Enslaved: Odyssey to the West is a game developed by Ninja Theory, and published by Namco Bandai. It is available for the Xbox 360 and Playstation 3. It is a less than mediocre game and clearly intended for a ‘casual’ audience. The Xbox 360 game was played for the purposes of this review.
I’ll admit I’m hesitant to give a bad review to a post-apocalyptic kind of game, as I generally like this kind of stuff. What drew me to this game was the art work, the cover art, and the screenshots. It’s very different than most post-apocalyptic kind of scenarios, in that the world isn’t so desolate and barren. So think Wall-E, but instead of dust and nothing growing, there is plant life growing all over the place. The New York skyline is full of greenery, the buildings are
literally taken over by plants, slowly being broken down to the effects of Mother Nature. The idea of exploring New York like this is was really appealing to me.
Unfortunately, that is where the appeal ends. Heard of two people abandoned on an island that don’t really like each other at first, are forced to work together to avoid immediate death, and totally end up falling for each other? If you haven’t, that’s alright, because Enslaved has you covered. You play as your classic tough guy raised in the jungle. The “I have no family and I have no name” kind of hero. You and your companion are prisoners of some sort, and she controls you by means of a headband device which doesn’t allow you to leave her side without killing you. Which is why the game is called “Enslaved.” You, “Monkey,” are enslaved to Trip, your companion.
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It’s not every day you get to work Twin Peaks and 80’s hip hop into a title. I think this might be my finest work.
Anyway, today is a good day for action gamers. We’ve got Ninja Gaiden 3 from Team Ninja, fresh off belittling a classic franchise’s heroine. We’ve got Shadow of the Damned, which I have already proclaimed the next big thing. And we’ve got a Devil May Cry reboot from Ninja Theory, development team behind the pretty wretched Heavenly Sword and the supposedly fantastic Enslaved: Odyssey to the West.
I don’t know about you, but I’m a little unsettled at this prospect. I am in no way a hardcore Devil May Cry fan; I’ve only played the odd numbered games in the series, and while I love them (especially the first one), I’m not a hardcore fan. But still, I’m unsettled by it. I always felt like Devil May Cry games were like Raymond Chandler novels where instead of Philip Marlowe being a snarky, intense detective, he instead found some demons and rocked the fuck out. Sure, as a series it’s kind of silly and sarcastic, but it’s got that serious, hot edge, too.
The remake…I don’t know. I don’t know how I feel about reboots, in general. Sure, sometimes you get a franchise that’s been such unrepentant shit for so long that there’s nothing left to do but shoot it in the brain, steal some stem cells, and clone that sucker, but Devil May Cry 4 was (supposedly) a pretty good game. DMC was a franchise on the verge of needing new hands, and it got them, but I get the feeling the new hands are going too far with tearing out the atmosphere and throwing in new, “hip” atmosphere willy-nilly.
(And you know game developers: whatever they think is “hip” usually was hip 10 years ago. It’s why Dante acted like an early 90’s action hero like The Crow.)
So I don’t know. I have mixed feelings about this reboot. Your thoughts?
I’ve been meaning to write about Enslaved, the new game from Ninja Theory, for a while now. I’ve not gotten around to it, though, which is likely to be the fate of the game itself, entering a market crowded with post apocalyptic action games. Which would be a shame, because this game looks fantastic.
Now, I’m not one to preview games. You’ve probably seen me consciously avoiding that. And there’s a good reason: we’re a new site, and not all our news is fresh. Sure, Patricia gets to things with an absurd degree of quickness (fuck if I know how she does it!) but me? Most of the stuff I’m posting on is dead as a doornail. You know about Enslaved, and if you don’t, you’re probably going to figure it out somewhere else. Because we don’t have original media assets.
Which is why I’m going to talk about the lack of buddy pictures in video games, and why Enslaved is going to be a badass, jaw droppingly gorgeous buddy picture.
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