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‘Abyss Odyssey’ is a dream for the action-adventure dungeon crawler

‘Abyss Odyssey’ is a dream for the action-adventure dungeon crawler

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Abyss Odyssey
Developed by ACE Team
Published by Atlus
Available on PC, PS3, PS4, Xbox 360

The creators of the surprise hit indie game series, Zeno Clash, ACE Team, return with an ambitious, but entirely different, adventure in Abyss Odyssey. This combat heavy indie title blends so many genres and in doing so creates a game perfect for anyone who’s a completionist at heart.

The game takes place in Santiago, Chile (where ACE Team just so happen to be based) where a mighty and fearsome warlock has been creating fissures in the earth from deep within. It’s up to the legendary warrior, Katrien, her allies and the Chilean soldiers to venture into the abyss and rid the world of the warlock and his abysmal nightmare.

The goal is to fight through each area of the abyss to reach the warlock. Katrien will fight, learn new moves, upgrade weapons and gain experience levels based on how many enemies she’s slain. If Katrien dies, a much weaker Chilean soldier will take her place. He must reach an altar to revive Katrien however if he dies, the player must restart from the beginning unless a checkpoint marker had been placed.

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It takes about an hour to reach the warlock and finally silence the warlock’s nightmare but the game gives the player enough incentive to replay the game multiple times over. Like Star Fox 64, there are three paths the player can use to venture into the abyss; an easy route, a moderately difficulty route, and a hard route. While the difficulty of each area is random every time you play, the majority of easy rooms will be generated under Santa Lucia while more difficult rooms will be found under Sacramentinos.

Abyss Odyssey has plenty of unlockables as well. The majority of the replay value will be coming from trying to unlock as many fighters as possible. There are three main warriors to unlock while every enemy in the game can be captured and used to fight through the abyss. By maxing out mana and using a special blast move, any enemy can be captured if their level matches or deceeds your playable fighter’s.  There are plenty of enemies with unique move sets to try out so dedicated players are encouraged to try and catch ’em all.

Sub-bosses are a bit tougher to capture as they are at such a high level that leveling up each warrior is a must. A playthrough will net a warrior about 10 to 15 levels so going through a run a couple of times with each of the three warriors will preoccupy the dedicated few who wish to capture the most elite enemies in the game.

There are 39 total room areas (including surface rooms) that run 15 levels deep until you reach the warlock. Each room is procedurally generated to make each playthrough an experience unlike the last. While there’s not much of a difference in each area other than enemy types, it’s appeasing to see that they made a game built upon replayability to have a little variety.

abyss1The combat is in-depth and borrows a lot of elements from Super Smash Bros. There are side, neutral and up attacks as well as maneuvers that only work in the air. The player can grab an open or defending opponent and throw them leaving them open for consecutive attacks. The player can dodge roll on both land and air as well as manifest a shield (but beware like Super Smash Bros, this shield will break over time). The player can learn and level up special attacks that do considerably more damage. The combat is intuitive yet deep especially considering the vast amount of characters to master.

The music sounds appropriate for each area and well composed. Unfortunately, the developers did not blend the tracks’ endings to reloop to their beginnings, causing a one second pause of silence that can leave the player jarred while making the game seem overall cheaply made.

The art style is a wonderful blend of the art nouveau movement as well as South American artistic tones which really show in character artwork designs and the environment. The graphics however, are dated and don’t give this accomplished art style nearly the amount of justice it deserves. The frame rate suffers every now and then and character models and environmental textures look blurry up close.

 

Abyss Odyssey is a deep game with clever combat and a wonderfully artistic world to delve into. While there isn’t much variety in each of the areas, it’s a game one can plow through over and over. In the Extended Dream Edition, competitive multiplayer is introduced giving the game that much more replay value. The game is designed for perfectionists and will indeed have them playing for a while to unlock every last warrior. Abyss Odyssey is a well executed game on its own so here’s hoping ACE Team comes back to this universe, adding more variety and features in future installments.

[wpchatai]