PS4 Review: Abyss Odyssey Extended Dream Edition

Abyss Odyssey Extended Dream Edition is an enhanced port of a downloadable PC, PS3, and Xbox 360 game that came out in 2014. The game takes place in Santiago, Chile where an evil warlock is unleashing his nightmares into the earth, invading reality with vicious monsters. Players are one of the manifestations, Katrien, who is working against her master in order to conquer his dreamscape. The story is light told through dialogue in hub towns, scattered notes, and NPCs found in dungeons. It’s an interesting premise, but not much beyond that.

 

It can be best described as a 2D Roguelike with the flair of Dark Souls and Castlevania. Players begin the game as Katrien whose weapon of choice is a rapier. She can gain secondary attacks like a sword spin, or fireball, and even morph to take on the shape of monsters. Other heroes can also be unlocked as well as new areas by meeting certain conditions in the dungeon. Upon death, a random soldier will appear and grab any gear Katrien was holding. If the soldier can make it to an altar, she can be fully revived and the game continues. However, if the soldier dies, that’s the end of the playthrough.

 

 

Experience and money carry over, but any equipment is lost. Gold can be used to buy weapons, accessories, potions, and even tokens that can create temporary save points at altars. Again, anything gathered does disappear after death though. It can be frustrating like Dark Souls, but it’s deeply rewarding. A little clunky in terms of combat and platforming, but the game does provide a great amount of variety at least. Plus this edition adds a four player versus arena as well as Co-op to make exploration a bit easier.

 

Floors are randomized with each new decent. While the overlay of each new area is primarily the same, the environments change dramatically. One stage may be a forest while the next is an icy cavern. Like the game’s theme, it’s like a dream: beautiful and deadly with no rhyme, or reason. The voice work is surprisingly great though the music falls kind of flat. Because of the steep difficulty, it may elongate the playtime for an otherwise quick adventure. For this reason, a more grind savvy device like the PS Vita would have made this experience sweeter. That’s not so much a sleight to the game as it is a personal wish.

 

Abyss Odyssey Extended Dream Edition may not be completely original, but the gameplay types it fuses together make for a unique experience. It’s beautiful, hard, and mysteriously engaging. There are downfalls, which may have made for a better portable game, but again, that’s merely a dream. All things considered it was a real treat after missing AOEDE the first time. There’s nothing quite like a surprise in this summer lull of gaming.

 

Score: 3/5 Stars

 

Special Notes: The publisher provided a review code for the game. This article was originally published on August 3, 2015 via my Examiner account before the website shut down. Check out the supporting video review on the accompanying YouTube Channel, ReActionExaminer.

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