Enclave is a terrific-looking game that is best suited to weathered gamers who won't mind dealing with the extreme difficulty and a number of other problems.
Graphically, Enclave is very impressive. The game sports what are probably the best textures ever seen on a console. The high quality of the textures is maintained throughout the game, so it always has a very crisp look to it. Enclave also makes very good use of lighting. Many of the levels takes place in dungeons, castles, or tunnels, so the primary light sources are torches or candles, which make for some very moody environments. Once you descend into the underworld in the latter portion of the game, most of the light is emanating from fire or lava, so the diffused glow gives everything a more reddish hue. All the character models are very detailed, and you can clearly see the different inventory items they have equipped. In the case of the knight character, even the hair on his head looks realistic, thanks to an excellent use of the Xbox's pixel shaders. Enemies are also rendered very well, and most if not all of the creatures in the game are animated nicely. The visuals are not without some flaws, however. The frame rate fluctuates from time to time in levels that clearly could have used more time in the optimization process. You'll also run into the occasional spurt of crippling slowdown, which usually occurs in cases when there are multiple enemies onscreen and several magical effects going off. In instances such as these, the frame rate can drop really low--sometimes as low as 10 frames per second or less. Needless to say, this has a negative impact on your control. Luckily, it doesn't happen often.
Another problem lies with the AI. Enemies will fight well for the most part, but they do have weaknesses that can be exploited. Maneuvering yourself so there is some sort of obstacle between your character and your opponent tends to confuse the opponent. In such situations, enemies will usually try to jump over objects, but if the object is fairly tall, they'll just keep jumping against it. In other cases, they'll reach some strange invisible barrier that they refuse to cross and will stand there and do nothing to defend themselves. This can make some of the combat cheap and easy, though it doesn't help you in the instant-death situations.
As mentioned earlier, the control has some issues as well. Enclave is an action-oriented game, and as such the battle system is integral to the experience, so the game is hurt somewhat by its occasionally spotty collision detection. In melee combat, some of your blows will connect as you'd expect them to, but others inexplicably will not, seeming to harmlessly pass through an opponent. The ranged weapons seem to function better, for the most part, thanks to an unusual targeting system--crossbows will bring up a circle around your opponent that will redden if you keep your targeting reticle (a small dot) within the circle for a certain amount of time. Doing so helps land a critical hit, which in turn inflicts more damage upon the target. Another issue is with the jumping, which can be quite problematic. Your characters can get caught on objects at times, or fall short without an apparent reason. In instances when you're trying to leap across a bottomless chasm or over a trap, this can become yet another source of frustration. That jumps are performed by pressing down on the right analog stick, which controls your perspective, doesn't help things either. Oftentimes the camera will freak out in these instances, twitching and gyrating in an ugly manner, which won't make things any easier.
The audio in Enclave is good, from the sounds of connecting blows and whistling arrows to the fitting music. The soundtrack fits the game like a glove, with driving music that suits the dark fantasy motif, as well as plenty of appropriate ambient sounds. You'll hear the soft sounds of surf in levels with water and the bubbling of lava in the underworld. Fantastic machines sprawl across entire levels at times, and you'll constantly be reminded of this by the grinding of gears or rusty groans of pistons and drive shafts. It all complements the game's theme very well.
If Enclave included an in-game save feature--or even midlevel checkpoints--it probably would have been considerably more enjoyable, though shorter. And if the problems with the control had been ironed out, the game would have appealed to a wider audience. But as the final product stands, Enclave is a terrific-looking game with a very steep learning curve that is best suited to weathered gamers who won't mind dealing with the extreme difficulty and a number of other problems. It's a game that won't appeal to most gamers just looking for a fun time, but because it has such a distinct visual and visceral style, it's still likely to find an audience.