(Review contributed by Josh Gilbank)
Abyss Odyssey is a 2D RPG with procedurally generated areas with fighting game style combat and drop in drop out co-op and local play and a wealth of secrets and extra's to find along the way.
In Abyss Odyssey you play as multiple characters trying to wake, kill or stop the a sleeping warlock of such great power that his current nightmare is creating monsters that are ravaging the real world, pouring out of the abyss where the warlock sleeps. While his nightmare is creating hordes of monsters his subconscious is also creating hero's trying to end his nightmare. The story is told primarily through the pages of the warlock’s diary that are picked up from killing new enemies and boss. Each of the 3 main characters also has a different motivation for wanting to reach the warlock.
At the start of the game, you begin with only 1 character and 1 special move you will find special movies as items as you play through the game. You can have 3 enabled at 1 time and can change them out during the game when you find a monuments. During the course of the game you will gain levels for defeating monsters and for every 3 levels will gain a skill point which allows you to add an effect to a special move, having it either cause more damage, generate more mana (more on this in a moment) or be partially shielded so that it is harder for monsters to interrupt when it is activated you can add up to 3 of these to each skill you have even those you are not actively using you also have the ability to reset and make changes to these at any monument.
Mana is a bar that will be filled by collecting blue orbs and by landing special attacks with the mana skill, when the bar is filled you can activate a special attack that release a blue orb that does damage to all monster that touch it if the monsters are not killed and they are lower level then your current character they will have a blue glow if the attack does not kill them out right. If the monsters are defeated before the glow dissipates them will leave behind their souls which when picked up will allow you to turn into that monster and have its health and attacks and all special moves. It’s important to note that almost all monsters in the game including bosses can be capture in this way even the final boss.
Gear is also a huge part of the game, you can hold 1 weapon, 1 ring, 1 belt and 1 necklace as well as 3 misc. items all the items will give you different benefits and apply different defense and effects such as poison that does damage to you every 5 secs for different amounts of time, freeze that encases the enemies or curse that makes them move slow. These effects also have levels associated with them that determine how powerful they are as well
Dying in the Abyss is not the end as soldiers that have entered the abyss will attempt revive you. When you die you will take control of a solider that fights in the same style as your current character. The solider can pick up your main characters gear and if you are able to get back to one of the hero monuments you will be able to revive your main hero.
Over the course of my many plays I only died 2 times, I found that after a few plays it was pretty easy to make your way to end the of the abyss with only minor issues. It has a nightmare mode which is much harder as it makes the enemies much cheaper in how the AI attacks and defends.
This game has some very gorgeous backgrounds and artwork right out of the gate it immediately reminded me of similar games made by Vanillaware it has some very gorgeous environments and some great character designed influenced by Chilean lore and mythology. Unfortunately the same gorgeous backgrounds are also the short fall as the game does not really have a huge variety of background locations and in a few locations primarily the plant areas which have rain in the background cause the game to slow down if 2 or more enemies are also on the screen at the same time.
This is probably the worst part Abyss Odyssey unfortunately the music clips in the game while well composed are too short for some of the generated levels. During my play through of the game I also noticed some of the effects are a bit missed times at times. Otherwise the music is well composed and very well chosen for the areas and cinematics.
The controls in Abyss Odyssey handles like a fighting game, and shares some similarities to smash bros. You have a block that works like a shield that can only take so much damage before breaking and causing you to be stunned for some time. Or that attacking works on a 2 button directional system where 1 button is the basic attack and the other is your special attack and pressing it in a direction will augment either type of attack or preform a special attack based on what you have setup. The controls are fairly tight and responsive but I have found at times can feel like they aren't always responding, this is normally when multiple opponents on screen and may be a result of the game slowing down or hitching.
If you enjoy a game with a lot of replay ability with some amazing art work and character and monster that’s a little light on story, for a fair price I would highly recommend picking up a copy of Abyss Odyssey.
SCORE – 85%
This review is based on a digital copy of Abyss Odyssey: Extended Dream Edition on the Playstation 4 provided by Atlus