The Stranger is an absolute professional. Nobody knows exactly where he comes from and who he actually is. The only certainty is that it is better not to mess with him. He roams the country, catches fleeing criminals, collects the bounty he has been given and disappears as quickly as he has come. The only person who knows a little more about him is the Doc. He is supposed to operate the stranger, but wants to see a lot of coal for it. What this is for an operation and how much money the stranger has to scrape together is not yet revealed at this point. However, we can assure you that the story of Stranger's retribution has some tangible surprises in store.
Stranger's Retribution: Furry Cartridges
Some players, who want to learn how to deal with the numerous types of ammunition in the detailed tutorial, should also look rather perplexed. Because the Stranger's patented and high-precision crossbow does not load ordinary bolts, but rather live ammunition.
Squeaky squirrels, voracious balls of fur and explosive bats are just a few of the unusual projectiles that you have to hunt and collect yourself within the levels. The way these beast bullets work is reminiscent of some of the commercially available weapons from other first-person shooters. The target-seeking bees are shot at high speed, for example, and you almost have the feeling of shooting around with a machine gun with black and yellow striped bullets. Unusual ammunition like the stunkz, on the other hand, causes spontaneous nausea in the opponent and you have the opportunity to catch the prey alive. If an opponent is passed out, asterisks hover over his head and signal that he can be shrunk with a kind of pocket-sized bandit vacuum cleaner and dragged around with him. This humane approach then pays off in cash because it rains money for every bandit collected and delivered. If the prey still has spontaneous self-breathing and a pulse, the reward is correspondingly higher. The stranger saves this coal for his mysterious operation, and in addition to ammunition, many upgrades can be purchased in shops. Whether knuckles for more effective melee attacks, upgrades for life energy or simple bags that can hold more ammunition – a visit to the aunt henna shop is always worthwhile.
Cash is king
Visits to the Bounty Store bounty store are also mandatory. There you collect the corresponding reward for captured villains and receive new orders. Four heavy boys (and one heavy mother) are waiting in each city to be sent to jail or the eternal hunting grounds. If you have decided on a worthwhile target, you immediately go to its hiding place and, on the way, knock down numerous easier opponents. The procedure is particularly crucial: Of course you can boldly attack your opponents with offensive weapons, but often the tactical approach is much easier and more effective. In high grass, the stranger is almost invisible and can lure its enemies to the desired location. The already mentioned, cheeky croissants crouching in front of each other serve as bait. Once laid out, they annoy nearby enemies so much that they immediately run to the troublemaker to trample him.
A great opportunity for the stranger to take out the distracted enemy. In the course of the game, hiding places for the stranger are becoming increasingly rare and especially in the last third of the game you should have trained to use the other weapons. The stranger's melee skills should also not be underestimated. In the outside perspective, you can use knock attacks to quickly knock out the opponents and prepare them for capture. In the end, you have to combine both attack variants and perspectives to be successful. Anyone who only travels in first-person view will have difficulties just like players who only swing their fists. Some larger opponents can only be defeated by combining both types of attack.
Stranger's retaliation: wanted, dead or alive
The numerous boss opponents require even more ingenuity. Each of these sought-after fugitives is entrenched in a kind of fortress, which is often difficult to capture with mere force of arms. Sometimes shield generators have to be deactivated, sometimes the villains surround themselves with deadly snipers or self-shot systems. All bosses have in common that they are not to be underestimated opponents. Thanks to extremely fair reset points, these moments are still not frustrating and with the right approach you can really crack every boss. In addition to a regeneration ability for the stranger, the developers will also give you versions of the ammunition drilled out later in the game. The explosive bat bomb then becomes a kind of target-seeking rocket launcher and the pacifist spider creatures Boarachnids captivate three opponents at once. Bandits are often – of course purely coincidental – near explosive barrels or under heavy containers, which you can use with a targeted shot in your favor.
In Indiana Jones' footsteps
So that the shooting is not boring, the developers have built some fun levels of a different kind. So you can hop into a lorry several times and rush through rails through narrow canyons or canoe across the rivers and lakes of Oddworld. Especially with these water crossings you also get the opportunity to enjoy the harmonious environment. Fortunately, the game does not stall despite the many action. The artistic design of the title is really high quality. The entire game world looks like one piece and you can literally immerse yourself in the everyday life of the stranger. Despite the actually quite linear level structures, you never feel constricted and can move freely within the areas. Stranger's retaliation can also get top marks acoustically. The music increases the dense atmosphere immensely and the English setting is funny and very professional. But as consistent as the title is, even the revised HD graphics cannot keep up with current games. Fortunately, that doesn't affect fun.
Greatly presented, atmospherically dense mix of genres with lots of wit and decent technology
Stranger's retribution is a very good mix of action adventure and shooter with a fantastic design and ingenious atmosphere. The idea of live ammunition deserves a special price and the HD implementation is technically decent, even though the title clearly shows its age. In terms of play, Stranger's retaliation could still be a bit more balanced and a little more freedom in terms of game mechanics would also have been great. The world should also be a little more lively and filled with more content for greater replay value. I would have liked to spend a little more time in Oddworld looking for secrets or doing bonus quests. Nevertheless, Stranger's retaliation is an absolutely successful gaming experience that should not be missed on the Switch.
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