After a couple of remakes and a third game in the Asterix & Obelix XXL franchise, OSome Studio and Microids have produced another new entry in the series – Asterix & Obelix XXXL : The Ram From Hibernia. Out for all major console systems and PC, we checked out the PlayStation 5 version.
After remastering the three Asterix & Obelix XXL games, we’re now getting an extra X in a new adventure for arguably some of the most famous European comic book heroes – two Gauls who stand up against the Roman invaders in the year 50 B.C. And while they’re perhaps not household names in the US, there’s even an entire theme park dedicated to them in France, not too far away from Disney Paris. To put some perspective on things – Astérix & Obélix are a pretty big deal.
It had been a pretty long wait in between the (original) release of XXL 2 and Asterix & Obelix XXL 3: The Crystal Menhir in 2019, so we were glad to see that XXXL continues the sequence of getting a new game for the IP each year (last year’s was Slap Them All). In XXXL, you set off for Hibernia, which is better known as today’s Ireland. The daughter of the chief there is asking for your help in fighting off the Roman hordes there, and she also needs help retrieving the Golden Ram that was lost in the process.
Across six different environments, Asterix & Obelix XXXL : The Ram From Hibernia follows a familiar and beloved pattern – slapping Romans, silly humor and the occasional puzzle, this time for up to four players at once. There’s a definite sense of deja vu here, even though there’s a change of scenery, with a band of Hibernians that doesn’t use magic potions for strength but relies on a ram with golden horns. Of course, this is the aforementioned Golden Ram, and when it gets stolen by the Romans and the chief’s daughter Kératine asks for your help, your path is set.
The in-game tutorial still takes place near your home village, but the bulk of the game is set in Hibernia, with the action unfolding from an aerial point of view (you can change the zoom level). The fighting is recognizable, but does feature a few tweaks – like the ability to pick up a ton of objects to use while fighting, which makes it far less repetitive than before. Of course this is somewhat common in the beat ’em up genre, but as Asterix and Obelix generally rely on slapping Romans around there weren’t too many options to mix up the combat before – that’s been greatly improved. Puzzles are fun as well, and dynamic in the sense that they’ll encourage cooperation when you’re not playing solo.
Asterix & Obelix XXXL : The Ram From Hibernia is on the short side though, wrapping up its campaign in well under six hours with little replay value to speak of. It’s a fun journey while it lasts though, with well-written conversations and quality voice-overs, lots of in-jokes that tap into pop culture and a quality soundtrack all bringing this adventure to life. Excellent animations also help turn this into a family-friendly co-op action adventure that’s easy to recommend. Things like replay value could certainly be improved, but we’re looking forward to a possible XXXL 2.