Another World, also known as Out of this world is over 20 years old and recently released its 20th Anniversary edition on Xbox One. The update has smoother, upscaled graphics, and all new remastered sound effects and music. The gameplay is unforgiving and one wrong move and you are either impaled on a spike or reduced to a skinless skeleton that simply crumbles into nothing.
Fans of the original will enjoy the nostalgic trip back to when games simply dropped you in a situation and said deal with it. You won’t find any tutorial levels, button prompts or even a GUI to tell you how many shots you have left. You can jump, kick, shoot and press and using those you need to survive an alien planet that wants you either dead or in prison.
The story follows a Ferrari driving professor whom picks the wrong night to test his particle accelerator. A lightning strike zaps him and half of his machine to ‘another world’ with death hiding behind every rock.
Back in the nineties I remember the initial cutscene being something of awe-inspiring beauty. It was edited like a movie and the use of simple light and shadow just felt like it was pushing the boundaries of gaming. The graphics, in fact, were one of the reasons I was drawn to deluxe paint and deluxe animation in the hope that I too could create something so cinematic using a limited colour palette.
Anyway, even after the cutscene drops you in a deep tentacle filled pond you are instantly confronted with killer worms and an alien mountain lion that chases you across the landscape.
The games uses trial and error in order to create epic movie style moments that when done correctly give you a feeling of deep satisfaction. The lack of a save system can be frustrating and some of the puzzles will drive you to read the odd walkthrough. I found myself replaying the same scene so many times I would curse at the TV but ultimately its not that long and once you know what you are doing you could probably go from start to finish within an hour. However, its the trial and error to get to that point that will require the leg work.
This game really feels like a mini-movie from the claustrophobic underwater scenes to the nail biting crawl in the final’s. Another world oozes nostalgia whilst still being fun to play. I picked it up for £3 or $5 which was perfectly fine with me. I had such a good time with this title it was well worth the money. It has its flaws such as temperamental controls, insta-death and lack of a save system but its all over so quickly they won’t bother you for long. Another World also gives out achievements like they are going out of fashion and you will soon find yourself 900 gamer points richer after one run through. A quick Google of the secret achievement and you will get the full compliment a few minutes later. If you remember this game then go back and complete it; if you don’t know it, then give it a go as this was considered epic when it first came out and will go down in gaming history as one of the first truly movie style games to hit home computers.