O.D.T.: Escape... or Die Trying
Windows - 1998
Description of O.D.T.: Escape... or Die Trying Windows
Old Dinosaur Toenails
From the very beginning of time, or at least since the first science fiction or fantasy book was written, there have been many quests undertaken, by a multitude of heroes and heroines. And quite frequently, the object of their quest is some legendary mystical object or other, endowed with strange and spooky magical powers. Even if the aforementioned item isn't at the end of their quest, you can bet there'll be some such object putting in an appearance along the way. Which is all very well, but there's a disturbing trend that started amongst the ranks of various mediocre fantasy authors and has since spread to the computer games industry. Since there are so many fantasy games and novels about, all the good magical object names have been used up and fantasy authors are resorting to cornier and cornier sounding object names.
We've already had 'The Dagger of Xian' in Tomb Raider 2, but the makers of blast-em-up Or Die Trying have really taken the chocolate chip biscuit with the item of magical power that features in their game. This magical object, is known as.. tada... 'The Green Pearl', a giant mutant pea with the ability to cure disease. Someone, somewhere, in ye olde fantasy land is laughing and counting their money as the crew of the SS Nautyflyus, the flying ship chosen to carry the pearl to a disease-ridden land, head off into the sunset. Although they don't get very far since they run into a storm. The green pearl goes critical, blowing up the ship, and forcing them to crash land on a strange island - proof, if need be, that some people are too stupid to be allowed to live.
Outside Duck Trampoline
So, thanks to the somewhat unstable powers of The Green Pearl (TM), you find yourself in a third person perspective shoot-em-up, in which you guide one of the four gun toting (or in one case, staff toting) Nautiflyus crew members through the various monster and trap filled levels in the game, a little like Tomb Raider, only without Ms Croft's sizeable assets, well, barring the one female character in the game, or indeed, the mass slaughter of all manner of endangered species. Instead, you get to blast your way through loads of baddies, including tall green gun toting aliens, weird brown clawed things, and none-too-friendly giant gun turrets - not a fluffy animal in sight. Actually, that's not entirely true - quite a few bats get toasted, but not being generally envisaged as cute and fluffy, even though they are really, they can be slaughtered in their virtual thousands. Oh, the tragedy - yes, I know it's only a game, but reviewing this many of the things does tend to undermine your hold on reality. But why are you belting around blowing up things? Because, rather than sink into a deep dark depression and sit there sucking his thumb, the captain of the downed airship has decided that the S.S. Flat as a pancake will fly again - and he's going to take action to ensure that his crew doesn't die on the strange space rock the prat crashed into.
Overly Delayed Trains
To get the downed ship airborne, you have to collect a number of items, which are scattered around the various levels. First off, you have to retrieve some gas - that's 'petrol' in countries where they speak proper english - at least, you do at first. Your objectives soon change when you discover the somewhat precarious situation you're in, and you have to do some serious blasting and switch flicking to ensure you and your comrades get off the island alive, heading deeper inside the island. I should point out that O.D.T. is more blasting-orientated than Tomb Raider - whereas that game consisted of about 2/3 platform hopping and switch flipping and 1/3 blasting, ODT consists of about 2/3 blasting and 1/3 platform hopping and switch flipping. ******O.D.T. 's levels are split up into sections - there are seven levels in total and each level contains up to ten smaller sections, which you can move between at your leisure. Gameplay generally consists of heading over to one area of the level, flicking a switch, which then gives you access to another area, which contains a key, which gives you access to another area of the level and so on until you find your way to the level exit or to your level objective. Sounds simple? It isn't.
Ostrich Drives Tanks
Matters are complicated by the fact that this is no ordinary island the Nautiboringpun landed on - I'm not referring to the fact that the island is the home of a being of pure evil and all his evil minions - you can take that as read. I'm talking about the fact that the island itself seems to be set not in water, but by a nightmarish stygian abyss, surrounded by blackness and with not a single star in sight. If you've read Stephen Laws 'Chasm', any of H.P. Lovecraft's books, or seen the end of 'The Langoliers' then you'll know the kind of place I'm talking about. It's never explained exactly how the flying ship managed to crash land in what is apparently another dimension - presumably it could be the influence of the giant green sprout, er, pearl. But whatever the reason, this lack of solidity tends to make things quite difficult for you.
Why? Because, there are a large number of holes and pits to be found on all the levels of the island, and if you should drop into any of them you'll fall for a long way, losing a life in the process. Oh, and if you should shuffle off the edges off the island you'll snuff it too. There are quite a lot of places in the game where you'll need to negotiate such pits, and also dodge a few spear traps as you go. Fortunately, the characters in the game are reasonably athletically inclined, and while they're not quite up to olympic standard, they can grab ledges and hang on with their fingertips, leap across gaps and generally avoid a nasty death. When it comes to ledge-grabbing, O.D.T. is more forgiving than other gamers - your jumps don't have to be pixel perfect - which is handy, because you'll have things on your mind other than making a jump. Specifically, how to take out the large gun turret that may be waiting for you round the next corner - because, as you may or may not have realised by now, you're not the only inhabitant of the floating island.
Office Denounces Toast
The other inhabitants of the island are less than friendly - while you're hopping around the various levels, you'll encounter not only the aforementioned gun turrets and tall green creatures with guns, but mutant piranha (now there's a completely original idea for a game baddie), heavily armed robots, and all manner of creatures that aren't exactly what you'd call intelligent but who are still capable of kicking your arse if you stand still for too long. But luckily, while the four characters you can choose to play as may have different physical attributes, strength, magic resistance, that sort of thing, they're all armed to the teeth. The four characters you can play as are - a bloke with a gun, a girl with a gun and a teach-yourself-kung-fu book, another bloke with a gun, and a bloke with a staff and a parrot which, as far as I can tell, serves only to annoy you until you start wishing you could put a barrel to its beak and blow the feathered git away.
All of these characters start the game with only their fists at their disposal, although they have four empty weapons which can only be used once you've collected the appropriate ammo from around the levels . This is not much use, though, if you're going to end up kicking your way through many levels of baddies and a few particularly unpleasant and tricky-to-dispose-of bosses. On the plus side, they gain experience from the various kickings and fire fights they get involved in during the course of the game. This experience can then be spent raising your characters three stats - their strength, weapons skill, or resistance to magic. If there are any role-playing-game-phobiacs reading this, then you needn't worry, the amount of stat fiddling in this game is kept to a bare minimum.
Opposite Dynamo Tree
One problem that crops up whenever you play games from a third person perspective is that of weapon aiming. When you're viewing the action from a point behind and slightly above your character, as you do in O.D.T. , you tend to lose your aiming reference point - in other words, you haven't got a clue where your bullets are going to end up. This was one of the problems that scuppered The Fifth Element. The approach to this taken in Tomb Raider was to have Lara automatically point her guns at any enemy that came with a few miles. Unfortunately, if the enemy moved around behind her, she lost her lock on the baddy, so gamers never got the chance to see her head rotate Exorcist style all the way round.
O.D.T features a system whereby your character fires in one direction, but this direction can be changed by using the aiming key, which also gives you a very nearly first person perspective of the action, handy for taking out aerial baddies. This system works pretty well, and means that you get the best of both worlds - forward firing for taking out baddies up close, and aiming for taking out baddies who are above or below you, and avoids the kind of flailing weapon antics that plagued The Fifth Element.
So I've gone on about the monsters, the aiming system and various other things - but the real question remains - is it any good? The answer is - erm, sort of. The level design is decent, with some spookily atmospheric locations, including dungeons, sewers, and other areas. There are plenty of enemies and traps for you to deal with, and it all looks good too, even if the animation isn't quite as decent as Tomb Raider's. There are enough levels to keep you going for a while and different characters to play with and the odd hidden area in the levels. The trouble is that those drops and pits can be pretty annoying, especially as you can only save your game at the beginning of a level or at certain selected points in a game - it's likely quite a few times you may get fed up with this and turn the game off. But if you persevere, you'll find a game that is actually quite entertaining. O.D.T. may not be brilliant, but it's still playable and well worth checking out.
Review By GamesDomain
Comments and reviews
Secretlyamgeese 2019-10-07 1 point
i googled it and it was just well tips. ive gone to the lengths of buying a disc copy and even that wont work through my external disc drive i cant find anything on this game only problems it seems
orianna thomas 2019-09-18 0 point
SECRETLYAMGEESE, One trick to use is get a dx9 mod like the ones used for Fallout3. google tips and tricks for fo3 an you'll see where to get it.
Secretlyamgeese 2019-06-23 0 point
i dunno if you check this anymore but it seems to not work it wont detect my graphics card
piano 2019-04-20 0 point
es un juego muy espetacular para la gente que lo juego bueno para mi lo es eso creo
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