Written by Twisted Ideas
Enslaved: Odyssey to the West is an action adventure game and is an adaptation of the classic Chinese novel Journey to the West. Likely overlooked due to it being a singleplayer game with limited replay value, many gamers missed out on something special.
Developer: Ninja Theory
Platforms: Playstation 3, Xbox 360
What is it?
The original Journey to the West was a story about a monk who was on a pilgrimage who takes the Monkey King as his protector. He places a headband on the Monkey King that the monk can use to cause great pain to keep him under control. Enslaved takes place in a post-apocalyptic future where machines are capturing humans. A young woman named Trip uses her mechanical expertise to escape and cause the airship to crash. Trip spots Monkey on the ship and after the crash places a slave headband on him so he can take her home.
Enslaved stands out in it’s voice acting. To this day, with performances by Andy Serkis as Monkey and Lindsay Shaw as Trip, give some of the best voice acting performances in gaming yet. The dialogue feels so natural and it writing isn’t afraid to have quiet moments.
And there is Piggy… who looks like a pig…
The visuals are a pleasant surprise. For a post-apocalyptic game the game has a lot of bright colors as evidenced in the opening scenes where Monkey sees the clear blue skies for the first time on the slave ship. Deserted cities are overgrown, we get to see the clear blue rivers and most of the game takes place during the day.
Look whose king of the jungle
The game has its share of flaws and short comings. Overall the game lacks polish. The frame rate noticeably drops in action and the combat is simplistic where most of the difficulty comes from protecting Trip and evading deathtraps. The game is fairly short as well, easily beaten over a weekend or paced throughout a week. The game has climbing mechanics like game like Uncharted. The climbing sections are just poor transitions in gameplay because there is little danger in the climbing. You can’t accidentally jump to your death and on easier difficulties you could easily move across most hazards and survive.
Personally, I have a problem with the story or rather the ending. The revelations only served to make the things more complicated and didn’t match up with what was happening throughout the game.
Why should you get it?
Enslaved was a risk for Namco and they committed. Other than the lack of polish on the frame rate and the uninspired gameplay, Enslaved has a look and feel that you don’t get in action games very often. The environments and the voice acting are fantastic and stand out even to this day. If you can find this for cheap then this is a must buy.