Oddworld Soulstorm demo shows off just how many ways you can get your friends killed

I thought Oddworld Soulstorm had a lot of potential when I saw an early version of it back in 2019, though I sure didn't expect it to take two full years to get here. It's finally out this April, and Oddworld creator Lorne Lanning gave everyone one last preview of Soulstorm at the Future Games Show today with a new five minute walkthrough.

Lanning narrates the quick demo, which shows off that classic Oddworld sidescrolling perspective, but with way more impressive 3D camerawork than his team's last remake, Oddworld: New 'n' Tasty. You still get Abe's goofy, exaggerated tiptoeing, but the sense of scale here is really something new to Oddworld. Metal manufacturing buildings and bridges and scaffolding all tower over Abe and the camera zooms out and moves side to side to exaggerate the effect, even though you're still moving on a 2D plane. If it's all in service of making Abe look like an insignificant speck in a vast industrial machine, it's definitely working.

We also get to see a bit of Soulstorm's crafting system, which I called "a dash of Deus Ex" in 2019 because it gives you multiple ways to shepherd Abe through a level. There are plenty of Mudokons to rescue, too, but if you play like Lorne, expect to see most of your buddies accidentally bashed, crushed, or electrocuted while you try to make your escape.

I hope the hints of depth I saw in Soulstorm carry through to the full game. It's been almost seven years since New 'n' Tasty came out, and I'm about ready for a new Oddworld. We'll have a review for Soulstorm around its launch, which is April 6th on the Epic Games Store.

Wes Fenlon
Senior Editor

Wes has been covering games and hardware for more than 10 years, first at tech sites like The Wirecutter and Tested before joining the PC Gamer team in 2014. Wes plays a little bit of everything, but he'll always jump at the chance to cover emulation and Japanese games.

When he's not obsessively optimizing and re-optimizing a tangle of conveyor belts in Satisfactory (it's really becoming a problem), he's probably playing a 20-year-old Final Fantasy or some opaque ASCII roguelike. With a focus on writing and editing features, he seeks out personal stories and in-depth histories from the corners of PC gaming and its niche communities. 50% pizza by volume (deep dish, to be specific).