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New 'n' Tasty Ingredients #1: Difficulty Levels

Just how 'hard' is Hard mode, anyway?

One of the things we find ourselves being asked on a regular basis is “will New ‘n’ Tasty be as difficult as Abe’s Oddysee?”. Fans of the 1997 original understandably want a tough challenge with the new game, but we’ve had to ensure that everyone who ended up smashing their controllers before they even left RuptureFarms doesn’t do exactly the same again with New ‘n’ Tasty.

In truth, Oddysee was a tough game – a really tough one. Some gamers took it as a rite of passage, and some decided it was a write-off, but in New ‘n’ Tasty we wanted to cater for everyone. Yep, Abe’s new adventure comes with three such difficulty levels, aptly named Easy, Normal and Hard.

insidennt-difficulty

Our intention with Hard mode was to ensure that Oddysee fans could dive into New ‘n’ Tasty with an experience akin to the original. Of course, New ‘n’ Tasty is a brand new game so there are some brand new challenges to overcome, but we’ve also ensured that Sligs can still take you down with just one shot and Scrabs are just as nasty as they’ve ever been.

Normal mode, however, offers up a more forgiving learning curve. Abe has a health system that comes into its own on the lower two difficulties: enemies will whittle down his health shot by shot, bite by bite, rather than instantly erase our favorite Mudokon from the world with a single bullet or tooth.

And if all that’s still too much of a trial, Easy mode means that players can relax a little more, enjoy the scenery and not really worry a great deal about making it out alive. Chances are most players will be able to find their way to the end of the game in Easy mode – (not something that could be said about the original).

It’s not just the basics that change for each difficulty level, though; we’ve ensured that there’re a whole host of subtle differences throughout which make the game feel much more organic. For example, how much Abe hurts himself from long falls, the number of grenades he can carry, the time taken for Sligs to realize what’s happening and even the time between bee stings. In short, almost every hazard in the game has been tuned to suit a wide range of skill levels.

That said, regardless of the difficulty setting, you’ve still got the improved checkpoint locations and the ability to QuikSave (and QuikLoad) at any time. Yes, that’s right – QuikSave from Abe’s Exoddus is very much present and correct here in New ‘n’ Tasty, and on PlayStation 4 it’s as simple as just tapping the touch pad.

Of course, purists can opt to leave QuikSave well alone, but we think it’s a great new feature to have in New ‘n’ Tasty – (you can literally save anywhere!) – and it means that if you’re interrupted or wish to continue playing on your PlayStation Vita you can carry on exactly where you left it: not just the current level, or the current checkpoint, but precisely where you QuikSaved.

We think we’ve got just the right balance in New ‘n’ Tasty between providing a challenge for the hardcore fans and ensuring that the game is much more enjoyable for everyone else. You’ll still need skill, determination and a certain amount of luck, but hopefully you’ll be raring to jump back into the action instead of throwing that controller at the wall.

Oddworld: New ‘n’ Tasty is released on July 22nd in the US, and 23rd in Europe, Australia and New Zealand, for PlayStation 4. Other versions to follow.

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