Enslaved: Odyssey to the West (initially released on October 5th, 2010) is an action-adventure game from Ninja Theory, the development team behind Heavenly Sword. The game is built on Unreal Engine 3. The script was written by Alex Garland, the author of The Beach and 28 Days Later, and is loosely based on the ancient Chinese novel 'Journey to the West' ( Dragon Ball is also very loosely based on this novel). Andy Serkis, the director of Heavenly Sword, returns as the director and is also motion capturing the lead protagonist, Monkey.
The game is set on Earth, after it has been destroyed by a global robot war. Although the war has ended, robots still roam the planet searching for, killing, or capturing humans. Although a lot of games set in a post-apocalyptic landscape have quite a dark and decrepit look, Enslaved has a very natural art design. The cities the player traverses, rather than being devoid of life, are overrun by nature and are quite colourful. The game follows the story of Monkey, a man who has been enslaved by a woman called Trip who needs him to help her get home. Because Monkey likes to travel alone, Trip has resorted to using a "Slave Headband" she hacked to administer a paralyzing dose of systemic pain if he fails to follow her orders or tries to remove it himself. In the event of her death, the dosage of pain is lethal. These characters are loosely based on Sun Wukong, the Monkey King, and Xuanzang/Guanyin from the classic Chinese epic "Journey to the West" in which the Monkey King (who uses an extending pole to fight just like Monkey) is tricked into putting on an enchanted headband that will crush his head if he disobeys. This game marks the first time this story has been told in a video game since 2001's Saiyuki for the PS1.
The player takes control of Monkey, with Trip being controlled by the game's A.I.. Enslaved's gameplay is quite similar to Heavenly Sword's, or most hack and slash games. However, Ninja Theory have said combat is much more tactical and slower paced, with the player needing to use gadgets to scout ahead and plan their movement and attacks. Trip achieves this using a small, robotic dragonfly, which can be controlled remotely to search areas for enemies. The position of enemies is then displayed on the player's HUD, allowing them to avoid confrontation by sneaking past them, if they should choose to. It is also possible for Trip to project a shiny hologram as a distraction while Monkey sneaks up on enemies to take them down from behind. While Monkey can use health packs scattered throughout levels, Trip can also heal Monkey when instructed with limited health pick ups.
Combat in the game involves Monkey's martial arts skills and his weapons, which include a retractable metal staff, and electronic gloves which can shield himself and Trip from attacks. Monkey's attacks ranges from light to heavy attacks, and by focusing his energy he is able to penetrate enemy shields. It is also possible to use Monkey's climbing skills to ambush enemy robots. Trip is not involved in any offensive combat, but can use a portable EMP device to temporarily stun or distract enemies - giving her time to escape from their attacks and for Monkey to attack them.
As you progress through the game, you will find glowing red orbs scattered throughout the environment. These orbs are referred to as "tech", and are the game's equivalent of experience points, which you use to upgrade Monkey's various abilities. The four main upgrade branches are Shield, Combat, Health, and Staff, with several subdivisions in each one. Tech is also awarded for every enemy you kill.
The other collectible in the game are mysterious masks, which triggers "glitches" in Monkey's headband.
Enslaved is set on Earth, 150 years in the future, after a global war between humans and mechs has all but destroyed civilization. The mechs have won the war and roam the remnants of human society, as the remainder of the human race set up tiny societies of their own. The mechs programming remains, however, and they attack all humans on sight.
The game begins with Monkey imprisoned on a slave ship that is about to crash. Trapped in his containment cell, Monkey sees Trip, a teenage girl, pass by before an explosion frees him. He follows her through the ship and the two manage to escape amidst the chaos via an escape pod. Their landing knocks Monkey unconscious, who awakes to find a mind-controlling headband attached to his forehead. Trip now has control of his actions, and any disobeying results in a painful electric shock. She also explains to him that if her heart stops, he will die as well. She apologizes before promising to free him if he can get her back to her village safely, over 300 miles away. Monkey, seeing little choice, agrees to take her through the remains of New York City, to the slave ship's crash site to find his transport (a futuristic motorcyle). Along the way, glitches in the headband allow Monkey to see images of the world before it was ruined (through real-life photographs).
Once the pair reach the crash site, they board Monkey's transport and drive the rest of the way to Trip's village. There they find the village completely overrun with mechs. After they clear the village, Monkey and Trip break into the village's safe room to find her father lying dead in a chair, and no other villagers. A recording of her father plays, saying that she was always so resourceful and that he was always proud of her. As he expresses his love for his daughter one last time, Trip vows to find the person responsible for his death. She apologizes that she must break her promise to Monkey, but commands him to join her in her quest for vengeance. She seems truly remorseful for this, but Monkey reassures her that he understands completely.
Trip and Monkey head out to meet up with one of her father's friends, Pigsy, who may be able to help them in their new journey. They find Pigsy in his junkyard home, and he agrees to join them, before mentioning that the mechs have been collecting scrap from his junkyard for the past six months to build an enormous mech weapon that Pigsy calls Leviathan at the bottom of the ocean. Pigsy, Trip, and Monkey board Pigsy's airship, and they tail a salvage ship to find where Leviathan is being built. They infiltrate the base and and free Leviathan of it's restraints. Pigsy commandeers it, and the three begin their long journey towards Pyramid, the main base of the slavers who attacked Trip's village. Trip apologizes again to Monkey for enslaving him, and reluctantly frees him. Monkey asks her to reactivate the headband, because he refuses to abandon her now.
Once Leviathan reaches Pyramid, they are confronted by a group of massive scorpion-mechs, but Leviathan manages to hold most of them off. One scorpion manages to climb onto Leviathan's back and destroy its cannon, forcing Monkey to head up and confront it single-handedly. After a long battle, Monkey manages to destroy the giant mech, but Leviathan is now defenseless, and more mechs are approaching. Pigsy states that the only way to destroy the opposition now is to overload the engines to cause a massive explosion. Realizing that this means that Pigsy is attempting to sacrifice himself, Trip begins to panic. Pigsy tells Monkey to grab her and escape the blast radius. Monkey respectfully complies, and they manage to escape the Leviathan just in time to watch it destroy all of Pyramids mechs.
Monkey and Trip finally enter Pyramid to discover that the slavers are headed by a single individual. This man introduces himself as Pyramid, and explains that he was a man who lived before the war with the mechs, and his memories are all that remain of the world as it was. He has been kidnapping the remaining humans and attaching them to his memories via the slave headbands, offering them solace in a virtual world. He believes he is saving them, and pleads with Monkey and Trip not to take away what he's given them. Monkey accuses Pyramid of forsaking and destroying the new world in the name of the old world, and realizes that the glitches he's been experiencing have been visions of Pyramid's memories. Pyramid offers Monkey a mask to see the world as it was, and Monkey becomes enthralled in the "beautiful" world he is presented. The images fade before his eyes, however, as Trip violently disconnects Pyramid from his life support, killing him and destroying the virtual world in the process. The game ends with Trip asking Monkey if she did the right thing, as the slaves around them, disconnected from the memories, begin to awaken in the real world.
Pigsy's Perfect 10
Pigsy's Perfect 10 is the first piece of DLC that was released for Enslaved: Odyssey to the West and takes place some time before Pigsy meets up with Monkey and Trip. It introduces a new character, Truffles, and gives some insight into what Pigsy's life was like before he is first encountered in the main storyline. It was released on November 23, 2010 for the Xbox 360 and the Playstation 3 for $9.99. It offered 3D support for gamers with 3D capable televisions.
Pigsy's Perfect 10 begins with Pigsy alone in his junkyard home, Pigsy Land, with his floating robotic companion, Truffles. Pigsy laments to himself that life can be lonely in a junkyard, with killing mechs his only means of entertainment. Pigsy sets out to build himself a new "companion" and sets out to find the 3 parts he needs to complete it.
Along the way, Pigsy discovers that the mechs have been encroaching on his land, and a large number of salvage ships are gathering up his scrap metal to make new mechs. Eventually, Pigsy manages to find the three parts he needs, but not before Truffles gets hit by a mech's sniper shot. The two head for home, but Truffles is unable to hold out and dies in the middle of the wasteland. Pigsy promises to come back and fix Truffles after he builds his new companion, since that was the whole point of their adventure.
After creating a fembot companion for himself, Pigsy unceremoniously realizes that it won't turn on. He admits that he forgot one last part in his design, a heart. Every living thing needs a heart. Pigsy heads back to the wasteland and grabs Truffles, and uses Truffles as the companion's heart. This serves to fix both robots, but Truffles is not used to his new body and accidentally trashes Pigsy's home. As Pigsy becomes to clean up, the mechs come and kidnap Truffles, sending waves of mechs after Pigsy.
Once Pigsy sets up his turret and destroys the intruders, he vows to find his friend and bring him home once and for all. As he follows the salvage ship that kidnapped Truffles, a dog mech appears and attacks Pigsy. A long chase ensues, and Pigsy manages to collapse a tunnel on the metal mutt. This is the same dog that attacks Monkey and Trip in the main game, after finally freeing itself.
Pigsy manages to enter the salvage ship and follow Truffles through the mechanisms inside. He finally tracks down his friend and removes him from the companion bot. As he carries his friend home, he continuously apologizes for not appreciating him, and continues to assure Truffles that he is all the friend Pigsy has ever needed. Truffles smiles before blinking out forever. Pigsy sets down his friend and places a flower on him, lamenting that Truffles would have done anything for him, because that's what friends do. Pigsy vows to never forget this lesson, setting the stage for his actions at the end of the main game.
The music for Enslaved was composed by Nitin Sawhney. Track listing:
- The Right To Enslave
- Cloud Surfing
- Rhino Chase
- Pigsy Sacrifice
- Catch the Dragonspy
- Pigsy Blues
- Back Home
- Monkey Sunset
- Hoover Dam
- Protecting Trip
- The Battle
- The Hero's Journey
- No Death in Love
If you pre-ordered Enslaved at GameStop, you will receive a code for an exclusive "Ninja Monkey" in-game skin. This skin will give Monkey unlimited "staff blast" ammo.
If you pre-ordered Enslaved from online retailer Play.com in Europe or Best Buy in the U.S., you would receive a code for an exclusive "Sexy Robot Trip" in-game skin. The skin makes stun moves in the game double in duration when Trip is around Monkey.
A red and gold Classic Monkey outfit was also available to pre-order from WalMart which would double Monkey's melee attack power.
Xbox 360 Game Installation
- Enslaved: Odyssey to the West requires 4.9GB of space to install on an Xbox 360 HDD.
PC System Requirements
- OS: Windows XP SP2, Vista or higher
- Processor: Intel Core 2 Duo @ 2.20GHz / AMD Athlon 64 X2 4600+
- Memory: 2 GB RAM
- Graphics: Nvidia Geforce 9600/ ATI Radeon HD 4850
- DirectX: Version 9.0c
- Hard Drive: 12 GB available space