After The Zeno Clash: Abyss Odyssey

With Zeno Clash developers ACE Team at the helm, Abyss Odyssey will no doubt take place in quite an odd world, but it definitely won’t take place in Oddworld, even if the title does look a bit like Abe’s Oddysee. The newly announced game is a side-scroller like Oddworld’s first, but ACE Team are sticking to their principles by concentrating on creatures engaging in fisticuffs. Taking place in a randomised world, Abyss Odyssey is a beat ’em up in which every enemy has a full moveset and enough artificial gumption to offer a challenge. This is demonstrated by means of a video showing a lady fighting a skeleton.

Of course ACE Team would have the player turn into a giant purple bull with an entire set of melee combat moves. Anything else would have been disappointing.

More information should trickle out soon.


  1. LTK says:

    A 2D side-scrolling fighter, huh? Not what I expected when they said they were going to announce a new game a few days ago. Should be interesting.

    Also, I think this is the first time we’ve ever seen these devs in person. On video.

  2. Artea says:

    They couldn’t have picked a title that was:
    a) grammatically correct
    b) not almost identical to the name of another – acclaimed – 2d sidescroller?

  3. Inglourious Badger says:

    Recently finished Zeno Clash 2 and loved it, don’t care what the reviews say! Intriguing new direction here, was really rather hoping for a ZC3 but as long as there’s some artfully creative fisticuffs it has my attention

    • Mollusc Infestation says:

      You’re not alone, I loved Zeno Clash 2 with a passion. I think it was dogged by the phrase “open world”, and people had unrealistic expectations of what it would deliver, but the art style and the storyline had me completely absorbed. With any luck, this game will prove to be a runaway success, then they can get on with making Zeno Clash 3 after they’ve tired of rolling around in caviar and FabergĂ© eggs.

      • Inglourious Badger says:

        Yes, exactly. Expectations. I suppose I did come in to it after reading some pretty damning reviews and expected the worst so was delighted to find an improved combat system, loads more beautiful locales (even if there was a bit of “here’s the desert level, here’s the grassy hills level, here’s the city level, etc” going on), a genuinely intriguing story and a chance to meet all those wonderful characters again, plus some cracking new ones. It was never going to be an open world in the fallout/gta sense of the term but it managed to be an expanded version of Zeno Clash, which is a delightful thing. Maybe spread a little too thin in places, but I am still not tired of that combat. Such an engaging alternative to shooting everything with guns. Plus it tied the violence into it’s world and story, rather than passing it off as “hey it’s a muscial, there’s got to be singing” approach to most game violence. It’s late, I’m drunk, I’m eulogising. Still a great game though

  4. Chillz says:

    This looks like something with a lot of potential, not to mention that it’s gorgeous. Curious to know if that’s co-op mode or the player controlling an enemy in the begining of the video :)

  5. The Random One says:

    This reminds me of playing as a dopplenganger in NetHack SLASHem. I was rubbish at that. And soon I’ll be rubbish at this one too!

  6. kwyjibo says:

    ACE Team, your previous work has always been batshit insane – I hope you can keep up this level of mania even with procedural generation. That skeleton looks a bit generic.

  7. DatonKallandor says:

    A randomly generated sidescroller with the combat depth of a proper fighting game? Really hope they can pull that off – it’ll be incredibly difficult to get the combat deep enough since every shapeshift would be like learning an entirely new character (like playing a character that is all Street Fighter characters simultaneously).

    • GamesInquirer says:

      Well, I assumed the fighting game comparison is just a way to show the move sets go beyond the usual kick, punch, special of the simplest beat ’em ups and maybe that each encounter is more important than in other games as there’s no fodder swarms but more equal to the player opponents. Expecting it to be like a side scrolling Super Street Fighter IV or Guilty Gear Xrd will probably only lead to disappointment.

      • DatonKallandor says:

        Anything less than that is hardly revolutionary. If they just mean “more than punch kick block” we’ve had those games before.

        • Carlos Bordeu says:

          Developer here:

          It plays something like a mix between Smash Bros (in terms of moveset and commands), with some elements taken from the more traditional fighters like Street fighter (like cancelling attacks into specials).

          If you don’t think of Smash as a fighting game, then well… we would have a disagreement on what is considered a fighting game. Whenever we have player vs player fights (game coop has friendly fire on), it feels like a fighting game.

          You can test monster movesets within the training room, and it isn’t that hard to get 6-8 hit combos with some of them. The combo’s aren’t pre-baked animations or sequences – they operate with the principles of a fighting game.

          A basic combo example: Jump Forward Air -> Neutral attack -> Cancel into special (Similar to Ryu’s Jump punch -> fierce punch -> cancel into shoryuken). Since this is more Smash and less SF, the attacks are “Fair, Bair, Nair, Uair, etc…” and not “Fierce Punch, Medium Punch, etc…”

          • DatonKallandor says:

            I think despite some people grumbling Smash Bros is accepted as being a fighting game. They’re at EVO for gods sake. So yeah, Smash Bros complexity is certainly complex enough. Looking forward to Abyss Odyssey.

  8. Stardreamer says:

    Ok. History quiz time.

    Has anyone done this before? 2D platforming game with deep combat mechanics? After the birth of Street Fighter 2, this always seemed like the next logical step for the likes of Double Dragon, Golden Axe and Target Renegade (and, y’know, actual platform games) but I can’t believe it’s 2014 and we’re only now just getting one. I must be wrong, surely?

    Prove me wrong: 3…2…1…GO!

    Oh yeah, forgot to say I’m loving Abyss Odyssey like a long-lost relative. Can’t wait for this one! :)

    • GamesInquirer says:

      Well, beat em ups have always had varying complexity, from the simplest like Final Fight to some more in depth stuff like Sengoku 3, or games that mixed in other genre elements like River City Ransom or Capcom’s Dungeons & Dragons games.

      For beat em up games mixing a somewhat reminiscent of platforming or Metroid/Castlevania type formula as seen here there have been the likes of Odin’s Sphere and Muramasa: The Demon Blade. There was also that Mortal Kombat Mythologies: Sub Zero game which I guess did the opposite, mixing a fighting game with these beat em up and platforming elements, but the end result was similar.

      I don’t think it’s the logical “next” step or anything though, just another twist that works well when done well. It sacrifices other things other good beat em ups do, like how there’s only one fighting plane and no moving “up” or “down” a wider path, either freely as in most beat ’em ups or by switching planes as in Guardian Heroes, as that stuff wouldn’t work well with the increased importance of the platforming and terrain/world traversal.

      Again, I don’t think it’s fair to say any of that does so much more than other beat ’em ups, it’s just a different style and while the comparison and advertisement as such is fair I don’t think any of it really achieves the depth, variety and balance of a real fighting game in a way that separates it wholly from other beat em ups that don’t claim that twist.

      Oh, there’s also the Tekken Force mode of Tekken 3 (which even had the moving “up” and “down”) and the campaign mode of Super Smash Bros. Brawl. While fun the controls of their base mechanics weren’t really suited to travel so they’re awkward in ways, which is also showing how these things aren’t really evolutions as they will have to sacrifice elements of the pure genre games that are still fun and should still exist. The genres have a lot to give in all their forms, one shouldn’t prevail as an evolution over the rest.

      And yeah, I couldn’t get into their previous games but Abyss Odyssey is very exciting.

  9. DestructibleEnvironments says:

    That bull looks more turquoise than purple to me.