Enslaved: Odyssey to the West Review (PS3)
These days there are a very small amount of games that make me feel like I’m on an actual journey. Most of the time I feel like I’m just playing a video game that takes me from point A to point B. Recently I’ve finally gotten a chance to play a game that sets itself apart from the pack. That game is Enslaved: Odyssey to the West, not the East but the West my friends. My journey started as a character named Monkey trapped on a slave ship, a ship that flies . As soon as this intro to my journey started, I was left in a bit of suspense. Why was I on this slave ship, who is this mysterious girl that escaped from her pod across from me and where were we going? Well after a really good action sequence that led me to escape the ship, I painfully found out who the mysterious red headed girl was. Her name was Trip and she put a slave command device on my head when I wasn’t looking. Turns out she wants me to take her back to her home and if I don’t do what she says she will kill me with the slave device.
Now that you are up to speed on what the game is about I’m going to jump into the key parts of what makes Enslaved: Odyssey to the West such a great game. When you look at Enslaved you will encounter environments that make you really feel like you are in a post apocalyptic setting. You journey through a city that is basically deserted and filled with plants that cover the concrete of virtually everything which paints a picture that this city has been deserted for a very long time. There are also places that you pass through later in the game that looks visually stunning, like a huge junkyard of old Mechs (robots) that has a mountain made out of old metal parts from machines. Throughout the game there are three main characters. Monkey is the guy you play with, Trip is the crazy girl that put that slave device on Monkey, and Pigsey is a man that resembles a pig that is obsessed with machines and technology. All of the characters look very detailed and show real emotions when looking at them. Even though the game looks very good, there are some minor issues. Sometimes the textures of the characters or environments do pop in (detail pops in after a couple of seconds) although it is not common. The frame rate kept a steady consistent flow with no noticeable hiccups.
The story in Enslaved is pretty straight forward. Dont get me wrong there are some plot twist and stuff that you will not expect. When I played through Enslaved I feel like the journey to where I was going was the story. Remember when you were younger and you read books that tells good storys about characters with an interesting Journeys. Well this time you are playing that adventure with Enslaved. Overall the Story is Solid and has a great ending that actually has meaning.
The game is comprised of three major gameplay elements, which is puzzles, platforming(climbing/jumping), and combat. This game does a great job of keeping all of these elements fresh and fun. The puzzles are challenging sometimes but not overly hard, sometimes you are put in a situation where you have to use a hovering device and perform different task that are very fun. Or you may have to do a puzzle that requires more thought, you might be stuck but for no more than ten minutes which helps with the pacing. Speaking about pacing, the platforming keeps the pacing rolling because of Monkeys ability to perform acrobatic swings and jumps that live up to his name. Therefore the platforming is pretty easy and quick, I personally like that because I hate when I play a game that punishes me while platforming so I consistently die, now that’s no fun. But what is fun is the combat. I love the combat in this game. Monkey uses his shear power to destroy his enemies. He may use his fist that is equipped with metal gloves for smashing, a staff to do some serious ripping, or use the same staff as a gun to either blow the Mechs away or stun them for a finishing face to face blow. What makes combat unique is the slow motion effects of Monkey slaying his enemies and also the enemies getting torn apart. Speaking about enemies, there is a good amount of variety. They go from basic Mechs, to more advanced Mechs that have special attacks and a special way to kill them, to huge boss fights that I enjoyed a lot.
When you first put in Enslaved, you will be greeted in the menu with a song that I thought really set the tone before I even started. While playing the game, you will listen to some ‘good action’ tracks, to depressing tracks to convey the scene. It seems like the music is one of the strong points in the game because it sets the mood for the particular part of the game that you are playing, In fact I liked the ending song so much that I sat through the credits just to listen to it. The sound effects can also get pretty good, like this part where you were in a place where there is a lot of machines and you really felt like you were there simply because the sound effects was so good. To top all of the great sound design off, there is really good voice acting. For some reason in my head I was thinking that’s how Monkey would sound, same with Trip and Pigsey. Everything just flows through your ears the way it should, in my opinion.
Replay Value is where Enslaved Falls short. Once you beat the game you are pretty much done unless you want to fully upgrade Monkey or you are trophy/acheivement hunting. I will note that there is DLC available for purchase called Pigsey’s Perfect 10 where you play as Pigsey and try to complete challenges. I personally havent played that DLC so I cant comment on it.
I know guys, this Review was a journey too, and you are wondering how good is Enslaved really? Well I’m glad to say it had me under mind control. Yes there may be a few bugs here and there, but none are game breaking. The story was very well told and made me feel like I was on a epic journey with tons of memorable moments. Paired with some plot twist and great gameplay, I wonder why some people I know never even played the game. Well that’s why I had to put out this Review to tell anybody who comes across this game to give it a try and you won’t regret it!