Another World: Review

Another World is an action/adventure platform game that got its acclaim for its cinematic style. This game that was originally released in 1991 on such consoles as the Amiga and Atari and would then move its way onto other platforms such as SNES and the Mega Drive (Sega Genesis), and more recently, on Xbox Live. I personally remember playing the Mega Drive version in 1992 and being completely blown away by the graphics and game play and have since revisited the game. The animatic style is somewhat reminiscent of impasto painting, the 20th anniversary remastered edition has since smoothed out the colour palate, intensifying the graphical detail. It was this game that first changed my perspective on gaming.

The game starts with a cinematic sequence that introduces you to the plot and the protagonist Lester. In a nutshell Lester is a young genius that whilst working on a (insert science here) has his laboratory struck by lightning which transports him to an Alien planet. After this point you would believe to start the game flat foot and ready to learn your controls however you are thrown into the deep end….literally.

This game is not going to give you a tutorial; it is not going to tell you to go left or right. The very second you start the game tentacle monsters are trying to kill you and pull you into an underwater darkness. Early obstacles include not being furiously stabbed in the shin by what appears to be a black slug and running away from a panther on steroids. When you think you’ve finally found salvation on what appears to be a hooded humanoid they decide to capture you and put you in a hanging cage. It is from this point on you realise that these “Aliens” will be your constant struggle in this game; all but one. Enter Mike Screwbar. I cannot confirm the name of your alien companion but what I can say is that he is he is strong brawler and you develop a loyal bromance which is vital to your escape.

You will have the one weapon which is a laser pistol you will obtain after your jail break. The laser pistol has 3 modes; standard pistol, shield and a charged laser blast. The game depends on quick thinking and fast actions as this is a one shot kill situation. You will become accustom to death whether it be a laser blast to the body that leaves your skeleton remains which suddenly blow up into little pieces or a misjudged jump that plummets you to your death.  In the original edition all deaths are signed off by an almost patronizing tune that still haunts me to this day, I would have to admit a feeling of disappointment that it had since been removed in the 20th anniversary edition.

The controls can be quite sensitive and will be a little frustrating at times. In the original edition you would only concern yourself with three buttons but with the transition onto new gen they have combined the buttons for both run and shoot which I will admit made the game much more difficult to play. This overly sensitive game style reminds me of original Prince of Persia where one tap too many would be the result of jumping to your death or running directly into the firing line of your enemy.

When I first played this game as a young sprite I could not understand why the game was so complex. I viewed parts of the game as being far too heavy for me to grasp (including the nude public bath scene) and dismissed it as being unreasonably difficult.  It would be years later that I realised that this game was setting the bar for future games to come, encouraging developers to turn gaming into a visual spectacle and challenging gamers to new levels.  Another World is definitely a game for the ages that I recommend all video game enthusiasts to play.