Enslaved: Pigsy's Perfect 10 DLC - hands-on

We’re a bit in love with Enslaved: Odyssey to the West here at GR, so when we heard about upcoming DLC for it, we were like, “Hell yeah we want to see that!” Ignoring opportunities for continuing the potential romance between Monkey and Trip and sticking with the standard look and gameplay, Pigsy’s Perfect 10 instead goes for 3D visuals, a prequel timeline, and goes for a hybrid of stealth and sniping gameplay. Say what?

We liked Pigsy’s character in the main game despite his slightly Creepy Uncle vibe toward Trip, and wanted a bit more on who he was, so this DLC sheds some light on the portly tech-head we were curious about. We don’t know yet if his solo adventure takes place well before Monkey and Trip’s quest or if he’ll meet up with them at the end as a sort of simultaneous-events timeline. Anyway, the DLC kicks off with Pigsy living alone in his massive junkyard amongst the wrecks of rusted titans and other mechs and ships. He has a sort-of companion that’s a floating droid with a cute LCD display for a face, but apparently that’s not enough to keep Pigsy company, so his quest is to build himself a better companion, his “perfect 10.”

The gameplay this time around is quite different from the main game. Pigsy still does some platforming, although he has his grappling hook to reach much higher ledges, which translates to more vertical level design: you’ll be scaling greater heights for the purpose of reaching objectives and for a tactical advantage. Remember how Pigsy had a huge rifle? Well, now you can use it, and with Pigsy’s essentially nonexistent melee capabilities, combat becomes entirely about sniping and sneaking. If a mech ever gets within melee range, you’ve got a single use of a cattle prod to stun it long enough to blast its face off – otherwise, if more than one mech swarms you, it’s curtains for Pigsy.

The sniping gameplay is a nice change from Enslaved’s melee-focused combat. Pigsy’s rifle can fire in quick bursts or zoom in for precision head shots, and most of the fighting occurs from behind cover. Pigsy also has devices such as a holographic projector to distract mechs (although it works differently from Trip’s distraction, instead being a grenade that you toss) as well as an EMP bomb that can catch multiple mechs in its stun field – but you have to work quickly to snipe them all before they awake and come screaming at you. The enemy encounters in general feel more dangerous here, because one mistake and it’s all over.

The DLC also introduces 3D tech to Enslaved, and it works well for the setting and the sniping gameplay. There are multiple options to tinker with to reduce eye strain and the display modes include those for 3D TVs and for regular TVs. If you don’t have a 3D TV, you can use old-fashioned two-color glasses such as the ones we got to try out for the DLC, which will soon be availablehere. We played the game for a good couple of hours using the red-and-green glasses, and we must say the 3D works really well. At first it looked really weird, but after a couple of minutes the colors basically normalized and the 3D became more evident. The visuals do suffer from a bit of typical 3D flicker, and it can certainly give you a headache, but they were pretty mesmerizing and the DLC takes advantage of the tech by designing the levels with huge vistas and a camera rotating around the platforms to show off the illusion’s fancy-pants effects.

The other nice bonus with the DLC is that it adds 3D to the full Enslaved game, so if you ever needed an excuse to replay the main story, there it is. Extra irony will of course drip from the screen when Trip and Monkey make their joke about 3D TVs being redundant technology.

Nov 15, 2010

Matthew Keast
My new approach to play all games on Hard mode straight off the bat has proven satisfying. Sure there is some frustration, but I've decided it's the lesser of two evils when weighed against the boredom of easiness that Normal difficulty has become in the era of casual gaming.