War has torn nations, but most of all it has decimated planets. Plants are no longer flourishing in the world of Enslaved: Odyssey to the West and buildings are completely ruined from the walls to the ceilings and even the citizens of the planet. Toxins are in the planet everywhere, and this sort of nature, while terrifyingly beautiful, is uneasy and dangerous. The planet is a fortress and the post apocalyptic world is guarded by nothing but misery for anyone that is left in the oppressive order. Two hopeful slaves, namely Monkey and Trip, have to fight to reach a village that can serve as their sweet haven. Enslaved: Odyssey to the West is an illustrious adventure that revolves around lifelike characters with a passion for their liberties and freedom, grasps the players with beautiful cutscenes in an impressive and colorful visual setting that is decimated, and captures the heart of anyone that loves a title that has emotion and an incredible sense of pacing. Enslaved: Odyssey to the West has slight problems with the platforming structure combined with a combat system that is less than exciting, but the adventure is too thrilling to deny.
Enslaved: Odyssey to the West begins with two critical aspects that make it incredible: the setting and the mood. The setting itself is light-hearted, and while we have seen post-apocalyptic settings before in games such as Fallout 3, there is a new sense of identity to the. Monkey and Trip are essentially two former slaves that have to reach a village that provides a safe haven to those that have been formerly outcast. While on the ship to a bleak and desolate future readying for misery to all its passengers, Trip (the heroine) excogitates an escape plan which lands the ship to a screeching crash on Earth. From there, she teams up with the brute and tattooed slaved Monkey that is clearly an athletic type. After he awakes from his post-crash trauma, Trip relies on her cunning and intelligence to force Monkey to help her avenge the sacking of her village and reach a place where they may add to the hope once more. Trip enslaves Monkey claiming to give him unbelievable pain should he get too far from her, and that if her heart stops beating, so will his. This finely crafted tale and storyline create the essence of the entire narrative and plot twists within Enslaved: Odyssey to the West. The mood in which the cutscenes provide a brilliant character development sense through lush dialogue, engage us with human beings that display realistic facial animations, and furthers us into the intensity of the gameplay and the historic background of the world and its suffering. Constituents such as these intertwine with the incredible pacing of the entire narrative and tense action of the combat that makes us believe in hope beyond the apocalyptic barren land.
The combat within Enslaved: Odyssey to the West is not incredible in individual aspect, due to issues and the essential combat interaction being basic. Block and dodge are the primary control movements, but newer combos and moves unlock as players beat different boss types. Most of the movements during combat can be combined in terms of a button masher, but there is a key separation to divide it from turning into one similar to Heavenly Sword: the bloodthirstiness and gait of the adventure. The camera angle itself zooms into a specific target, which adds to the intensity of the battle even though the moves might not. Unfortunately, a limited focal point of view causes enemies that are not in the camera sights to attack unexpectedly, which can be frustrating. Regardless, Monkey slices and dices foes up in either regular camera motion or slow motion, which adds for an enticing variety of gore and justice to those out to hurt the two protagonists unexpectedly. Alternating moves can win most fights, and luckily there is no real feel of a button-masher due to the excitement of the combat, and finally the platforming nature of the title in the centerpiece.
Free-flowing platform adventures can be incredibly tough to accomplish. Very few have made platforming realistic throughout this generation, and Enslaved: Odyssey to the West is one that presents a problem of challenge. The platforming in Enslaved: Odyssey to the West serves as the perfect counterbalance to a semi-frustrating but engaging combat system and allows for a puzzle element to the title. Most of the platforms have to engender the design of a puzzle in the level plans, as each level has different paths to get to the end regardless of only one real way to get through the area and finish the level. The levels are well designed, but there is an austerity that never relents the freedom that makes free flow interaction prized. Instead, Enslaved: Odyssey to the West becomes frustrating and alleviating at the same time with the platforming. Platforming is still intense and moderately fun due to the cadence of leaping throughout the color world, platforming is a sharp contrast to the brutal combat sequences.
Artistic design within Enslaved: Odyssey to the West is memorable and unforgettable. Alex Garland (writer of 28 Days Later fame and The Beach) provides an unforgettable script with Enslaved: Odyssey to the West. The resounding sounds of the suffering of the world, and the lingering heartfelt tones in the relationship the protagonist’s share brings of a level of artistic design that is unmatched and an apparent result of the gameplay and storyline working together in harmony rather than one taking precedence over the other. The soundtrack composed by Nithin Sawhney provides incredible crescendo’s and riffs that are indicative of a suffering and the changes that hope alone can bring through the center of the album’s tracks, while finally revealing a score that concludes with melodic sounds and vivid pleasantries of a bright and pleasant future.
Enslaved: Odyssey to the West is a visually stunning game that provides a postapocalyptic world in a colorful setting other than typical and desolate grey tones and monotonous scenery. It places you in beautiful cities that have a contrast through toxic water spills and beautiful foliage and trees that overrun the man-made structures that signaled a time where hope was replenished by a time of peace. The narrative itself within Enslaved: Odyssey to the West is perfectly paced and harbingers us to characters that are believable and simply realistic to their own convictions. The musical score is filled with an orchestral anthem of massive proportions concentrated by a technological visual experience that highlights the facial animations as one of the best in this generation. There are noticeable faults in simplistic combat and frustrating platform issues. Regardless, Enslaved: Odyssey to the West conquers an interesting identity in a complex way that reveal that Ninja Theory struggled and achieved to give the title some unique quintessence that made it worthwhile but also ended up with a title that is equally confused about its gameplay. Enslaved: Odyssey to the West had the chance to come close to being the perfect platforming action adventure title that would be the highlight of Ninja Theory’s debut into third-party publishing, but it barely misses the painter’s image – providing a title that is both great and slightly disappointing in respect to how its problems could have been easily avoided.