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Abyss Odyssey (PC) Review

/ Jul 24th, 2014 No Comments

Abyss Odyssey, developed by ACE Team and published by Atlus, brings side-scroller fighting to Steam via Chilean folklore. Players start off as Katrien, a creation of the warlock’s dreaming, unlocking the others as they progress through the game and repeatedly defeat “The Warlock” at the bottom of a multileveled dungeon. A variety of enemies along with skill customization makes Abyss Odyssey an interesting take on the classic button-mashing genre.

The Devil’s Dealings

The Warlock is a supernatural being who sleeps at the bottom of the “Abyss.” Despite slumbering, the Warlock still has the power to conjure up evil entities into the world. As the Warlock’s dreams permeate the world and wreak havoc, players must venture down the Abyss in an attempt to wake up the Warlock and stop the flow of nightmares.
 

Piss off Charlie Daniels.

Piss off Charlie Daniels.

Throughout Abyss Odyssey, enemies will drop pages from the Warlock’s journal that will fill players into how the Warlock came into power and explain some of the different characters and enemies. The story is rich and shines through with its cultural background. “Enemies” such as Paganini the cursed Violinist will draw players into the world of Abyss Odyssey as they uncover the truth of the Warlock’s nightmare.

We Can’t Stop Here, This is Nightmare Country

Each character in Abyss Odyssey has their own unique set of skills that can be customized with different upgrades, giving perfectionists a reason to continue playing beyond the story. The combat itself has a sharp learning curve and will seem at first clunky to new players, but with practice and leveling up, the game becomes a fun and challenging experience.

The variety of enemies is what sells Abyss Odyssey. Different enemies require different strategies, which ensures no two trips down to the Abyss will be alike. If that wasn’t enough, the Abyss changes its format every single time the player descends, which means a room that could have been easy before now becomes difficult and a chance encounter with Paganini becomes a mini-boss fight.

It’s Dangerous To Go Alone

In concept, multiplayer for Abyss Odyssey is the icing on a near perfect cake, but sadly the icing needed more time in the bowl. Glitches and dropouts are abound in multiplayer modes, which could easily be fixed with a patch. However, multiplayer is currently unplayable. When it works, it is nothing short of phenomenal.
 

Bullfighting? Now that's just mean-spirited.

Bullfighting? Now that’s just mean-spirited.

Even when using the same character as your multiplayer partner, the play-style differences are surprising. The abyss adjusts difficulty depending on how many users are playing. Bosses still maintain their difficulty, but they can hold their own against the underestimating player.

The Sounds and Sights of Insanity

The music has a very distinct Chilean atmosphere to it while keeping the standard pseudo-rock element that most fighting games have. It is a complimentary soundtrack that doesn’t overpower gameplay. The game’s “hint-giver” is always accompanied by a few guitar strums that becomes a distinct and welcome sound of reprieve as it breaks through the soundtrack and adds a flavorful element of music.

Abyss Odyssey takes a stylized approach in its graphical presentation that gives it the distinct feeling of being part of a painting. Enemies are easy to distinguish and have a variety of body types along with distinct color-patterns and movement styles to make tactics quick to determine. Cutscenes are still images with dialogue, which serve well to not break up the pace of the game while providing memorable voice acting and well-done character models.

Wake The Warlock

Abyss Odyssey adds a new element in teamwork as every death of the Warlock is put towards an accumulative total for everyone playing the game. With enough deaths a “seal” (shown at the start-up of the game) will slowly break away until finally it is destroyed, thus introducing a new form of the final boss and new enemies into the Abyss. This community mechanic adds a great feel of camaraderie to the game. Each completion feels like another step of the journey rather than the end.
 

Don't... be... hasty...

Don’t… be… hasty…

Multiplayer issues aside, Abyss Odyssey is a fresh and vibrant game that has a lot of depth and intrigue. The combat mechanics are fun and the customization is a welcome touch. For just $14.99 on Steam, it’s a game well worth getting, and hopefully updates will be in store for the future as the battle against the Warlock rages on.

 

Greg Johnson

Greg Johnson

Associate Editor at Gaming Illustrated
Greg is a Nintendo fanboy who would cry if they ever went third party. He writes news, previews and reviews at Gaming Illustrated.
Greg Johnson

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ABYSS ODYSSEY (PC) REVIEW

Gaming Illustrated RATING

Overall82%

GAMEPLAY8.5

While fun, the steep combat learning curve does deter casual gamers from Abyss Odyssey, however the game still has a great flow and fun customization to allow for multiple play styles.

GRAPHICS9

A great art style mixed with distinct and diverse enemies makes for a visually appealing adventure in Abyss Odyssey. The diversity of color is a welcome touch in this side-scroller.

SOUND8.5

A nice and mellow soundtrack mixed with memorable voice-acting gives Abyss Odyssey a memorable note for the ears, while not becoming overpowering.

MULTIPLAYER6

Abyss Odyssey has the potential for some amazing co-op but it just wasn't presented as a vast series of glitches took out all of the fun from descending the depths with friends.

STORY9

Abyss Odyssey takes excellent care of its Chilean folklore and presents a compelling and engaging story for players to uncover.