NB - The same mild spoiler warning as before as I'll be talking about content in chapters 7-10 of Enslaved.
There's something to be said for play testing a game. Taking a section of gameplay and making sure it plays well and doesn't for example leave the player easily facing a frustrating failure at the hands of a scene that could have been tweaked that little bit more to avoid having to play out a section far too many times before success. Unfortunately I found myself facing a certain moment in Enslaved. I found myself having to repeate a scene in which Monkey has to chance down a mechanical dog as it draws closer to catching up with Trip. The idea behind it is simple enough - avoid the various mines in the water and ride over glowing blue boost icons to gain speed catch up to the enemy and hit B in time to thwat its attack and save Trip. However this isn't how it went down for the first five attempts. It's not impossible to do - far from it, but when a game presents a situation where you keep failing and having to reload it creates something that can plauge video games - breaking momentum. Maybe it would have been as simple as increasing the size of the hit detection boxes on the speed boosts making it that little bit more forgiving to just missing them. It would of helped.
Small niggles aside however I'm still very much enjoying Enslaved. Now with a session that allowed me to crack through chapters 7-10 we have had a change in environment, a change in pace and the introduction of a new character who is interesting to say the least.
Enslaved is a good looking game. It's better looking then some games coming out now and it came out in 2010. I think in part this is due to the fresh environments. You don't see such sights as you do in Enslaved in many other games - if any. The visuals are bright and vibrant and what with the brown and grey of atleast a dozen games out there on the market, it helps it to really pop.
The game continues to impress with both its story and characters. After the high impact drama that was Trip's return to home - we move on to locate a new character in the form of Pigsy, an old friend of Trip's father. Pigsy not only offers a new companion to run around with - he also offers a bit of comedy in his 'rivalry' with Monkey. The two have a climbing contest which is laughable at first given the shape and size of Pigsy but he's not without a trick or two up his sleeve. With names exchanged - the pair have a rocky relationship of mild joshing with Trip almost actting as the glue that holds them all together - that or the barrier that stops the pair going at it in a straight up brawl. There's a very well crafted scene in which Pigsy asks Monkey if him and Trip are 'together'.
There has been the introduction of a couple of new robotic enemy types, a change of pace with an on the rails shooting section at the hands of a boat ride and the niggles I had with the combat are beyond me now as I've found my groove with the simple but for the most part fun arsenal of attacks. I'm still interested in seeing where the game goes and how it all wraps up with things now pointing towards a revenge mission more then a 'get from point A to point B' as was the case as the game opened. I'm also curious to know what's going on with Monkey's weird visions at the hands of the headband....I mean who wouldn't be freaked out if they were having hallucinations of Andy Serkis' face?