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Alf’s Escape is Something New ‘n’ Tasty for Oddworld Fans

Something’s a brewin’

Alf's Escape Art

Are you a sadist? Are you one of the few people in the world who thought that  Oddworld New ‘n’ Tasty: Abe’s Oddysee was just that little bit too easy for you? Well, Just Add Water has decided to give you – yes you – a little bit of a treat; one that comes in the form of a crushingly hard expansion.

Obviously that’s quite the loaded statement. Alf’s Escape isn’t really just about putting a bigger challenge in front of players, it’s also fan service to those players who have been fans of Abe from the start. But, in actual fact, it’s even more than that; this is the first time that completely new and original content has been developed for the Oddworld universe since Stranger’s Wrath. In some ways, you can think of this as a taster of what’s to come from the folks at Just Add Water as they start creating new entries and pieces of content for future Oddworld titles. It’s as tantalising as it is difficult, which – as I’ve said before – is very.

But what’s Alf’s Escape all about? Well, despite being playable at any time through the Chapter selection menu, this addition takes place during Abe’s return to Rupture Farms as he sets about trying to free the remaining Mudokons from their fate as tasty meat pops. However, he’s come across one rather important, fedora-wearing fez-wearing, SoulStorm Brew-addicted Mudokon known as Alf. But things aren’t as easy as chanting open a bird gate for him to escape. No, Alf has to be broken out of his high-security Zulag, and then guided back to safety from the start – and this is no easy feat.

I can say that with confidence because, in our hands-off preview with JAW’s Alex Carroll, Abe died a lot of times, in a lot of typically hilarious ways. On your way to free Alf, things certainly start of simple – a good way to get used to the controls again if you’ve had a break between finishing New ‘n’ Tasty and starting Alf’s Escape. But, things do ramp up rather quickly – almost instantly, actually.

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Within minutes I’m watching Abe sneak past Sligs in fog, throwing bombs, disarming mines, and really dealing with tasks that are as hard as – and harder than – the puzzles and obstacles you’ll encounter towards the end of New ‘n’ Tasty. In most instances the difficulty is ramped up thanks to devious combinations of previously encountered situations and environments. But Alf’s Escape also brings in blood-splattered buzzsaws that chase you through certain sections – ensuring that you make no mistakes when navigating your way through this hellish obstacle course.

Getting to Alf is only half the challenge, and arguably the easier one too, as extracting him from his makeshift SoulStorm Brew shop is really where the DLC starts. While you may think this leads to some interesting co-op play, the reality is actually far more enticing. Alf handles normal Mudokon follower, except he’s a little bit smarter than your average peon; for one he’ll wait at drops and trap doors instead of just dropping down them into certain death. And, for a lot of the expansion you’ll be navigating Abe through a different level section while Alf follows a different path below – meaning you really need to pay attention to both characters moving through the level. Again, this is where we saw Abe fall foul to electrocution, buzzsaws, meat grinders, Sligs, mines, etc, all from Alex initially being more concerned about Alf’s wellbeing than Abe’s.

Alf’s Escape expansion for Oddworld: New ‘n’ Tasty is going to be hard, that’s for sure, but it also seems to be completely true to the DNA of the Oddworld universe. We’ll have a review for you soon enough, but as those who pre-ordered in the US will be getting it for free, and it’ll be coming to PlayStation Plus in Europe and Australia too – so there’s no real reason to not dive in and give it a go. I’m sure Alf would appreciate your help.

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