Enslaved: Odyssey to the West takes place in a post apocalyptic world where robots have virtually wiped out all humanity on earth. The story is a loose retelling of the Chinese novel ‘Journey to the West’. You play as Monkey a strong warrior type who becomes enslaved by Trip an all brains female companion. Trip has linked your life to hers using a slave headband so that you would help her get back to her village 300 miles away.
The storyline is by far one of the strongest aspects of this title, and joined with the great voice acting and facial expressions you tend to become immersed in the storyline more than anything. Throughout Enslaved: Odyssey to the West you will be constantly picking up red XP orbs, so much so that you may feel like Pac-man after awhile. It is not till later in the game that you are able to actually use them, but they are extremely helpful as they are spent upgrading your shields, health, staff, and combat skills. There are several spots throughout this game that give you the chance to sneak past enemies, and at the same time there is no reason to as then you are simply strolling past valuable XP orbs.
The controls seem a little off in the game, almost as if there is a delay between when you press the button on the controller and the action happens. I never really found this getting in the way of the gameplay as I got used to it rather quickly but most people may find this aspect annoying at times especially in dire moments when you need to block or roll. Combat as a whole is very repetitive and simple and most fights can be won by simply pressing the same button over and over until the enemy dies. Platforming is even more simple since your character will not jump to his death. The only way to die during platforming is if you do not jump off a falling platform in time.
The graphics are bright and vibrant and are mostly made up of lush greens, which seems sort of odd for a post apocalyptic game, but it really works well and gives the player some nice eye candy to enjoy. The character models are very detailed down to scars and tattoos carved into their bodies. Enslaved’s sound effects are pretty simple and lack anything really amazing. When you pick up an enemy’s mini-gun and start firing it sounds like a little pellet gun and lacks any real feeling of power. The musical score works great for the game and is synced perfectly with what is happening on screen making for a more immersive experience.
Now that I have gone over the general details of Enslaved: Odyssey to the West I am going to complain about some of the problems with this title. The main problem I found is that this game follows a very repetitive formula. This formula is basically enter area, see everything in way of exit, find linear path to exit via killing enemies, and platforming. Rinse and repeat until the end credits roll. This brings me to the next complaint the ending makes absolutely no sense when thinking back to the events of the game.
Overall Enslaved: Odyssey to the West is a bright, vibrant, action adventure game with a great story (up till the ending) that will keep your interest throughout the 15 chapter saga. Many of the game mechanics are simple and easy to get used to although it may be too simple for some hardcore gamers.
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