Enslaved: Odyssey to the West tells us the story of a two adventurous heroes who fight to survive, but mostly, fight for freedom... each, at his own way. On a world collapsed by war, where robots and mech freaks rule the land, it takes muscle and heart to overcome the dangerous traps that destiny has planed.
Monkey grew up alone in the wild, knows the danger around every corner, but was caught by the slavers. Trip grew up in a colony, with her father and loyal friends. When both escape, they begin a journey to find out what it really means to be free.
150 years in the future, the land of opportunity became a rusted paradise for wild animals and lost machinery, although nature kept its toe, humans went a few steps down on the food chain. The global war left the world devastated, and the robots, called Mechs, are the only solid proof of such deadly conflict. They still roam this post-apocalyptic world, hunting down humans, as they were programmed to do. Humans became slaves, and the ones free enough, lived isolated, far from everything. When these two forces collide, unexpected results happen. Monkey fought his entire life to be free, and when he does, it's thanks to Trip, but she had other plans... Trip wants to go home, but she needs help, and uses the same enslaving mechanism that trapped Monkey for years, to make sure he'll protect her. Inspected but interesting, as this duo becomes friends united in devastation and passing a final resolution in this unforgiving world.
Developed by Ninja Theory (Heavenly Sword, DMC: Devil May Cry, Hellblade: Senua's Sacrifice), it's a re-imagination of the novel Journey to the West, by the Chinese novelist and poet Wu Cheng'en. Although the original story was set in ancient China, character names and main plot remained the same.
Ninja Theory used all the power of Unreal Engine 3 to make this title shine in the previous generation, but it's revisiting on a PC that really brings the visuals alive. The color palette is amazing and immediately catches every ones eye with such green areas covered by all sorts of vegetation. The bright sunny-lights reflecting on the long abandon metal, contrasting with all the rust and debris. Even Trip's red hair contrasting with the beautiful and peaceful, clear-blue sky is a perfect example of such beautiful design choices.
Not everything is as pretty as it looks... Alongside this journey, the reflects of war also shine through toxic lakes of much fuel, swamps, decrypt skyscrapers and many other dark places that follow the same high-quality design.
Details along the world design are pretty good, but when comes to character expressions it's an over-the-top production, even for today's standards.
Enslaved: Odyssey of the West was released late 2010, but it still stands 8 years later. Both Monkey and Trip show fantastic body expression, with citizens well directed and produced, worthy of a Hollywood movie. In fact, Motion Capture was used to craft emotions behind the story, and with great success, resulting in fantastic cutscenes!
What delight our eyes compensates for what we have in our hands, as gameplay could seriously have been improved in several ways. Enslaved: Odyssey to the West is a third-person action game that utilizes combat and platforming moves to progress through this journey. Monkey makes use of a staff that can be used both as a close-combat weapon, or a gun. The gun feature changes according to the type of ammunition used, either blast or stun.
Closed combat adds extra fun to the whole thing, with a handful of combos to pick from, Monkey will have to use his arsenal in a smart way. Some enemies have to be stunned before attacked, while others can't be stunned at all.
Unfortunately, the close-combat becomes the weakest link in the whole game, and we have the camera to blame as it arranges in weird positions, it's fixed at some points, and moves well at other times. It's a conflict mix that works, of course, but gives way an uncomfortable and uneasy feeling.
Upgradable moves are an option to increase Monkey's skills, and abilities. Thus, just like in many other titles, makes things easier for the hardest difficulty available, and those looking for a challenge! But Enslaved is not all about action, platforming makes a major impact, and the level design takes a huge bonus on how fun it is to jump around with Monkey. Movements are accurate and rarely frustrating as we've seen in other action-platforms along the years.
Boss fights have a cool appearance, with a great concept, and not exaggerating which is always nice! The gameplay is solid, especially at 60fps, where the fluid movement compensates for the bad camera. Although this was a console port, this game was made to run at 60fps!
The Premium Edition has all the DLC, that ads 3 costumes, and Pigsy’s Perfect 10, a spin off DLC, featuring Pigsy. The graphical options remained, although it's not as diverse, obviously, being a more local piece of action. The gameplay suffers a change based on the new character, and the story has a deep and touching element, that I highly recommend everyone to go through it.
Enslaved is a great action/platformer, with a brutal storyline that made me enjoy the ending and actually think deeply about it. I couldn't spoil it, so it's up to you to play and find out how the adventure ends!