Abo Khashem is a pleasant departure from the typical open world experience. It offers a unique experience and has a little bit for everyone.
The story of Abo Khashem is quite weird. Awakening in the desert with no memories, the game sets the stage for a grand adventure, but quickly tosses that out the window as begin the adventure by pummelling cats in the street. After maiming a few felines you are quickly put in the back of a police car only to be freed by your new best friend and talking lizard, Shukman.
The story is quite short taking on a few hours if you focus on it exclusively. Aside from the open world story, there are three other types of gameplay:
First is the property management aspect introduced early in the game that is quite fun. This is where I found myself spending the most time while reviewing the title. Aside from that, there are ‘hidden’ worlds called “Cat Worlds” where the gameplay turns into 3D platforming with RPG elements. The Cat Worlds are where you will spend a majority of your time, battling against numerous enemy types (all cats). There are several of these worlds and they are on a set rotation making this the best way to grind for better gear. At the end of each of these worlds is a boss fight, some more challenging than others.
Finally, and most forgettable, is Shukman’s mini game which plays like a decent mobile freemium game without the paid options.
The open world seems to lack much content aside from the story. There are two types of collectables in the open-world as well as a single, repeatable race.
The most prevalent style is 3D platforming in an open-world environment, yet includes many RPG elements such as stats and a tech tree. There is also a built-in property management game that is quite fleshed out, especially when compared to the rest of the gameplay. Shukman’s mini-game is tedious at best, offering little reward and much frustration. The real ‘meat’ of the game lies in the 3D platforming within the Cat Worlds.
Although not the greatest, I did not notice many visual bugs. The only issue was the camera being inside of a wall revealing the landscape around it. The game has a day and night cycle that rotates for every hour or so of gameplay. The palette used is neutral and calming in the over-world, and vibrant and colorful in the cat worlds.
The music in this game is quite pleasing, which is good because it only has about 5 songs or so that loop. There are also a few stings and dramatic pieces used in the boss battles and cut-scenes. At some points in the over-world, the music would fade and a strange silence would overtake.
The voice acting is very fitting for the games tongue-in-cheek dialogue. I found myself laughing during some of the dialogue.
While the story can be completed in a few hours on Normal or lower difficulties, a playthrough on the harder difficulties could prove, well, difficult. With RPGs comes the typical grinding for better gear which, to be honest, was quite enjoyable in this title. If you enjoy strategy and management games, then you will no doubt spend hours in the property management side of the game.
With the amount of time I’ve spent on this game, I think it fully warrants a $20 price tag. If it goes on sale for under $10 it’s a definite buy.
RPG elements are well done and offer many playstyles
Various mini-games that offer something to a variety of players
Humorous story and dialogue
Open world feels like a test environment for another game
Driving is awful (could be a plus for some as it can be quite amusing)
I enjoyed this game very much, at times it was frustrating but doable. It did feel a bit unfinished in spots, namely the physics. I would recommend this to others especially if it was on sale as it provides a playful romp on the lower difficulties and a VERY challenging experience for those playing on Nightmare.
I was given a copy of this game for review purposes.
I played through the entire game twice and half of a Nightmare play through putting over 120 hours in the game.
Overall Score: 8/10
Developer: Moving Dimensions
Publisher: Moving Dimensions
Release Date: 23rd February 2018
File Size: 3.33GB
Xbox One copy provided for review purpose.
Available on Xbox One, PlayStation 4 & Steam