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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.

Plot[edit | edit source]

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.  At the same time, the Monsaic Lines is bombarded by the surviving Sligs from RuptureFarms, led by a vengeful Molluck who was vilified by the Magog Cartel as having destroyed his own factory and killed his workforce for the insurance money.  Abe and the surviving Mudokons led by Alf run away to safety amidst the flames, made worse by the caches of SoulStorm brew lying around.  As Abe escapes, he comes across a 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.

At Alf's suggestion, Abe departs to a Phat Station to acquire a FeeCo train that can lead them to safety.  Amidst the way, especially within the abandoned mines of the Sorrow Valley, Abe comes across Mudokons who became mysteriously ill, leading Abe to craft an antidote from the ingredients the Mudokons mention, while also coming across another dead Mudokon who carries a letter urging Abe to see a video-cassette tape he was carrying.  Abe continues his journey, even while under pursuit from Molluck's Sligs and blimp, reaching the Phat station and hijacking the train, using it to pick up Alf, the Mudokon survivors and all Mudokons Abe comes along the way.

At the train, Abe confides to Alf his findings, including the wrapped package - which is an amber amulet with a Quarma-based 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 while listening to the tape, which is revealed to be a project showcase for the SoulStorm brew, revealed to be an addictive drink meant to cause dependency in Mudokons (and thus keep the workforce loyal) which also acts as a poison, which can cause lethal side-effects if not imbibed within 48 hours.  Realizing the scope of the danger to his followers, Abe urges Alf to head to Necrum so he can find the Keeper.

Infiltrating the mines, Abe travels deep within until he reaches a large, underground chamber of elder Mudokons, all encased in amber, where he comes across the Keeper, revealed to be an elder, female Mudokon.  The Keeper puts Abe 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 center of the chamber, where the places the stone in a pedestal which starts branding Abe's chest with lightning at the same time he acquires the memories of the elder Mudokons.  Abe is informed by the Keeper he must 'taint the brew' (using the antidote ingredients he acquired earlier), and Abe also uses his Shrykull power to release the Mudokon workers in the Necrum Mines.

As Abe discloses his revelations to Alf, Alf has the idea of raiding the FeeCo Depot to acquire the containers with the antidote ingredients that will allow mass production of the antidote.  Abe performs the raid, identifying and taking the containers, but the train leaves the depot under heavy fire pursuit from the Sligs.

The outcome, from this point, is heavily dependant on the player's overall Quarma (which must amount to at least 80% of all Mudokons rescued in every level up to that point).  If the Quarma isn't satisfactory, Abe attempts accessing the amber amulet only for the creature within to shatter itself in pieces, disheartening Abe.  In the midst of all this, Toby accidentally spills a whole crate of SoulStorm Brew, which are set ablaze by the furnace and burn everyone within, including Alf and Abe.  The train on fire rams into SoulStorm Brewery, demolishing it completely.  Molluck is forced to go into hiding in the Yaymans, while killing his blimp pilot Slig in the process.

If the player's Quarma is high enough, the creature inside the Amulet empowers Abe to use the Shrykull, allowing the train to breach through the Brewery's gates and killing all intercepting Sligs. This allows Abe to infiltrate the facility thus access the final level.  Abe uses the humongous mixing machine to distribute the ingredients and deliver the antidote (posing as the brew) across all factories in Mudos.  At the same time, Morguer and Aslik, the respective Glukkon CEOs from Necrum Mines and FeeCo Depot, confront the Brewmaster on the 'failing' SoulStorm Brew which they believe is causing the Mudokon uprisings, unaware it was all caused by Abe.  When the Brewmaster tries convincing both it was Molluck to blame, believing he is using the three hundred Mudokons slaves from RuptureFarms, which everyone believes to be dead 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 escape to the Yaymans, 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.  The post-credits scenes reveal, via newspaper headlines, the aftermath of either good or bad outcome.

Backstory and setting[edit | edit source]

Soulstorm is set on the fictional planet Oddworld and a continent called Mudos. Mudos is inhabited by various sentient races all living together. The Glukkons run the majority of 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 the RuptureFarms meat grinders, but is then faced with the reality of starting an uprising against the ruthless corporations that keep his race enslaved.

Meanwhile the Glukkons have developed a highly addictive (and highly flammable) drink called Soulstorm Brew, designed to keep the Mudokon slaves docile and dependent on their masters.

Characters[edit | edit source]

  • 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. Now Molluck will have to explain himself to his superiors.
  • Alf - A simple Mudokon scrub who once ran a small Soulstorm Brew bar deep in the depths of RuptureFarms before Abe rescued him.
  • Toby - A new character. He should help Abe during his travel.
  • Brewmaster
  • Vice President Aslik
  • The Keeper
  • Baron Morguer
  • Sligs

Plot summary[edit | edit source]

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Endings[edit | edit source]

See: Quarma

The ending to Abe's story in Soulstorm depends on Abe's Quarma after the ingredients are loaded onto the train. If at least 12 levels have been completed with at least 80% of the Mudokons saved, the journey to Soulstorm Brewery will succeed and the good ending is played after completing the final two levels.

If Abe doesn't have enough Quarma, the final two levels are skipped and the bad ending plays immediately.

Gameplay[edit | edit source]

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.[1]

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.

Gameplay from the 2019 teaser trailer.

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[edit | edit source]

Story[edit | edit source]

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.[2]

New character designs[edit | edit source]

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[edit | edit source]

Necrum Mines, FeeCo Depot and SoulStorm Brewery all return in Soulstorm, but with newer and grander designs. RuptureFarms will also make a brief appearance.[1]

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."[3]

Development[edit | edit source]

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.[4] 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".[5]

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.[6] 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.[7] 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.[8]

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.[9]

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.[10] 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.[11] Pre-purchasing was made available through the Epic Games Store, however, indicating that this might (hopefully) be the final release window.[12]

Development of Soulstorm is estimated to cost around fifteen million dollars, three times the original budget for New 'n' Tasty.[13]

On May 13th, Venturebeat.com hosted an interview with Lorne Lanning, where he claimed Soulstorm is being developed by around thirty people.[14]

Marketing[edit | edit source]

Announcement[edit | edit source]

Soulstorm was officially announced on March 14, 2016 during the GDC 2016, including a teaser page and a press release.[15] 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.

Pre-release promotion[edit | edit source]

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."[16]

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[edit | edit source]

Main article: Soulstorm ARG

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.

Game editions[edit | edit source]

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[edit | edit source]

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.[17] 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.

— Lorne Lanning, Twitter.com

PlayStation exclusivity[edit | edit source]

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.[18]

Reception[edit | edit source]

Notes[edit | edit source]

See also[edit | edit source]

Gallery[edit | edit source]

Pre-release artwork and concept art[edit | edit source]

Pre-release screenshots[edit | edit source]

Videos[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]

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