thatguy0130's Enslaved: Odyssey to the West (PlayStation 3) review

Plenty of personality, but not a lot else

Ninja Theory is no stranger to a good combat oriented action game. Just look at their last offering, Heavenly Sword and you can see they have chops for this sort of work. In keeping with that “theory” (See what I did there!) Enslaved is their next attempt to tap some market success, seeing as Heavenly Sword fell far short of that mark. But Enslaved will also fail to get them recognized. There is an obvious amount of effort and personality put into this game but the cracks are just too prominent and a bit of entertainment is all you can hope to gain.

After I finished Enslaved my thoughts on the title remained largely unchanged. You go in thinking this game is just kind of plain and boring and it doesn’t elevate far from there. Which probably detract from that desired market success. It appears that Ninja put more effort in giving the characters personality and wit instead of making a well rounded game. Even the culmination of the story failed to boost my opinion

First let me tell you what you will be getting yourself into. First off, the controls are very loose. The camera whips around too fast, the climbing and jumping are twitchy. Aiming is a bit off. Combat is choppy. Add all these up and they equal a real problem. Action games, though not solely based on controls, still require attention to these details and as I said up at the top, it seems like the developer just didn’t focus on these important aspects.

But action oriented games live and die by their combat. Aside from the critical combat flow, it is also very limited. You will be hammering the square button and throwing a bit of triangle for good measure. All the while slamming the same four different enemies over and over and over again. This is a far cry from those great God of War mechanics that basically set the standard for action oriented games. Even with a small upgrade system, it is all just very shallow.

So the personality is where it’s at right? Well… really I understand how people think they can do a lot with only a few key players. Just look at Portal! Enslaved has three characters. That’s it. And even better, you don’t meet that third character member until the last third of the game. But this ain’t no Portal. They try to create this poor little girl relationship with Monkey and Trip but in the end I felt that Trip was just a jerk. She promises to free you after you get her home. That doesn’t happen. She asks you to help her up a ledge and then she is like, “Well you can find a different way up.” Really!?! You can’t throw an arm down and help me up? Screw her.

There really just isn’t a lot here. I did say that it will offer a small amount of entertainment and I stand by it. If you are looking for a game to engage you for a day or two and are not very picky and you have read this review, then by all means try it out. The personality really isn’t bad and it is a fairly easy playthrough. There are some humorous moments, mostly stacked at the end of the story. But it isn’t enough to earn a proper recommendation from me. It is a bummer because I want Ninja Theory to make it. But putting out half-hearted games like this just isn’t going to cut it.

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