Impact Plays – Oddworld: Stranger’s Wrath

The Oddworld series sits in a very strange box in the toy-room of video gaming.

This is not because they’re bad games but rather because they feel so unique compared to so many other games out there on the market. It might be that Oddworld felt unique because every game had the same deep-running ‘satirical critique of modern-day consumerism’ vein running through them; this was something that wasn’t really seen at the time. You had your GTAs and what not but they were always very clearly poking fun while Oddworld, for all its charm, was darker and more sinister, especially the third game Munch’s Oddysee, where the protagonist Munch was the last of his kind, hunted to extinction by a greedy corporation looking to maximise profit.

However, one game didn’t really do this: the last game (currently) in the series. Stranger’s Wrath was straight-up fun. The story revolves around the Stranger, a bounty hunter with no past looking to make moolah (seriously, that’s the name of the currency in-game) to fund an operation that he needs ‘to survive’ in his own words. The player doesn’t know what operation this is and the Stranger certainly doesn’t want to discuss it so we’re left without much knowledge about the motivation until a certain point in the game. The Stranger himself is some kind of tough-talkin’, tough-squintin’ Clint Eastwood-a-like, which fits in perfectly in the in-game world, which ranges from your stereotypical Wild West landscapes to jungles to swamps and everything in between. But possibly the most endearing thing about the game is the Stranger’s… range of weapons.


The Stranger has himself a nice little crossbow and a good ol’ fist to the face. The crossbow doesn’t fire arrows though. That would be too cliché. No, the crossbow fires ‘live’ ammo in the shape of wild critters that the Stranger can find on his travels. You have your standards like Fuzzles (angry little furballs that work like landmines) and Chippunks (shouty little furballs that work like decoys/bait) right up to your big ammo like ThudSlugs (basically heavily-armoured cannonballs). Even better, whilst you’re holding the crossbow, the cute little creatures will dance, snarl and sing happily before you release the trigger and send them hurtling through the air straight into some bad guy’s crotch. So much humour from so simple an action.

So overall then, Oddworld: Stranger’s Wrath is definitely a game that is worth revisiting if you didn’t get to play it the first time round. It’s available as part of the Oddboxx, the Oddworld collection, on Steam if you’re at all inclined.

Robert Priest

Images: Oddworld and Eurogamer

One Comment
  • AlienGuardian
    22 October 2014 at 04:47
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    You’re actually missing the commentary in Stranger’s Wrath. It’s very much inspired by the takeover of native lands, endangered animal issues (overhunting), and privatization of water resources (Sekto Springs is basically their Nestle Corporation).

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