jayross's Enslaved: Odyssey to the West (Xbox 360) review

Enslaved, one of the most memorable games of 2010

 Nowhere in the gameplay does Enslaved: Odyssey to the West ever try to set itself apart from similar games. You will fight, block, evade, and counter-attack. You will jump from ledge to ledge, handhold to handhold. What is different is the reasons why you are doing these actions: you will not fight or jump because the core mechanics are such a joy to use, but rather because of the incredibly realized characters and environments.

 

 Enslaved starts things off right with an explosive opening sequence. You have no idea what is going on, who your character is, or how he got there, you just know you have to get out. Once things have settled down, you are introduced to your companion that will be with you for the rest of the game.

 

 A complex relationship is established right off the bat, with her having placed a slave collar on your character. The slave collar serves a concrete gameplay and story purpose, with the most interesting aspect being how it affects the dynamic between the two characters.

 

 As the game progresses, you learn more about both of the characters. Trip is a young, attractive redhead who needs to return to her family's community. Monkey’s character is a bit more vague, which allows the player to more easily insert him or herself into the story.  

  
The voice acting does a great job of lending personality to the characters, and when combined with the terrific facial animation makes the characters even more real.

A third character gets introduced halfway through the game who is one of the most memorable and well-realized characters that I have seen in a game. Pigsy's facial animation and detail in this character is spectacular. The skin looked like skin, with pores and flab and everything in between.

The story wraps up really well, leaving me satisfied for the most part. I only wished that there was even more character interaction, which is definitely the high-point of the game. The cinematic experience that the game was pursuing easily makes Enslaved one of the most memorable games of 2010.    
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