Another World celebrates its 20th Anniversary last year and to bring Xbox One gamers up to speed with the PC and mobile audience, Digital Lounge brings the updated game to the console masses through the ID@Xbox program on Xbox One. At a high price and offering a few hours of gameplay, is Another world or Out of this World as it’s known as in the United States worth revisiting? Take a look at our Another World 20th Anniversary review for the full picture.
Another World 20th Anniversary Edition Review:
Today we’re taking a look at Digital Lounge’s remastering of the 1991 Amiga classic, Another World, or Out of this World, depending on where you’re from. Originally published by Delphine Software, and created by French developer, Eric Cha-hi, the game offered a space based platform adventure with cutting edge graphics at the time. Well, cue forwards some 20 years and today the game has been given a new lease of life and not the first time either. The 20th Anniversary Edition contains the original 1991 graphics, albeit improved to fit larger displays, and at the touch of a button at any time during play the look can be toggled to showcase the new and improved vision.
In a nutshell, players take on the role of scientist, Lester Knight Chaykin, who after an experiment gone wrong ends up on a distant planet with nothing but wits to survive. It’s not long before Lester comes a cropper with the locals and ends up in jail, and it’s here where he finds an alien friend, and a chance to escape. Without going further into the story, the game offers a puzzle based platform adventure which sees players navigating rooms and using a pistol to either shoot any attacking guards, or interact with various inanimate objects. The game is filled with trial and error moments, where the structure welcomes death and learning from one’s mistakes. In this regard the gameplay certainly shows its age, but does present some mildly taxing puzzles which involve back-tracking and a bit of common sense. Sadly, the game’s biggest issue is with the dated controls which fail to respond in a way expected of games these days. There’s lots of ill fated moments of buttons not reacting when pressed, or the character not standing in the correct spot for a jump to be made. And then there’s a one button does all control which mixes up rapid fire of the gun, a shield, charged shot, sprinting and jump which can cause issues in the heat of the moment.
Aside from the niggles with the controls which admittedly stay true to the original, the game is quite compelling to play where it’s easy to see how it enamoured gamers 20 years ago. It’s a shame then that the controls haven’t been tweaked a little to suit the platform as this does ruin the enjoyment to a degree even if their awkwardness are all part of the challenge.
The game’s more modern looks have a distinct charm about them, despite still remaining quite basic in the grand scheme of things and when you couple the old school vibes with some equally classic audio and there’s enough nostalgia served up here. Much like the graphics, there’s an option to toggle the soundtrack from original with music, to a remastered version although the latter seems more sparse and loses some of the original’s appeal. There’s no voice over or sounds from our hero other than the odd grunt here and there, and so the story is told through its cinematic presentation. This approach still works, but does feel a little devoid of character.
In terms of longevity, Another World is a short game which can be completed in under an hour, but will probably take longer for those working out what they need to do to progress. It really serves its purpose as a game to play as a nostalgic trip down memory lane and can’t be valued any other way really.There are three difficulty settings to toy around with and a few secret achievements to discover, but other than that the experience is short lived.
So the question remains whether this most recent version of the game is worthy of your time and effort. As a game for the modern age it simply fails to deliver what is expected from today’s gamers and will likely be written off as unplayable nonsense by some with its poor controls, simple looks and overarching brevity. Yet at the same time, taking a look does provide some enjoyment, albeit drenched in copious amounts of trial and error or frustration. So, for those who played the original and haven’t kept up to date with the other revisions the game has had on other platforms, then this is a worthy, but pricey trip down memory lane. Anyone bowled over by fancy graphics and tight gameplay should look elsewhere.
Score 6/10 – Review by Robert Cram