Review: Enslaved: Odyssey to the West

Jan 7, 2012

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The best thing this game has to offer is it’s rich story. It is a post-apocalyptic tale about a young woman who escapes capture and her journey home. Although it was released in October of 2010 - a year full of post-apocalyptic games and films, it stands out. Enslaved is not about the world that was, or how run down New York is. Rather it’s a tale of relationships and love between two people. It just happens to take place after a Earth-shattering cataclysm.

Story: From beginning to ends, this is a game about love. You play as Monkey, a man who is strong and agile. And you start by following every command given to you by Trip, your master. You see, Trip wants nothing more than to go home. And the resourceful young woman finds a way to enslave you and guarantee her return home. These two are placed into dangerous situations and what begins with Monkey having to protect Trip, ends with Monkey choosing to protect her. It’s Stockholm Syndrome with some a sprinkle of Gone with the Wind.

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Gameplay: If you enjoy Uncharted’s platforming, you’ll love Enslaved. If you enjoy Uncharted’s problem solving, you won’t find it here. Enslaved is very simplistic. You fight mechs between platforming, while collecting energy orbs for upgrades to your health, shield, staff, and combat. You fight with your staff either up close or at distance, and you have limited capability to block attacks. Up close you attack with a light or heavy assault. From distance you use your plasma cannon or a stun shot. Unfortunately there isn’t much more to it, and that gets boring after a while.

Fidelity: The game looks great but suffers from poor camera control. Also the environments are non-interactive which can take you away from the game a bit. Again, Ninja Theory, the game’s developer, focused 95% on story. As if to say, we’re going to have you play a little, and watch a lot.

Enslaved is available on both PS3 and XBOX 360.

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