Enslaved: Odyssey to the West Review

Site Score
9.0
Good: Presentation, Memorable Story, Solid, Yet Simple Fighting Mechanics, Great Platforming
Bad: Occasional Glitches, Little Replayability
User Score
6.7
(3 votes)
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Heavenly Sword on the PlayStation 3 was one of the games that Ninja Theory failed in bringing joy to fans of action games as it shows great potential but in the end, it was lacking with some of the things that is important to gamers; gameplay. In another attempt to give joy and excitement to gamers, Ninja Theory releases Enslaved: Odyssey to the West on both the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3.

Developed by the same company who brought us Heavenly Sword, the main character of the game named Trip, looks very identical to Heavenly Sword’s Nariko. With that set in mind, should fans expect a Heavenly Sword clone? Let me be the first to say no, and I will tell you why in our HOTs and NOTs portion of our Enslaved: Odyssey to the West Review.

HOT

Presentation
Enslaved will bring players into a post apocalyptic world where Machines took over the planet. Players can expect to see exotic locations within the game such as lush green jungles to a destroyed metropolis where Monkey and Trip have no other choice but to climb the building terrain. Similar to the presentation of Heavenly Sword, Enslaved’s strongest strength is the perfect motion capture, phenomenal voice acting, and memorable characters. Using the power of the Unreal Engine, Ninja Theory did a good job in creating a post apocalyptic world where it, as well as the characters looks believable. The lip syncing of the characters perfectly matches, therefore it helps to build out emotions when a cutscene commences. The fourteen chapters that players will be going through will be a fun and emotional experience as there will be cutscenes that will touch the player’s heart as well as beautiful scenery that will be remembered for the years to come.

Memorable Story
It is important to a game to have a story that will be remembered. Enslaved will take players into an epic adventure of a savvy tech, Trip, and a prisoner called Monkey, who happened to be enslaved by Trip after the destruction of the ship that they were both riding. Following the airship’s destruction, Monkey was given a task by Trip to accompany her to their homeland all the way to the West. Thanks to the “slave headband” that Trip implanted on Monkey’s head, he has no choice but to comply as both of the character’s lives depend on each other. The story of Enslaved starts off slow but as the player goes through the fourteen chapters, unsolved mysteries will start popping in and it is a guarantee that the player will get hooked.

Solid, Yet Simple Fighting Mechanics
The fighting mechanics in Enslaved are very simple, yet very solid. Using the staff of Monkey, players will be able to use combos. It is no brainer that player will get easily grasp the battle system but the execution of combos and attacks are perfect. Aside from hitting enemies with Monkey’s staff, players can also use the staff to shoot projectiles that can either damage the machines or stun them by using the appropriate ammunition. Throughout Monkey and Trip’s adventure back to their home, players will be able to upgrade Monkey’s staff and abilities. Before a player can do so, special orbs must be collected and when enough are collected, a player can utilize Trip to make Monkey a more perfect warrior. Monkey can obtain and use a mech’s weapon if the player can perform the “Take Down” attack.

Great Platforming; Similar to Uncharted?
Enslaved is often compared to games such as Uncharted, Heavenly Sword, and Prince of Persia. It is true that the platforming of Enslaved is inspired by games such as Uncharted and Prince of Persia. In all fourteen chapters of the game, Monkey and Trip will be climbing mountains, and buildings as they try to reach their homeland. It is a pleasure to see some of its similarities of Uncharted as the game takes majority place in a forest which will remind players of Uncharted. The climbing into trees, rooftops, and buildings is very similar to the Prince of Persia games, except Enslaved does it better and faster.

Exploring the Vast Ruined Land
Players can finish Enslaved in eight to ten hours depending on the difficulty the player chooses. Exploring the game has never been more fun thanks to the awesome presentation the game has to offer. Using the technology of the Dragonfly built by Trip, players are able to scout the place and learn the position of the mechs roaming the land. It is extremely handy as it will make players think of a strategy to attack and/or avoid them at all costs. Dragon Ball Z fans will be pleased to see that Monkey has a cloud similar to what Goku uses in the anime. There is also EMP energy that allows your cloud to get a boost.

NOT

Occasional Glitches
Despite of having a good presentation, Enslaved occasionally suffers from minor graphical glitches. At a certain point in the game where a cutscene commences, players will be able to see screen tearing and camera issues. It is nothing major as it only happens once or twice throughout the eight to ten hour adventure. Not every game is perfect and Enslaved is one of them despite of everything else about the game being so good.

Little Replayability
After finishing Enslaved, players will have no reason to go back and play the game again unless the player’s goal is to collect all of the masks or complete the achievements/obtain trophies for it. Once the game is done, it is done. Id Est Finem. There are only a few collectibles in the game and for the most part, it is not really worth collecting them all as the player will be busy exploring the wasteland.

VERDICT

Editor's Choice AwardEnslaved: Odyssey to the West is indeed one of the games that we have needed for a very long time. The enthralling presentation and perfect storyline, makes the game my nominee for this year’s Game of the Year. Forget about the occasional glitches because by the time the player starts the game, it will all be forgotten as soon as Monkey and Trip start exploring. For fans who are disappointed by Ninja Theory’s Heavenly Sword, Enslaved: Odyssey to the West will make that disappointment into unforgettable gaming moments that players will have remembered for the years to come.

[Editor's Note: Enslaved: Odyssey to the West was reviewed on a Xbox 360 platform. The game was played from start to completion.]

Enslaved: Odyssey to the West Review, 6.7 out of 10 based on 3 ratings
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8 Comments

  1. Frozenps3guy
    October 1, 2010, 3:42 PM

    Beings that I have only played the demo, I can say I’m very impressed with the whole nature taking back the world game world they’ve created. As far as the combat goes i felt it was very fluid and satisfying. But my only minor complaint would be that the character movement is a tad bit over sensitive. But overall, I’m very excited to get my hands on this game Tuesday along size Lords of shadow.

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  2. jokersanarchy
    October 1, 2010, 4:32 PM

    Ive been looking forward to this game since it was announced and i actually like heavenly sword.I’m glad to see it get such a good score i will be getting it day one. Hopefully other game makers will take notice and put a lot more into crafting better stories and compelling characters

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  3. Jaspal
    October 1, 2010, 4:40 PM

    My first impression was that it definitely felt like a spiritual successor to Heavenly Sword, one of the best ps3 games I’ve ever played. Right off the bat you can see the influence, Trip even looks similar to Nariko. So this game should be fun to play

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  4. NORMAND FRANCOIS
    October 1, 2010, 11:21 PM

    I played the demo last night and was excited to see NINJA THEORY at work again.I loved Heavenly Sword when it came out on the PS3..and finished it twice.Happy Ninja Theory is makeing this game hope pepole go out and buy it..

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  5. David Ferber
    October 2, 2010, 12:17 AM

    Hype for Enslaved was a very slow burn for me. When I first saw screenshots, I decided to keep an eye on it. When I saw gameplay, I figured I’d need to see more – but for the last three or four months, every time I see anything for this game it just skyrockets my anticipation. Not many games manage that. Dead Space 2 and Last Guardian come to mind.

    As it stands now, Enslaved is my #1 most anticipated game of the season. Can’t bloody wait for Tuesday.

    Good review, btw.

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  6. Chris Schultz
    October 2, 2010, 11:15 AM

    From the second i saw Enslaved, being it in the GameInformer mag, I looked at it and passed it by. But then i gave it a second look and read the article and was actually impressed. It looked like something i wanted to play. I was growing tired of all the constant shooters and playing hardcore multiplayer that i havent gotten the time to relax and play a nice single-player game. Around the time Reach came out, so did the Enslaved demo i think. I tried it; and at one point, i think towards the beginning, i said “Hey, this is uncharted!” it was the point where the place was falling apart and i have to climb back up the plane. I was laughing, but at the same time i was hooked! And the combat felt nice, a tad repetitive, but cinematic, especially when you finished off the last person and it closed in on the character. That being said, i cannot wait for this game. And if i had the money, i would be buying it day one. I need a game like this. Tired and just want to relax and enjoy a memorable story.

    This is a class A game in my book.
    And your review and everywhere else is saying its a great game, with some faults, but it shouldnt take from the experience.

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  7. Rameana
    October 7, 2010, 9:04 PM

    Enslaved. Wow. I was really hyped for this game the moment I saw it, and when I heard it was from Ninja Theory, I knew we were all in for a treat.
    I’m really enjoying what I have seen and heard thus far. I love how some of the movements are very fluid, ie. Monkey’s climbing. Some of cut and fight scenes are a marvel to look at. This game is beautiful. I remember standing out on a ledge just looking at the horizon for awhile.
    While there were a few glitches in the demo it did not take away from anything for me because the story and movie type cinematics pulled me in so deep. Great stuff.

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  8. James Barrett
    October 8, 2010, 1:45 AM

    I am a serious “casual gamer”, I don’t watch network or cable TV. Enslaved’s Story is captivating, graphics among the best I have seen, but some glitches haven’t been taken care of, the worst being a globe footed mech who will run into a wall and keep running, and can’t be damaged… restart from the last save is the only way out. The camera veers all over the place, making it harder to pick up ammo and things on the run, and in melee combat, it is too easy to loose your target. Speaking of targets; the game is almost stingy with the ammo, and in at least one fight, hitting the indicated target point, with lousy aiming controls, still dosen’t do anything. On top of that, I am playing in “easy” mode, it frequently happens that a enemy mech “materalizes” and attacks just as the firing button is pushed. The producers of this game need to look up the definition of “easy”!!

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