Frying Pan Fury: The Cosmic Culinary Combat of PO'ed: Definitive Edition

Craig Cortez


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In an industry where the bizarre often blends with the imaginative, few titles promise as unique an experience as Nightdive Studios' upcoming resurrection project, PO'ed: Definitive Edition. Originally gracing the 3DO platform in 1995 before making a leap to the PlayStation, PO'ed carved out a niche for itself in the hearts of gamers with its off-the-wall premise and gameplay. The narrative thrusts you into the boots of an unlikely protagonist — a chef — thrown into an all-out battle against alien adversaries in a hostile world, armed initially with nothing more than culinary tools.

Nightdive Studios, a company celebrated for breathing new life into classics such as System Shock and Star Wars: Dark Forces, now turns its attention to this lesser-known gem. PO'ed stands apart not only for its unusual hero and armament but also for the freedom it offers players. As described by the lead KEX engine developer, Samuel "Kaiser" Villarreal, the game shines through its "simplicity and sandbox nature of the levels." The vast expanses and the added thrill of jetpack navigation underscore a gameplay experience that champions exploration and creativity.

Amidst the alien encounters, players will find themselves up against creatures that defy explanation, including, notably, aliens with peculiar appearances and behaviors, all set to be tackled with the hefty swing of a frying pan or the throw of a magical cleaver. Such whimsy underscores Nightdive's commitment to preserving the original's spirit of levity, ensuring that the joy of discovery and combat remains front and center. This emphasis on fun, as highlighted by business development director Larry Kuperman, speaks to an era of gaming where enjoyment was the paramount objective.

Delving into PO'ed: Definitive Edition, my own experience quickly mirrored the sentiments expressed by Nightdive's team. The alien designs provoke both amusement and strategy, urging me to navigate the terrain ingeniously and utilize my unconventional weaponry with precision. This immediate charm underscores the game's timeless allure, hinting at why a title from 1995 can still capture imaginations today.

Nightdive Studios' decision to reintroduce PO'ed to both long-time fans and a new generation is more than a nostalgic endeavor; it's a celebration of gaming's eclectic past. As PO'ed: Definitive Edition readies for its release on May 16 across PC and consoles, it not only promises a revival of an overlooked classic but also the rekindling of the sheer, unadulterated joy that gaming can bring. With its zany premise, inventive gameplay, and unapologetic humor, it stands as a beacon to those yearning for an era when games dared to be boldly different.