Enslaved: Odyssey to the West Updated Impressions

We've seen Ninja Theory's latest project a few times now, but it continues to entertain.

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A ways into Enslaved: Odyssey to the West, there's a character you encounter who goes by the name of Pigsy. He's a squat, almost perfectly round fellow with an off-putting mustache, a belt buckle in the shape of red lips, and the word "sexy" tattooed on his knuckles. Pigsy is the type of character whose bizarre looks, in most games, would draw your attention like an industrial-strength magnet. In Enslaved, though, he's just one more face in a game that's bursting at the seams with visual character.

That's the first thing you notice when you lay eyes on this action adventure game from the developer behind Heavenly Sword. It is, by most any measure, a looker. Set in a postapocalyptic world where lush vegetation has sprung forth from the crumbling ruins of humankind, there's no shortage of vivid colors on the screen at any given moment. That has been a consistent theme every time we've seen Enslaved, starting with our first look at the game early in the year right on through our most recent impressions from E3.

What has required a bit more guesswork is figuring out what sort of gameplay to expect out of Enslaved. It's a game that seems intent on mixing up the pacing and style of play at every turn. At one point, you'll have protagonist Monkey and his companion Trip--the pair whose tense relationship forms the heart of the story--spend time slowly exploring the gameworld, climbing through ruined buildings and swinging across dangerous gaps. Other times you're solving a puzzle or engaged in melee combat with the slavers and robots that act as the game's antagonists.

The new demo of Enslaved we saw today at Gamescom 2010 threw yet a few more ingredients into that mix. A brief demo broken up into three distinct sections, it started off with a shooting gallery of a mission where Monkey had to quickly run through an old scrap yard using his staff (this being the future, it can naturally fire plasma shots) to do away with robotic enemies perched atop high lookouts with every desire to shoot him dead. Unlike earlier levels where ammo is scarce, encouraging more hand-to-hand combat, this area was littered with ammunition.

Shortly after that, Monkey makes his way to a boss battle alongside Trip and good old Pigsy. This fight requires you to avoid a giant metallic beast called the Rhino by zipping around on the cloud, Monkey's own personal version of a hoverboard. What felt like a third-person shooter five minutes ago now almost feels like a boss battle on a skateboard, as you're cruising around trying to trick the Rhino into damaging itself by either smashing into walls or going over bombs that Pigsy tosses your way from up high. Then, after the boss fight seems as if it's over, the Rhino snatches Trip and makes off with her, forcing you into a high-speed chase scene through a canyon filled with speed boosts and towers crumbling in the Rhino's wake.

Add to all this some genuinely entertaining cutscenes, and the result is a game that we're beginning to grow more optimistic about. You can expect to see Enslaved released on October 8.

Discussion

31 comments
zcb4573
zcb4573

@beardthetank Agreed about Beyond God and Evil. Also reminds me of Jak & Daxter. Those 2 are similar.

GR1FF1N123
GR1FF1N123

this and reach coming out in the space of 3-4 weeks. I'm broke

beardthetank
beardthetank

I hope, I really really hope, this game is as engrossing as Beyond Good and Evil. Not sure why but these previews remind me of that old Xbox game. Obviously not the graphics, they look much better, but the different types of game play and an in depth storyline.

tehcris
tehcris

yet another game im excited about..... Looks very epic

advocacy
advocacy

Pigsy was probably inspired by the character of Cho Hakkai in the original Journey to the West story. Wouldn't be surprised to see the rest of the cast of Gensomaden Saiyuki make cameos in this game.

Supabul
Supabul

looks on par with Uncharted 2 for graphics and epic beautiful Vistas

PainSurge
PainSurge

hmmm this october im gonna get this along with many others

Rioresu007
Rioresu007

looking sexy.... hope it's good!!!

bejeesus
bejeesus

Looks too linear to me. The video I saw was just a few waves of enemies that were defeated easily by a shallow combat system

Rasputin2011
Rasputin2011

My fingers are crossed for this one to turn out to be a BEAST!

alexlin8585
alexlin8585

keep close eye on this game, still not 100% sold yet.

Squirrelatwar
Squirrelatwar

This is looking like Prince of Persia on roids to me...:)

crabapple87
crabapple87

Heavenly sword is an underrated game!!

desanity
desanity

Keeps sounding better and better.

Wolfmother0791
Wolfmother0791

Looks to me like there is a strong influence from the Jak and Daxter series in its prime... which is definitely a good thing. Games these days just aren't as diverse and interesting as they used to be. Honestly, I didn't have any interest in this game before reading this article, but now I'm definitely considering getting this.

gamz95
gamz95

must buy this game!!!

jokerman_28
jokerman_28

very cool. can't wait to play this one

johny300
johny300

I have a choice wether to choose the game or Castlevania. and im getting Castlevania and this game later.

Sepewrath
Sepewrath

Sounds like another great one from Ninja Theory

smoman5000
smoman5000

just saw the vid for that scene on youtube, love the gameplay variety

Cheddarchet
Cheddarchet

Every time I read about this game, I become a little more excited. I really hope it turns out well!

FlamingPain
FlamingPain

Hopefully this wont be an 8 hours or so game.

TechnologoDoom
TechnologoDoom

it's gonna be a packed October, that's for sure.

kavadias1981
kavadias1981

@shaunmc pmsl "now get this bloody collar off me head, woman!"

shaunmc
shaunmc moderator staff

@kavadias1981 Enslaved: Odyssey To The Oh Wait Here I Am

kavadias1981
kavadias1981

If you already live in "the west" can you still say you making an odyssey to the west? Would it then be called Odyssey to the... current loaction?