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10 things you need to know about Enslaved

 

6) It’s not trying to be God of War

There seems to be a sort of epidemic going on with third-person melee action games. Every one seems to have huge, long combos and enemies that require thirty hits to take down. And there always has to be some kind of air juggle. Well from what we’ve seen, it’s not the case with Enslaved. The combat is simple – Monkey has combos, but they don’t get ridiculous. Combat is also not the main focus of the game – most of the time, Monkey and Trip explore the environment and figure out how to get from A to B. It’s also not a bloody game – the only enemies we’ve seen are mechs, and although we have seen some brutal finishing animations of boss mechs, the focus isn’t on mass slaughter of fleshbags.

 
Above: Boss mechs are intimidating, but you won't have to memorize twenty different combos to beat them


7) It might make you fall in love with Trip

And Monkey, actually. For a female character, Trip goes the Alyx Vance route rather than Bayonetta. She’s vulnerable, and her fear is downright palpable when danger comes her way. She’s beautiful, and maybe a little sexy, but she’s not an ogling object. She just wants to reunite with her family, and as the story unfolds, we get to see more dimensions to her character.


Above: "Those eyes, they see right into me!"

The other surprise is how likeable Monkey is. He may look and sound like the typical macho meathead, but his actions and emotions convey a certain warmth and gusto that’s admirable in a non-cocky kind of way.


8) It has a real sense of danger and fear

Aside from the fear shown by the two main characters at their situation, it’s the world and the moments within it that provide a feeling of danger and uncertainty lacking in typical third-person action games. Monkey is a badass fighter, but he’s always freaked out and the enemies always feel cold and intimidating. The world looks so rickety and crumbling that it feels as if anything could collapse and crush, drop, or mangle poor Monkey at any time.


Above: Gigantic, sleeping mech, anyone? We don't know if we'll see anything this big actually walking around

With the ominous, oppressive presence of the slave ships hinted at as a looming threat, there’s also the mysterious sense of a horrible fate – the people running the ships are clearly overpoweringly equipped and ruthless in their pursuit of slaves. On top of that, the unknown nature of what happens when the ships take slaves west makes the threat all the more menacing and inscrutable.


9) It’s an (optional) collect-athon

Tiny glowing sparks float around everywhere in Enslaved’s world, and collecting them becomes compulsive for two reasons: they’re used to purchase upgrades to abilities, and they give the player a reason to explore and see the unique world. Since climbing all over the terrain is a big part of the game, it’s expanded upon more if you so choose. And details in the environment make it worthwhile – hints at previous human lives tucked away in secret corners add to the realism of the backstory.


Above: Just another day looking for XP sparks


10) It feels like a true original

All of the aspects we’ve mentioned come together in a way that makes Enslaved feel not quite like anything we’ve played before. We haven’t seen revolutionary gameplay concepts, but the melding of characterization, a world with its own history, and moments of organically created tension come together to make something that we hope turns out to be special. The beginning chapters are told brilliantly, so we’re crossing our fingers that the rest of the plot follows through in a satisfying way. Considering how powerful the initial story elements are, the ending may just be spectacular – although possibly in an understated way, if that makes sense. What we mean is that Enslaved’s strength is in quiet power, in nuance and detail, and we really want to see if it can deliver on this unusual approach.

Sep 23, 2010

38 comments

  • Korvak - September 27, 2010 5:34 p.m.

    NOO. This game was not supposed to be worth playing. My pocket can't take it. Well, it looks like a second job is in my future.
  • kompressorlogik - September 27, 2010 4:15 p.m.

    Still waiting on reviews for definitive answers, but this is looking very much like a first week purchase.
  • Spybreak8 - September 26, 2010 7:35 p.m.

    Reminds me of the Prince of Persia game (2008), the new one which was awesome to explore the world with Elika.
  • FauxFurry - September 25, 2010 6:24 a.m.

    @PurpleDragon-Rule 34 applies to EVERYTHING. Count on Monkey being slashed with his whoever his greatest male enemy is as often as Son Goku is slahed with Vegeta or Fox McCloud was slashed with Wolf O'Donnel. Heck, count on him being paied up with anyone and anything under the sun, including every other take on Monkey from Journey to the West. It even applies to the mystic cloud device just as it did to the Weighted Companion Cube. If it has character, it counts! Thinking of which, any word on Ki attacks? The mystic cloud being a surfing disc is a nice twist, so there might not be any aping of any other version of Monkey at all, which might make Enslaved a decidedly Kamehameha free outing.
  • slowdrum13 - September 24, 2010 11:33 p.m.

    @drewbian And that's exactly why they write articles like this. Its just advertising.
  • ChiefLethal - September 24, 2010 4:32 p.m.

    Just played the demo. Buying this day one as well. Very pretty game. Atypically high quality voice acting. It's rare to find play a demo that leaves me even slightly invested in the protagonist/s. Really looking forward to this.
  • FireTisane - September 24, 2010 4:29 p.m.

    It's always a hassle to get logged in here for me because I don't do it all the time. BUT! I had to log on and comment on this. I am completely thrilled by the prospect of this game. I really wanted it to be good but I had a nagging feeling that it would be crap so I was gonna wait for reviews, but ever since the demo came out, I have to say, I love the feel of the game and the robotics don't annoy me as much as I thought it would have. And Monkey really didn't come across as a meat head either. Getting out of that ship had me on edge and I just dig it for that. I did the same darn thing as a few others have too, I've just put in my pre-order for the game. I hope the Walmart preorder bonus works, I really want that red and gold outfit.
  • minelbp - September 24, 2010 3:54 p.m.

    Also the Show Dragon Ball is inspired by Odyssey to the West. So maybe some of your Dragon Ball fans might want to pick this up. The more people buy this game, the better the chances we get more games from Ninja Theory. Heavenly Sword was Fantastic, if not for the exciting combat, but for it's story. Great character design, beautiful art direction. And yes, I can't wait for the new DmC. I actually like the look of the new Dante. 10/5 can't come soon enough.
  • papergoon - September 24, 2010 10:08 a.m.

    孙悟空!but I hope it's not following "journey to the west" because that myth is crap imo
  • Joseyoho - December 25, 2013 11:53 p.m.

    WTF? U call one of the most classic novels ever in ancient China crap? Ur crazy and retarded
  • TheNesta - September 24, 2010 8:30 a.m.

    Trip? Is that her name? Yeah... I'm only going to be happy if you can kill her at the end of the game. No, I don't think I'm going to "warm up to her" throughout the course of the game after the bullshit in the beginning. Other than that? Yeah, surprisingly interested in this game after playing the demo. And I say that as someone who thought Heavenly Sword was a terrible game.
  • Ninjadmin - September 24, 2010 7:28 a.m.

    I wasnt interested in this to start with (F'ing HATE escort missions) but I played the demo on PS3 the other day & it completely blew me away. Now I cant wait to get it.
  • Shagnasty - September 24, 2010 6:42 a.m.

    This really reminds me of Beyond Good and Evil. God now I gotta play that game again. FUUUUU-
  • shyfonzie - September 24, 2010 5:37 a.m.

    So much excitement!
  • pollenski - September 24, 2010 3:26 a.m.

    You mention the tessaract and 28 days later but not the Beach by Alex garland? Probably one of my favourite books of all time! The film was so-so admittedly
  • JADENkOTOR - September 24, 2010 2:34 a.m.

    I have been waiting for this forever. I hope it is as fresh as it looks.
  • Mortified_Cow - September 24, 2010 12:19 a.m.

    Got this game pre-ordered and can't wait. Took a chance based on some previews/hands-on and this makes me feel even better about it.
  • reveffect - September 24, 2010 midnight

    never read the original chinese version of this story before but when you started talking about a monkey with a magic headband, extendable staff, and a magic floating cloud i instantly remembered an old ps1 game i played years ago called Monkey Magic and i swear that game was influenced by that story too even if the main story of that game was a bit different. seriously look up monkey magic on google and you will notice the similarities.
  • EnragedTortoise1 - September 23, 2010 11:27 p.m.

    The demo is fuggin' awesome, I'm interested.
  • ThePurpleDragon - September 23, 2010 10:53 p.m.

    @santaclouse37 Yep, rule 34, especially on a character as attractive as that, is inevitable. Beyond that, though, this game is looking amazing. I loved Heavenly Sword. It was one of the games that defined my first year of owning a Playstation 3. As soon as I saw the title that said you might fall in love with Trip, I KNEW that Alyx Vance was going to come up somewhere in there. She's simply the definitive 'fall in love with a video game character' girl. It would be hard not to include her there.

Showing 1-20 of 38 comments

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