(click linked text below to jump to related section of the review)
- The Game Itself
- 3.5 Stars
- The Video: Sizing Up the Picture
- 3 Stars
- The Audio: Rating the Sound
- 3 Stars
- Replay Factor
- 5 Stars
- Bonus Content
- 4 Stars
- Bottom Line
Abyss Odyssey: Extended Dream Edition
- Street Date:
- July 28th, 2015
- Reviewed by:
- Elizabeth Henges
- Review Date:1
- August 6th, 2015
- Game Release Year:
- ACE Team
Digital PS4 version provided reviewed.
About one year ago, ACE Team's 'Abyss Odyssey' released on the PS3, 360, and PC. The interesting rouge-like was met with mixed reviews, some loving the game's premise and battle system, while others disliked the difficulty and sometimes sluggish controls.
However, the mid-tier game has another chance to shine with 'Abyss Odyssey: Extended Dream Edition' on the PlayStation 4, which brings the title to 1080p and introduces a few tweaks, revamped combat, and both local and online duel multiplayer. Does this title justify delving into your wallet?
The Game Itself: Our Reviewer's Take
In the world of 'Abyss Odyssey', there is a warlock that sleeps deep within the ground. It's never quite stated if the warlock is evil, but it doesn't matter; he is so powerful that his dreams come to life in the form of nightmares that terrorize the living. Katrien, another figment of the Warlock's dream, seems to have the ability to put an end to the Warlock's night terrors, and she delves into the Abyss, hoping to reach the bottom before the monsters destroy her.
Beyond that, no plot is explicitly given outright, and players must search out journal pages to learn more. While exploring the ever changing Abyss, players can discover these journal pages, and in turn, get more insight on the Warlock and his story before he decided to sleep deep below the earth. It's a nice way for those interested to learn why the Abyss appeared and why Katrien is important to the Warlock, while not forcing this information on those that want nothing more than to delve into the dungeon.
Stepping past the story to the meat of the game, 'Abyss Odyssey' is a rouge-like. Every time the Abyss is re-entered the rooms change and shift, and thereby offer a different experience. Additionally, the rooms are given 'ratings' of sorts, from Easy to Insane, to help indicate the type of challenge contained within. This mechanic is in place because after a few rooms, there are multiple ways down, and eventually different entrances into the Abyss itself. With the ratings, players can decide how easy or hard their romp through the Abyss will be. Avoiding the Hard or Insane rooms does have another consequence, the "easier" paths lead to extra rooms which come with their own risks.
One of 'Abyss Odyssey's larger selling points is its battle system, which is said to be heavily based off 'Super Smash Brothers'. Here, learning when to guard and when to attack are of utmost importance, as monsters in the Abyss are very dangerous and simply button mashing will get Katrien killed in short order. There are normal attacks, as well a special attacks that can be assigned and leveled up in various manners. Thanks to the tweaks made in 'Extended Dream Edition', combat feels better than ever before, with more of an emphasis on combos and feeling less stiff overall.
When (not if) Katrien dies, players are given a second chance to continue on as a generic soldier, who is far less capable than Katrien herself. If the soldier manages to make it to an altar, Katrien revives and players can continue onward. If the soldier dies, then the run is over, and players must start again. Fortunately, Katrien's level progress is retained, which provides a sense of progress even in while having the rogue like consequences.
There are other characters to unlock beyond Katrien, and these characters have different combos and weapons to use. There is also a system in place that allows the characters to take other creatures' forms and use their attacks. This is often touted as a strong mechanic, but there isn't much in the way of explanation. I didn't find transformation terribly useful in the first place.
The Video: Sizing Up the Picture
The character portraits and stills used in 'Abyss Odyssey' are stylish and fetching. They are quite unique given typical video game art styles, and the change of looks is quite welcome. The bump in resolution to 1080p is welcome as well. It's a shame, then, that the actual game doesn't look nearly as pretty. The models are somewhat bland, and the backgrounds are nice at first, but get repetitive quickly. It's understandable that the art style wasn't kept throughout, but it's a bit disappointing that the graphics that players will see most of the time don't measure up to the game's best.
The Audio: Rating the Sound
There is a lot to do in 'Abyss Odyssey' after the first successful defeat of the Warlock, as with any decent rogue-like. There are the two additional characters to try, all the journal pages to collect, and since the Abyss changes every time, multiple playthroughs are warranted. There are also multiplayer modes available to dungeon delve with friends locally and online, which really helps with replayability as well.
HD Bonus Content: Any Exclusive Goodies in There?
Other than the changes mentioned above, 'Extended Dream Edition' also includes all the updates to the original game, which includes more monsters and areas. The biggest change is, again, the updated and tweaked combo system, though, which is a pretty nice improvement on the formula, and makes this the definitive version of 'Abyss Odyssey'.
'Abyss Odyssey: Extended Dream Edition' is quite the intriguing title. It offers plenty of content, and is worth checking out on the PS4 for anyone who missed the original release. The always shifting dungeons, the deep and more satisfying than ever before combat system, and the multiplayer gives this title a surprisingly amount of staying power. It's worth a try, alone or with friends; as long as you don't mind a few of the typical rogue-like quirks, 'Abyss Odyssey' is worth the entry price.
- Online Co-op
- Online Versus
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