An HD Remaster of 2005’s Oddworld: Stranger’s Wrath Is Coming To The Nintendo Switch

An HD Remaster of 2005’s Oddworld: Stranger’s Wrath Is Coming To The Nintendo Switch
Credit: Steam

The Oddworld series goes all the way back to 1997 with Oddworld: Abe’s Oddysee and the latest release, 2014’s Oddworld: New ‘n’ Tasty!, is a remake of the very same game that started them all. Tucked into that franchise, however, is a spin-off first-person shooter called Stranger’s Wrath, which is getting an HD remaster all its own.

This isn’t the first time the game has been ported to a newer, better system. After its initial 2005 release on Microsoft’s original Xbox, various enhanced versions of the game found their way to PC, Playstation 3, Playstation Vita, and even Android and iOS mobile devices. A port was originally planned for Nintendo’s Wii U, but was placed on hold. While it was never officially canceled, it also never came to fruition.

Now, some fifteen years after the game’s debut, it’s coming to Nintendo Switch on January 23.

Oddworld: Stranger’s Wrath originally released to fantastic reviews, scoring an 88 out of 100 on Metacritic. It went on to be nominated for and win several awards from a wide variety of outlets and publications. It won praise for its animation, graphics, innovation, and its titular character of Stranger. Despite all the critical praise, Stranger’s Wrath was a fairly serious commercial failure, needing to move 1.6 million units to break even and selling just a little over a third of that.

While the game is primarily a first-person shooter, it did stay true to its series roots by incorporating a good amount of platforming elements. It also offered a dose of RPG elements in the form of upgrades that can be unlocked for various weapons and items the player carries.

The player steps into the shoes of Stranger, a bounty hunter looking to raise enough money for a life-saving procedure (which keeps in line with the series’ anti-capitalist themes). One of the more innovative aspects of the game that was praised by multiple reviewers was the live ammunition system, which sees Stranger using various live creatures as crossbow ammunition. The different creatures produce different effects when fired, and the player can incorporate different strategies based on how enemies react to those effects.

Oddworld: Stranger’s Wrath remains a minor landmark in innovative video game design and a rare example of a spin-off outshining its predecessors. While it’s seen plenty of ports over the years, the Nintendo Switch seems like an excellent fit, especially given the family-friendly nature of the game and Nintendo’s kid-friendly attitude.