Some games are just so brilliant that Valve wants you to own them, so the company will discount them by 75% right off the bat to lure you in. Enslaved: Odyssey to the West is one such game, and makes for some brilliant play time. I admit, I have not played the title on PC since completing it on a console awhile back, but at its current price I will not be passing it up for a second run through. For those familiar with Oddworld: Abe’s Odysee from the PlayStation days, Enslaved may have a little more in common than just the title. Despite the game having nothing to do with the aforementioned Abe, it still has a serious focus on slavery and oppression, but fortunately for the protagonist, no food containing human meat.
Enslaved follows the story of Monkey (Andy Serkis) as he travels across an apocalyptic earth riddled with robots seeking to destroy all remaining humans. At first glance its the classic affair of man vs machine, but it goes so much more beyond that. Monkey is not alone on his journey and is accompanied by Trip, who at first appears to be a total bitch. Whilst unconscious after a nasty fall, Trip places a slave head band on Monkey that forces him to do as Trip commands, or he faces extermination. Sure it seems a little harsh, but Trip is but a small woman who just wants to get home, so using Monkey to her advantage is her only choice.
There is a massive amount of tension to start with due to Enslaved making it crazy obvious these two are not friends, but when that tension inevitably calms down its great to look back on what once was. Trip and Monkey bounce off one another perfectly and so due to their differences, are fantastic characters to mix. Whereas Trip is agile and smart, Monkey is strong and manly. It might seem sexist to some, but Enslaved makes sure it balances out its characters perfectly. It becomes very clear that they need one another to survive the destroyed world of which they walk.
Visual wise you can expect lush landscapes where all the foliage has completely outgrown its area, and buildings are nothing more than ruins. It’s a really nice take on an otherwise overused genre; the game is much more akin to say The Last of Us than Fallout. Instead of using dull colors it opts to use bright vibrant ones which really give a great look to the variety of landscapes devoid of organic life. Enslaved is a game that knows what it wants to be, and as such purposely makes Monkey a cumbersome character to control. For me personally, I had no issues with the way in which he controlled, it did not matter that there was a slight delay in control, since his character was not made to be fast paced, and this translated really well. Controls for a game make it, and Enslaved managed to match up the character and the controller in a way that just fits.
Across the intrepid pilgrimage you will be using Monkey’s signature weapon as well as a few other gadgets I will not spoil. The signature weapon however is his staff of which will be used throughout the game as Monkey and Trip come face to face with the deadliest of mechanical foes. The combat system is relatively simple to get a hold of and I found it a joy after a while. It can be slightly repetitive but no more so than any other story based game with combat, and the variety of enemies make up for this anyway as do the various locations which you find yourself in.
Enslaved is a mostly linear game but since the plot is the real focal point it’s difficult to see this as something wrong with the title, if you have been after a story based tale of mistrust and deception, you cannot go wrong with Enslaved: Odyssey to the West.
The limited time Steam price ends on June 30th, so get to buying it pronto!
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