacomb. When Abe succeeds, the Keeper directs him to the centre of the chamber, where he places the stone in a pedestal. The altar starts branding Abe's chest with lightning, which gifts (or curses) him with the true history of Mudokons, with every battle, atrocity and wound included. Abe is informed by the Keeper he must 'taint the brew' and carries him far out of the Sanctum. When Abe wakes up, he finds that after his infiltration, the rest of the workers have been killed or placed into a prison. Using the Shrykull, Abe is able to break out the entire workforce and escape with them on the hijacked train.
Abe discusses his revelations with Alf, specifically wondering about the meaning of 'taint the brew'. The Amulet shines a light on the map, and points to the ingredients of the antidote, which Abe had written down earlier. The Amulet then draws a line between the ingredients and Soulstorm Brewery. Alf realises that since the Brewery pumps the Brew out via pipelines, if they mix the antidote ingredients into the Brewery's mixer, then the antidote will automatically be delivered to every Mudokon on Mudos. Abe points out that they would need industrial sized containers full of the ingredients to make enough antidote for the whole continent. Toby suggests that they could look for the ingredients in the Feeco shipping yards. Alf reasons that since all the antidote ingredients are used in other Magog Cartel products, they could raid Feeco Depot to get enough.
Around this time, Aslik was having his 'post-lunch nap', when a Slig called to inform him of the rumors of the train hijacking a uprisings. Aslik dismissed these claims, and goes back to sleep, completely unaware of the train that had just come in unscheduled. At the sam time, the Brewmaster was looking over some strange runes, when his security chief calls in to inform the Brewmaster of the same thing. The Brewmaster similarly brushes it off, telling the security chief to suppress the rumors, wondering to himself how the Brew could have failed. He comes to the conclusion that Molluck had started the rumors to further convince the world of the 'fake uprising'. Abe enters Feeco to switch the trains tracks to the shipping yards and to inform the slaves working there of the plan. Once Abe gets into the Yards, he finds that the slaves have managed to get the ingredients onto a shipping crane, but were all captured before they could load it onto the train. Abe rescues his fellow slaves, delivers the ingredients, and then escapes on the train.
Once Abe is on the train, he locks himself in his compartment, much to Alf's confusion. Alf notes that the only way to keep enough speed to make it to the Brewery is to use the Brew as fuel, further shortening their timescale to save their whole people. Abe, panicked, consults the Amulet, as Molluck's elite Flying Sligs finally catch up to the train.
If Abe's Quarma is high enough, the creature inside the Amulet absorbs the positive Quarma and gifts Abe an high power Shrykull, which prevents the Soulstorm Brewery security from preventing the train's entry. Abe makes his way in to open up the internal gates to get the train further inside, only to find that the Glukkons had been torturing Mudokons via Tear X-Tractors to claim their tears an a Brew ingredient.
Molluck had been watching from afar, frustrated by his failure to stop Abe reaching the Brewery. He notices that his blimp is not the only one, as both Morguer and Aslik had come to pay the Brewmaster a visit. Molluck moves the Blimp on top of the Brewery and 'convinces' his head Slig to drop in and spy on the three other Glukkons, much to the head Slig's dismay. At the same time, Abe found his self at the Eye of the Storm, the central Brew processing unit. After overiding the ingredient 'taster', Abe descends to override each individual pump. Along the way he faces a strange 'Eye', which shoots heat beams at him, which Abe using to destroy the Chant Supressors and activate the circuit braker. Abe makes it to the core of the mixer, and activates all three of the the control eyes, and creates enough Brew to cure the whole continent.
At the same time, Morguer and Aslik, confront the Brewmaster on the 'failing' SoulStorm Brew which they believe is causing the Mudokon uprisings, unaware it was all caused by Abe. The Brewmaster convinces both it was Molluck to blame, believing he is using the three hundred Mudokons slaves from RuptureFarms as an army. Molluck overhears this and uses his pilot Slig to bribe both Aslik and Morguer's Sligs (disgruntled for being denied overtime and bonuses) to his command. The bribed Sligs promptly deal with the Glukkon-trio after which Molluck and his newly acquired Sligs successfully escape to the Yaymans as the death of the 3 Glukkon CEOs caused the heat on him to lift temporarily, while Abe and his Followers leave the Brewery behind.
Hours later, Abe, Alf and the follower Mudokons gather for a rest at night as Abe confides more of his findings from meeting the Keeper, above all the revelation that Sam, Abe's mother, is in fact the mother of all Mudokons from RuptureFarms. Determined to know why she left all of them under the clutches of the Glukkons, as well as the reason why she stitched Abe's lips, Abe is determined to travel to the Glukkon capital of Nolybab to find her. At the same time, the amulet starts glowing again.
If Abe's Quarma is negative after loading the ingredients at FeeCo Depot, he attempts accessing the amber amulet only for the creature within to become corrupted by the negative Quarma it absorbed and shatter itself in pieces, disheartening him. In the midst of all this, Abe accidentally spills a whole crate of SoulStorm Brew in the locomotive's cab. A stray spark sets the spilled Brew alight, burning Abe, Alf and Toby to death. The train, now out of control and set ablaze, rams into SoulStorm Brewery, causing a chain reaction that leads to a massive explosion. The explosion destroys the Brewery, kills everyone inside, including the Brewmaster, Morguer and Aslik, but also sets the Soulstorm Brew pipelines ablaze, thereby spreading the destruction to all connected facilities. Furthermore, without the brewery, there are no more Soulstorm Brew to keep the surviving Mudokon workers alive, killing them in the long run. Molluck is forced to go into hiding in the Yaymans as he states that there is nothing left for him here beside firing squads sent by the Magog Cartel to execute him as the Cartel will certaintly blame him again for the destruction of the brewery, however, his Slig pilot made the fatal mistake of making a quib on how Molluck will never get the luxury air yacht he wanted, causing Molluck to snap and throw the pilot overboard.
During EGX 2017 a very early mockup of the game's UI was shown to the public. Crafting and managing followers will be some of the main gameplay mechanics in Soulstorm. Abe will be able to pick up objects he finds and craft them into useful items. Bottles of flammable Soulstorm Brew combined with a lighter may be turned into an improvised Molotov cocktail, for example. Follower management can take on extreme forms, up to "all 300 followers on screen at once" according to Lorne Lanning.
On May 13th a new gameplay teaser was released, showcasing more of Soulstorm's gameplay. The game is - what Lorne Lanning refers to as - "2.9D", which means that while the game is still a sidescroller, each area will have multiple "layers" that the player can see in the background and these can all be interacted with. Paths might curve towards the Z axis and also hazards might come from this direction as seen with the Comet Depot trains.
Mudokons are shown to be far more agile, capable of jumping, hoisting themselves and even using items Abe gives them. The articles released about Soulstorm also mention that Abe and his followers will be able to hide in lockers, which replace the smoke vents and shadows. Abe himself has received a few new moves and is now capable of double-jumping.
Sligs are now capable of shooting in all direction and their weapons aren't hit-scan anymore, which means a skilled (or lucky) player will be able to dodge bullets. They also have the ability to switch weapons to a taser, which can knock out other Sligs without killing them.
Chanting and possession have also received major changes. The more followers Abe has, the more "spiritual power" also known as Chi he'll amass. This can be then used to fuel Chant-orbs, that can be freely flown around the map. If the chant is strong enough, the Orb will become controllable again after the creature Abe was controlling dies. Also, the player can now choose whether they'll simply knock out their enemy or violently gib them.
Abe now has a backpack to store items in. He can obtain items by pick-pocketing sligs, raiding lockers or searching bins. He can give these items to his fellow mudokons, throw them, or make things with them, such as bottles that bounce more times or slingshots. Abe can also steal money which he can use to purchase items off vendos.
Differences compared to Abe's Exoddus
While many core story elements from Abe's Exoddus return in Soulstorm the story was radically expanded. In Soulstorm's announcement press release Lorne Lanning explains that the story in Soulstorm, while inspired by Abe's Exoddus, would not be a one on one copy like New 'n' Tasty was. "There was a deeper, darker, and more sinister story that we never got to tell," explains series creator, Lorne Lanning. "Soulstorm gives us the opportunity to flesh out more meat on the bones of an original spine, but re-tell the fable from a very different angle." In an interview with GI Show Lorne explaines that Oddworld: Abe's Exoddus at the time had to be produced in only nine months. This resulted in little to no time to revise the script in any meaningful way. Soulstorm aims to tell the story as it was originally meant to be.
New character designs
Every character and species in the Oddworld universe received a complete makeover. Mudokons have been redesigned to have smaller forehead, and significant mudokons are no longer clones off the generic design. Glukkons have more unique appearances as well, their eyes no longer glow (with the exception of Molluck's non-scarred eye) and their skin tones are now a very distinct grey.
New location designs
When asked about new locations Lorne Lanning said the following:
"We start off in a hideout, with some more native environments. You escape that towering inferno. Then we go into old, abandoned towns that are a little more like Stranger, these old mill towns and mining towns. We have ancient ruins, pretty spooky-looking areas. We wind up at gas stations for trains, big fuel depots. Then we go to a Slig Barracks and Necrum Mines, a mining factory that’s built on top of a graveyard, basically. They’re mining the bones. That’s the other secret ingredient in the Brew."
A possible remake of Abe's Exoddus was first mentioned in an interview with Lorne Lanning on July 8th, 2014, where he discussed the then upcoming release of Oddworld: New 'n' Tasty. On April 13th, 2015 Lorne Lanning was a guest on the Kinda Funny Games podcast and officially announced the Abe's Exoddus HD project to be in the planning stages. Lorne Lanning mentioned in the same interview that a lot of fans liked the name "Oddworld: Twice Ze Flavor".
Other than Oddworld Inhabitants' main office in San Francisco, external contractors from New York City, San Diego, Vancouver, Quebec, the UK and Australia are also working on Soulstorm. Among these are England based Fat Kraken Studios and Canada based Frima Studio.
By the end of 2015 Just Add Water announced that they would no longer be working with Oddworld Inhabitants on full-scale projects. According to Lorne Lanning the distance between the two studios (OWI in the United States and JAW in the United Kingdom) would occasionally hinder the development process. A small number of team members who originally worked on New 'n' Tasty founded Fat Kraken Studios in November 2016. They have confirmed to be working on Soulstorm.
On September 7, 2016, Oddworld Inhabitants announced that it was in possession of development hardware for the PlayStation 4 Pro, which was announced by Sony on the same day. The more powerful hardware compliments the design goals for Soulstorm by allowing higher visual fidelity, lighting and physically based rendering.
The release date for Soulstorm was pushed back several times during development. The original release date for the game was aimed for Q4 2017, but was then pushed back to "early 2018" in april of 2017. After this target came and went, the official Soulstorm page on Oddworld.com was updated with 2019 for the release. During the Unity GDC in March 2019 Oddworld Inhabitants showed off one of Soulstorm's cutscenes, the end text of which announced the game to be "Coming in 2020." The Covid-19 pandemic of 2020 caused yet more significant delays in the production of Soulstorm, and with many of Oddworld Inhabitants' production team working from home, the release window was changed to spring 2021 during The Game Awards 2020. Pre-purchasing was made available through the Epic Games Store, however, indicating that this might (hopefully) be the final release window.
Development of Soulstorm is estimated to cost around fifteen million dollars, three times the original budget for New 'n' Tasty.
On May 13th, Venturebeat.com hosted an interview with Lorne Lanning, where he claimed Soulstorm is being developed by around thirty people.
Soulstorm was officially announced on March 14, 2016 during the GDC 2016, including a teaser page and a press release. Oddworld Inhabitants reopened their own studio for the development of Soulstorm, aiming to develop most of the game in-house in conjunction with Canada based Frima Studio. The latter has an in-house animation and VFX department and is believed to be responsible for the game's cutscenes and high-res character modeling.
Oddworld Inhabitants was present on the Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3) 2017 in Los Angeles to privately show Soulstorm to a select group of people. Oddworld Forums member Xavier was among the invitees and, while not able to share much of what he saw due to a non disclosure agreement, described Soulstorm as "more fluid, more alive and more dynamic than any other Oddworld game."
At EGX 2017 Lorne Lanning gave a 45 minute presentation, sharing some of the history of Oddworld as a franchise and the future vision. Several pieces of concept art were shown, as well as an early mock up of the game's UI. No gameplay was shown on account of physical publishing deals that were still ongoing.
Alternate reality game
Almost directly after the announcement of Soulstorm, Oddworld Inhabitants started an ARG that required the fan community to find clues and solve puzzles in return for small pieces of Soulstorm's backstory. During the presentation at EGX Lorne Lanning showed the summary of the community's efforts in the form of a short teaser trailer, depicting the trial and testing process of Soulstorm Brew on Mudokon slaves.
For the PlayStation 4 and PlayStation 5, a 'Collector's Oddition' and a 'Day One Oddition' were announced. The Collector's Oddition comes with an Abe figurine, art book, key chain, sticker sheet, art prints and a metal case. The Day One Oddition comes with only the metal case.
Epic Games Store exclusivity
Short clips from Soulstorm were featured during a promotional video for the Epic Game Store during Gamescon 2019, indicating that the game would be available on the platform upon release. Shortly after this Lorne Lanning made a statement on social media, explaining the decision to work with Epic and confirming that Soulstorm will be exclusive to the Epic Game Store on PC. Soulstorm became available for pre-purchase through the Epic Games Store on December 11th, 2020.
I would like to address the entire Oddworld community (old and new). You have supported us and our artistic vision for years and we thank you.
Oddworld: Soulstorm will be coming to PC via the Epic Games store. The PC and console versions of the game will have a simultaneous release in 2020.
What I would like to do is provide you with the reasoning that went into bringing the PC version of Soulstorm to the Epic Games store as an exclusive because you deserve to know.
We've been financing Soulstorm 100% ourselves. Soulstorm is our most ambitious game ever and we are committed to creating a great game that meets the highest level of quality. But to create the version of Soulstorm we want, and you deserve, we needed additional financial assistance.
Ambition is important, and it pushes me to try to overachieve. What pushes me even more is my commitment to you: you deserve great games.
As an indie publisher we must evaluate partnerships that will help us achieve our goals while protecting our vision for Soulstorm and the quintology. Epic supports our goal and commitment and is willing to help us achieve them by providing us with an advance on our PC sales, and we are incredibly grateful.
Thank you for reading.
On June 11, 2020 at Playstation's 'the Future of Gaming' show, it was announced that Soulstorm would be released on PlayStation 5 and PlayStation 4 simultaneously, together with the EGS release. Soulstorm is to remain exclusive to Sony's consoles for an unknown period.
Oddworld: Soulstorm was met with critical reviews, with consumer and professional reviews criticizing the overwhelming amount of (sometimes game breaking) bugs in the game upon release. While most reviewers praised the beautiful cutscenes and the narrative aspects of the game, the technical state of the game could not be ignored and resulted in 'average' ratings across the board. IGN called Soulstorm "...a unique, delightfully bizarre, and utterly rewarding experience with a fantastic story and a lot of heart [but] also has far too many bugs that force restarts to circumvent...", giving the game a 7/10. Game Informer gave Soulstorm a 5/10, saying that "Soulstorm retains the series' signature charm, but it's not enough to forgive its tedious and dated design as well its litany of swear-inducing technical issues." Users on Metacritic give the game a 6/10 on average, often quoting bugs, bad sound design and departure from the classic Oddworld formula as reasons for the low score.
- Soulstorm was the original working title for Oddworld: Abe's Oddysee and was later used to name the Glukkon-made beverage in Oddworld: Abe's Exoddus.
Pre-release artwork and concept art
- Brewing Oddworld: Soulstorm with Lorne Lanning from EGX 2017
- GI Show – Final Fantasy XV Impressions, Ratchet & Clank, Oddworld's Lorne Lanning
- Metro.co.uk - 'If New ‘N’ Tasty does 250,000 units we should be able to initiate Exoddus in the same way.'
- A Storm is Brewing - Abe's Exoddus Remake Planned
- Lorne Lanning Q&A Feb. 2019 - "We work with contractors around the world. Only a few of us in the San Francisco bay area. Others in... San Diego, Vancouver, LA, England, Scotland, Ireland, Australia, New York City, Quebec."
- JAWLtd.com - That was 2015, here comes 2016!
- Fat Kraken Studios is working on Oddworld: Soulstorm!
- Oddworld and PS4 Pro
- TheGameOverGreggy Show Episode 177
- The Game Awards 2020 Trailer
- Oddworld: Soulstorm on the Epic Games Store
- Lorne Lanning Q&A Feb. 2019 - "This game is costing at least 3x what New 'n' Tasty did."
- "When it comes to individuals, right now it’s about 30 on the project." - https://venturebeat.com/2019/05/13/how-lorne-lanning-re-imagined-abes-exoddus-as-oddworld-soulstorm/
- Oddworld: Soulstorm
- OddworldForums.net - Oddworld: Soulstorm behind closed doors
- @OddworldInc on Twitter.com - "A message from Lorne:"
- Oddworld: Soulstorm Review at IGN.com
- Oddworld: Soulstorm Review - A Bad Batch of Brew
- Oddworld: Soulstorm on Metacritic.com