The 20th Anniversary Edition of Another World scares me in a way no other game has ever scared me before.
It’s not a horror title. It’s not even a difficult title. But Another World 20th Anniversary Edition brings memories flooding back of me as a 14 year old struggling to come to terms with ‘this game that was way ahead of anything we’d seen before’. Back in 1991 (yeh, we know that wasn’t 20 years!), the world in general was great and Another World on the Amiga was a stunner.
But my god haven’t things moved on since then. Everyday life and video gaming itself is a whole different ball game to what it was back then and gamers are no longer happy to sit there repeating moment after moment, going forward in a trial and error fashion just to see what’s round the corner.
We want realistic graphics. We want some audio delights that have come straight from the opera house. We want a game that is going to be enjoyable to play and above all else, we want a game that is going to give us some euphoria when we complete it. Call us shallow but that’s the way of the world and even the most ardent fans wouldn’t really want to go back too often.
Unfortunately, unless you’re intent on harking back to that time long ago, you aren’t going to get any modern day enjoyment from Another World on Xbox One.
If you’re under the age of 25, Another World is going to come as a bit of a shock. You play the role of a Ferrari driving professor who decides one night to have a play with a particle accelerator but instead of finding the Higgs Boson, he finds himself being whisked on a wild ride through space and time, finally landing in a world filled with strange beings and panther like hybrid animal things.
Whilst it’s been remastered, retouched and given a bit of a makeover from the original 1991 version, it is in no way the prettiest of titles and even though the option is there to play with the old SD visuals or the new improved HD ones, neither will satisfy the younger generation whilst the older wiser brigade will possibly be happy for 5 minutes or so before all manner of frustration and disbelief sets in. Similarly, the audio has had a bit of a touch up and again you’ll find the options to listen in on the new stuff or the original 16 bit classic. Again though, you’re probably going to be disappointed whichever way you look at it.
But looking on past the graphics and the sounds, the gameplay just isn’t up to what we expect from a title nowadays. An abiding memory of those glorious Amiga days is sitting in a room with a friend spending for too long trying to line up a jump over some mischievous trap, failing and then spending even longer getting back to that point in the game again. Only to fail once more. And that memory comes right to the fore as once again, 23 YEARS ON, I find myself going through the same rigmarole as before. Yes, I now have a controller in my hands that is most definitely more responsive and easier to use than back then but the game still wants to see you fail time and time again.
And even when you do navigate a tricky bit, it’s only a matter of time before your trial and error tactics see you winding up back at the same point again…just in time for the whole frustration circle to revolve around again and it’s this overwhelming feeling that means Another World was probably best off left alone in the early 90’s.
There are however two real positives to come out of the game.
Firstly, no matter what anyone says, you can’t deny that the game is fast paced. One minute you’ll be finding yourself jumping traps and escaping the reach of deadly tentacles, the next you’ll be running from a flooded underground passage and then you’ll be in a frantic firefight with some strange looking creatures. The pace of the game is by far the best thing to come out of it and most definitely sets the heart pounding.
Secondly, if you’re one of those looking for a game that is going to roll out the gamerscore, this could be your best Xbox One bet. Within the couple of hours it took me to complete the game, all achievements except for one secret one (check the video below for the walkthrough on how to nab it), had been picked up and it didn’t take long to make sure the whole 1000 points were in the bag. It’s a gamerscore lovers dream and for the low price, is something cheevo hunters should be all over.
So, Another World isn’t disappointing. It’s just bringing back a time when games weren’t the sophisticated entertainment bringers that they are today. If you can look beyond the sheer pettiness that comes your way at near enough every single step (and can find yourself a decent walkthrough that’s going to stop the vast majority of your frustration), then it’s a well thought out, well paced, yet annoying as hell side flipping adventure title. Nothing more, nothing less.
By all means pick it up if you’re after a bit of nostalgia, but I wouldn’t expect you to go back and complete it more than once.
That’s if you EVER do complete it!