by Joseph Leray
Just Add Water, the British studio developing a handful of Oddworld Inhabitants projects, are the first studio to publicly throw their names into Hideo Kojima's hat following yesterday's news that he was actively seeking third-party developers to remake "Metal Gear Solid" using the Fox Engine.
Kojima explained that parts of "Metal Gear Solid" would need to be updated and modernized, especially since he would want the hypothetical project to use Kojima Productions' proprietary Fox Engine. What's funny is that this is, uh, pretty much exactly what Just Add Water are doing to "Oddworld: Abe's Odyssey."
Here's the bulk of their open letter to Kojima:
We at Just Add Water feel ideally positioned to do the remake justice for several reasons:
- We have experience working with legendary IP (Oddworld Inhabitants) and treating the subject matter with the respect it deserves.
- Many members of our team are huge 'Metal Gear' fans, with very good knowledge of the source material.
- We really, really want to do it.
If "we really, really want to" isn't reason enough -- and, honestly, it should be -- Just Add Water aren't exactly neophytes of the video game remastering industry. They built the HD remake of "Oddworld: Stranger's Wrath" -- originally an Xbox title -- for PC, PlayStation 3, and Vita and, as of E3 2013, are working on a Wii U version as well.
"Oddworld: New 'n' Tasty" is a more ambitious project: a complete do-over, from the ground up, of Oddworld Inhabitants' seminal "Abe's Odyssee," the 1997 PlayStation game that launched the entire series. "New 'n' Tasty" is being developed in Unity's 3D engine as a 2D side-scrolling platformer, using the original as a "blueprint," while introducing quick saves and some user-friendly puzzle modifications.
Ok, so "Metal Gear Solid" is a simultaneously gritty and surrealist version of Cold War spy-vs.-spy (with some cloning thrown in for good measure) and "Oddworld" is a gruesome, dark fantasy story about slavery, ecological preservation, and a seriously deficient FDA -- seriously, the Glukkons are packaging the Mudokons as food. But the two projects aren't as disparate as they seem.
While the "Oddworld" series eventually shifted toward first-person shooting in "Stranger's Wrath," "Abe's Oddyssee" focused heavily on stealth, lateral thinking, and puzzle solving. In that sense, Just Add Water's experience with "Oddworld" could serve them well if they were ever tapped for this mythical "Metal Gear Solid" remake.
"Oddworld: New 'n' Tasty" (which I'm seriously looking forward to) is slated for this Fall on PlayStation 3, 4, and Vita, as well as Mac, PC, and Linux. The game is also concept approved, according to Oddoworld Inhabitants, for Microsoft consoles if they can find a retail publisher to partner with.
Joseph Leray is a freelance writer from Nashville. Follow him on Twitter