Oddworld Stranger’s Wrath was a Action Adventure game with a few FPS elements thrown into the mix. It is kind of hard to classify this great game into a category. It was originally released for the original Xbox console and was later ported to the PC through Steam. Now it is has been remastered in HD thanks to the hard workers at Just Add Water. It is available on PS3 through PSN and Steam. This is the first time the game has been on the PS3 and I am glad it is.
While this is a remaster little has changed gameplay wise. The game was and still is damn near perfect in every way. Now with the new look it is an even better experience. You play the role of The Stranger a bounty hunter with a mysterious disease that spells out death if he does not get the surgery for it. Sadly, the surgery is quite expensive and Stranger will have to bag a butt-load of outlaws to get enough “moolah”. This is the motivation for you play progress in the game. You end up wanting to find out what is going on with the Stranger and you want to know what is happening with the different outlaws.
As previously mentioned, this is a action adventure game with FPS elements. The action and platforming elements are mainly done in 3rd person. While most of the combat involves being in first person using the Stranger’s unique weapon of choice, a wrist mounted crossbow that fires live ammunition. Utilizing both ways to view the world and interact with it is essential. Stranger’s Wrath is unique because it is able to mix two very different genres and make it work with minimal to no issues.
Stranger can use live ammo with his wrist mounted crossbow. The catch is that there are different types of ammo for every situation. There are two ways to capture outlaws, live or dead. Capturing lives nets you more money, but can be more difficult when outnumbered. Dead is easier to capture but nets a small amount of money compared to live. Ammo ranges from incapacitating enemies to killing explosions. Some, like the chippunk, distract enemies luring them into a trap set by you. Picking off enemies one by one is usually the safer option when taking a stealth route. Spiders tie up outlaws while Wasps are rapid firing homing “bullets”.
You must accept quests to capture outlaws in towns. These towns also have shops to purchase ammo and upgrades. Capturing bosses live nets a large amount of money compared to dead. However, capturing bosses live is quite a feat considering every one has a weakness and strength. You must rely on quick thinking and the ability to adapt to a changing situation to be successful. Some bosses a kind of multi-tasking of incapacitating the boss to activate an elevator and get to the bosses before they obstruct your path. This all sounds fine and dandy, but there is more strategy to this concept of live ammo. You must also hunt down your own ammo. While there is usually an abundance of creatures around, in some situations you need to conserve. Boombats in most areas are not very common, and they are the best animals to use on bosses so you can capture alive. Fuzzlies are high in availability but in some areas they are scarce. Every area is different.
The large selection of ammo makes every encounter different. The upgrades you purchase significantly help with boss fights with increased armor or ammo capacity. While there are no health packs, Stranger can regain his health back. To increase his “badass” appeal he simply “shakes off” the damage. This cannot be used forever. There is a stamina bar. Some animals also require stamina to fire. So managing your health adds to the strategic gameplay.
The gritty pseudo western appeal works so well. The environment adds a lot to the feeling of being an outcast. You blend into your environment and you are a bounty hunter. Stranger’s Wrath is one of the most unique games I have ever played. I am happy to experience the game on the PS3’s hardware in HD, the added trophies are a nice touch as well.