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WYSBP: Enslaved: Odyssey to the West

One of my biggest pet peeves is when game developers skimp on the story.  Besides game mechanics, the story is the biggest make-or-break aspect for games, and the Enslaved story is fantastic.  Honestly, it should be because of the source material.

Enslaved: Odyssey to the West is a re-imagining of  one of the four great novels from China’s Journey to the West by Wu Cheng’en.  Enslaved takes place 150 years in the future in a post apocalyptic world, where there are more ravenous mechs than humans.  You play Monkey, a warrior turned slave, who is eventually enslaved again by his companion, Trip, after she inadvertently releases him from confinement aboard a slave ship when she escaped.  The deal is as such: Monkey safely gets Trip home and she’ll deactivate the explosive headband that has been placed on his unconscious head.

From the second you start, the graphics are beautiful.  Being a native New Yorker I would never want to see my birthplace in shambles like that, but at the same time I couldn’t take my eyes of the screen; it was beautiful.  Now, don’t get me wrong there were a couple of graphical glitches here and there, but it never took away from the rest of the game.

Voice acting is pretty good too.  I wouldn’t expect anything less from Andy Serkis (Lord of the Rings), but the surprise factor came in the form of Lindsey Shaw (Ned’s Declassified).  Her performance was great, and I think it’s pretty cool that they had them do the motion capture as well; I imagine it would help get them totally into the mindset of the characters.

Combat is easy to get used to and is pretty smooth.  At times you can feel it is getting repetitive because of the limited moves and power move finishers; also the types of robots you fight are pretty limited.  Pacing was the game’s saving grace.  Whenever the ugly game-ruining-monster called Repetition would start to rear its ugly head , pacing would save the day and bring a new experience into the mix.

I have heard a lot of bad things about the platforming aspect of the game, but I honestly never experienced a problem.  When I hit the button to jump Monkey jumped, and where I wanted him to.  I’m not even going to get into the puzzles of Enslaved.  They’re there and not hard, and if you feel that they are hard then you are stupid.  The Cloud was a great addition to the game and easy to use.  I loved having to chase down robo-dogs to save Trip.  The Cloud came in pretty handy during one particular mini-boss fight; one of the big ass robots kept charging at you and all you really needed to do was jump out of the way but the quick maneuverability of the Cloud made that whole sequence exponentially easier.

I haven’t tried the DLC yet, but I am going to be buying a new hard drive soon, and on my next vacation I will be going on a DLC buying spree and the Pigsy DLC will be one of them.

I loved the game and it was a lot of fun.  I wouldn’t recommend buying it because you can blow through the game fairly quickly, but I will say this is a definite must rent.

Final Verdict for Enslaved: Odyssey to the West:

4 out of 5