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Enslaved: Odyssey to the West

version: pal (de), collector's edition - year: 2010 - developer: ninja theory - publisher: namco bandai - format: ps3, blu-ray - condition: near mint - rarity: slight

The European Collector's Edition includes a hardcover artbook and the game's OST.


The main character Monkey looks a bit like Wolverine here


Post-apocalyptic New-York looks very good


and it's a nice change from the usually grim futuristic sci-fi vision most games have


Some of the artwork and the jumping sequences reminded me of the unjustly underrated Bionic Commando


Here, an eye will follow you around as you make your way...


...to this huge open hand!


Monkey's animations are unbelievably smooth, he really jumps around like an ape!


The fighting system is fine, and transmits a decent sense of violence


Fighting on a huge transport plane, Contra-style!


There is a certain amount of inter-dipendencies between you and the lady, which makes the action feel more interesting


The fat guy to the right is called Pig. Just look out for the name of the trophies related to him, they are hilarious!


Review - Loosely based on a 16th Century Chinese tale called Journey to the West , Enslaved is a science-fiction post-apocalyptic yet happy-looking action platformer with emphasis on characters and story.

If you played any of the "nicer" current-gen third person action games out there, you’ll recognize many of the typical staples of the genre, like beautiful character animations, breathtaking scenarios, spectacular scenes, mild puzzle elements, and game-assisted platforming sections which alternate with some heavy duty fighting.

All the expected boxes seem to be ticked, although I personally had a couple of issues with this game:

The main problem I had was the fact that the levels you wander around look large and because of it, the drawing distance is sometimes so far that the game’s engine simply isn’t up to the task and doesn't really deliver on PS3, meaning that the graphics do not move as smoothly as they should. This results in some choppiness of the scrolling which I have to say, gave me a bit of nausea while playing. What I cannot explain is why this choppiness remained even in closed environments where the 3D engine does not have to move so many polygons!

Another issue I had with the game is the repetitive style of the enemies. How many (almost) identical-looking mechs can you fight before getting bored? Only bosses proved to be more interesting although I really think that a greater variety of enemy types would have immensely benefited Enslaved.

Also, I was a bit perplexed by the difficulty level which is extremely low on normal mode. I understand the aim of the game is to tell a story and get you involved with the characters, but is that really enough for a supposedly "triple A" action game?

Specifically, the challenge has been completely removed from the platforming sections for the sake of not interrupting the game’s flow. They do look nice but they are so shockingly easy that you could play them blind-folded while brushing your teeth and still not die!

I really thought Enslaved would provide more gameplay with substance but in the end, what I found was some fun action framed within beautiful but choppy environments in a heavily scripted story which was good but not outstanding.

Ninja Theory which also developed the first-gen but still awesome action game Heavenly Sword shouldn’t be surprised that Enslaved didn’t sell as they expected: it unfortunately under-delivered both on the gameplay and on the technical front and what remains is only an entertaining but ultimately light story, some interesting and expressive characters and...hmm...not much else!

The most expressive-looking characters created and the best motion capture and facial animations cannot save by themselves Enslaved which remains a spectacular, entertaining but ultimately superficial gaming experience.

Bottom line: If you are looking to relax and be entertained, Enslaved could be an option. Just don't expect your playing skills to be put to use as you'll quickly breeze through the game in a few hours and move on to something else. 7/10










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