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Stranger’s Wrath is still brilliant 15 years on – and the new Switch port is impressive

As one of the last major releases for the original Xbox, Oddworld: Stranger’s Wrath is also one of the most memorable games on the system, taking the series to new places with a cross between third-person platforming and first-person shooting. With its unique weapons system, open-ended mission design and fascinating story, it’s a game that always felt special and still holds up today – and it’s recently received an impressive Switch conversion.

The original Xbox release was something of a technical achievement, managing to push the hardware further than many other contemporary releases – but some might say that it was the right game at the wrong time, failing to break even. Its lack of commercial success ensured that the series went silent until the arrival of the 2015 PlayStation 3 HD remaster helmed by UK-based studio, Just Add Water.

It’s in this rendition of the game where most of the major changes were made – changes that persist across many of the subsequent releases of the game, including the new Switch conversion. Character and enemy models were overhauled with hugely boosted polygon counts, detailed new textures were added to the mix, cutscenes refined, foliage improved and crucially, the performance was bumped up to 60 frames per second. It wasn’t entirely flawless, but it was an amazing conversion of a landmark game and its great to see its DNA persist into new releases years later. JAW’s updates eventually made their way to PC as well, while PS Vita also received a solid conversion of the game, albeit one limited to 30fps.

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