WeView Verdict: Enslaved: Odyssey to the West

I was a bit nervous about selecting Enslaved as a game for WeView. I had a suspicion that it might not get a huge volume of you reviewing it, and it looks like I was right. Only seven of you weighed in with your opinion this week, our lowest turnout so far. However, that’s not enough to put me off; let’s dive straight into your opinions of the game.

Let’s start with haz360, who seemed to be utterly in love with the title’s characters; a fairly common theme. This seems to be largely due to Ninja Theory use of motion capture for its games, in a similar way to titles like L.A. Noire and the Uncharted series utilize it.

The real draw to Ensalved though are the characters and the way in which they are portrayed by their respective actors. This is what kept me playing Enslaved. The gameplay is great, no doubt, a mixture between simple, but tactile combat, and fun platforming elements, but what really kept me hooked until the end was the story of the two central characters, their journey and their developing relationship. By the time I saw the ending, I wanted to know what happened next, where were these characters going next, what was in store for them and were they going to stick together?

Whilst haz360 seemed to be strongly in favour of the game, cam_manutd had a slightly more mixed opinion. Although they kicked off with similar praise for the game’s actors, their opinions started to diverge shortly afterwards.

Enslaved shares many of the flaws from Ninja Theory’s previous console installment (Heavenly Sword) in that the technical attirbutes are arguably on the verge of brilliance with regard to voice acting and plotlines. The combat is clunky at the best of times but there is very rarely a 3rd person action adventure game in which it is perfected. The main gripe of this game is the woeful camera angles and restrictions..it really does limit performance at times. But in the face of either Uncharted or Tomb Raider, this game is a wonderful distraction and anyone with a strong interest in story/character driven titles then this one is for you.

As always there were those who weren’t all the pleased with the title, and in particular Kevling seemed to get very frustrated with things. I can share his pain about the game’s save failures, I’ve had similar experiences far too many times.

However, the killer for me were the hoverboard/cloud water levels. I managed the first few sections, but only got to the part just before meeting Pigsy and kept dying. I only had the one save, and just kept restarting in the middle of the water being fired on from several directions and dying in seconds as I frantically try and remember what the controls are. Yes that was partly my fault for poor save game management, but being left stuck in that situation was a game-breaker for me. It’s a shame, as I’d heard Pigsy was quite the character, so I’m annoyed I missed out on that part.

In this week’s monster review (these seem to be becoming a theme), Eldave0 was very keen on the game’s mechanics for traversing the world. These also impressed me when I got some time with the game way back at last year’s Eurogamer Expo.

The other huge aspect of the game play is navigation. Monkey certainly lives up to his name in this game, as he is brilliant at navigating a variety of different terrains. Expect to climb lots of hand-holds, swing between pipes and jump huge gaps. If this sounds familiar to ‘Uncharted’ it’s because it does feel a lot like it. Traversing is incredibly simple and all done via a single button but looks absolutely amazing to watch. Monkey will only follow your instructions if he is going to make the jump so there are no annoying deaths to worry about here, which obviously removes the challenge but certainly avoids frustration and keeps the game flowing.

With my pick of your opinions out of the way lets get to your verdict of the game. Although there were only seven votes on the verdict this week, it was a pretty significant result. There were two votes for Rent It but with the remaining five of the votes, Enslaved gets a verdict of Buy It from the TSA community. Now I just need to get my hands on it.

Finally, if you’ve got any games that you think we should cover, jot them down in the comments. I’ll be sure to consider every suggestion and try to judge how popular they are.

– PAGE CONTINUES BELOW –

21 Comments

  1. I loved how it seemed to come out of nowhere, without much advertisement campaigns. It hardly ever happens I get to download a demo from PSN store, that I had never heard about before. And after playing the demo, I wanted it right away.
    Liked it a lot although playtime was much too short, I think

  2. This WeView has me interested in this title, may have to pick it up at some point.

  3. I remember playing the demo right after finishing God of War 3: thought the two were uncomparable, with Enslaved fighting mechanics/graphic compartment at least three steps behing. Skip.

  4. Behind*, aehm :p

  5. Enjoyed Enslaved a lot. The Unreal engine was fairly solid although “load-in” at the start was pretty nasty but easy to forget and ignore. The environments were lovely at times. Especially one of the initial shots of the skyscrapers wrapped in plant-life and destitute for all to see.

    The mo-cap/acting was particularly strong and I still think Pigsy’s reaction was truly incredible when Trip had to tell him something. It’s a minor plot point (barely a spoiler) as you can see it coming a mile off. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ll2z_plxtIA

    The shift in emotions was superb. From shock/surprise to not knowing what to say to instant grief – all in a few seconds. Just a myriad of feeling with everything portrayed perfectly.

  6. I don’t understand why everyone praises the story so much. It felt pretty linear to me. I really liked the destroyed city / overgrown nature visuals and the voice acting was pretty solid but don’t get me started on the combat mechanics. Trying to get that trophy where you are not allowed to take damage for a whole chapter was borderline infuriating.

    • It wasn’t so much the story as the acting that was stellar. They really managed to get emotion in the faces, and that’s very rare to come by in the world of video games. Especially when the models are semi-realistic.

  7. Great story and characters, so-so gameplay but overall i enjoyed it.
    I would like to Weview Dirt 3 next.

    • Bit soon for Dirt 3 isn’t it? Dirt 2 however…

      • For me, it’s actually too late as i already bought Dirt 3..now i just want to have a rant! ;)

      • Ah, I see – I hadn’t gotten around to getting it yet (hence why I thought it might be a bit early), but the fact that you want a rant & that Thechunkymunky hasn’t gotten on too well with it either makes me think I’ll probably just give it a pass!

      • Don’t get me wrong mate. It’s a solid racer. I just found the online to be a bit borked for me.
        That and codies taking out a couple of the Group B cars out. But i’d say it’ll be more fun playing it with TSAians then randoms.

  8. Great story and character development were key to point out in this game. I didn’t like it at the start and thought one of the chapters was quite long – I was afraid to leave a chapter unfinished as I never knew where I’d end up if I left. However, as I got past the first few chapters the game grabbed me and from a slow 2 week start I ended up completing the story within a day of being hooked. That’s a good game for me, and I had hoped they would do another but the ending is proper weird – maybe on par with Assassin’s Creed weird. Ah well, the important thing is that the character development was awesome and I hope that many more games produce something which can grab me like this one did.

    Did not go through to finish the damn orb things though. That just looked painful.

  9. A Demon’s Souls WeView would be just splendid…

  10. I’ve been umming and ahhring over this one for months, the demo was absolutely superb and a real pleasure to play. On the strength of the communities verdict, and because for whatever reason it appears to be dirt cheap now, I’ve bought it. I can’t wait to give it a crack!

Comments are now closed for this post.