Stranger’s Wrath: great graphics, story line

Danny Andrews

Danny Andrews

The Stranger. A simple man-thing with a simple dream: to get enough money to fund an operation to save his life. How will he acquire the funds? Hunting. The Stranger will hunt down any outlaw and bring them to justice…for a reasonable fee of course. He is a bounty hunter. And he is good at what he does.

Oddworld: Stranger’s Wrath is very different from anything you might have played before. It incorporates third-person adventure, first-person shooting sprees, stealth sequences and even a little strategy. It takes all of these, throws them in a blender, adds a freakish yet cool main character “The Stranger” (who kind of looks like a half-man, half-lion creature) and makes one enjoyable experience.

This game is the latest in the Oddworld odyssey, yet neither Abe nor Munch is to be seen. It certainly has the look of other Oddworld games with characters being combinations of animals and humans, but is now set in a Wild West setting. It also has the humor that Oddworld fans will enjoy. You use various live animals as ammunition for your crossbow. These chipmunks, spiders, hornets and creepy Furby look-alikes stare back at you with their puppy dog eyes and squeak and talk to their hearts content.

You will enjoy this game for its quirky sense of humor and over-the-top lines straight out of old Westerns. It will keep you playing just to see where you will end up next. You will not enjoy playing the same sequences over and over again until you figure out how to kill the bounty and his 40 henchmen who stream out of every building surrounding you. This game can get hard really quick. When you run out of ammo during a boss, and you will, you either have to run around avoiding the guy with the huge gun and hunt for more animals or just use try your luck and get up close and personal with the guy, which never works. All in all, make your shots count. And if not, it’s cool; you’ll probably be fighting the guy six or seven times anyway.

Control-wise, the game is great. The Stranger

switches between third-person and first-person with ease and the controls are easy to learn. The camera stays in a good position automatically, with little adjusting required, although sometimes you may want to move the camera to see the beautiful scenery. The visuals are stunning. Shadow effects, dust blown in the wind, red setting suns-all of these help put you in the environment. You’ll find yourself wondering why no one had made more Western-themed games.

This game is no contender for “Best Game of the Year,” but it is a solid effort into a new direction with the Oddworld series. The game plays well and makes you want to keep playing. I really hope they make a sequel or continue in this direction with the series. If this game is a first for them, the only direction is up.

three out of five stars