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Xbox 360 Game Review

Enslaved: Odyssey to the West


Format: Xbox 360
RRP: £49.99
3 700577 001192
Age Restrictions: 16+
Available 08 October 2010

More than 150 years in the future, the world has been transformed beyond recognition. All that remains are a dwindling human population and merciless robots left over from wars long past. Take on the role of Monkey, a strong and brutish loner, who becomes captured by a mysterious slave ship. Also captured is Trip, a technologically savvy but sheltered young woman from a peaceful community. As they each attempt to escape, Trip realizes quickly that Monkey, with his raw strength and power, is the only hope she has of making the perilous journey back home. She hacks into a slave headband to enslave Monkey and link them together - if she dies, he dies. Her journey has now become his...

Based loosely on the ancient Chinese novel Journey to the West (which was also used as the basis for the popular '70s Japanese series Saiyūki (dubbed and released as Monkey in the West)) Enslaved: Odyssey to the West is a third person platform game.

You play as Monkey, who has been captured by the peaceful Tripitaka (or Trip as she prefers to be called), as her best hope for returning home to her people. You must navigate the treacherous terrain which is filled with unexploded mines, hidden perils and, worst of all, dormant mechanoids designed to attack anyone who enters their field of vision.

As you progress through the levels you can upgrade your weapons, health and shield by trading in glowing orbs you can collect as you roam your environment. You can also pick up health packs, and ammo for your staff weapon to help you kill your enemy. But be warned the ammo is sparse so you need to use it wisely.

The game play is split between jumping around your environment in order to work your way around each level; fighting mechanoids; and working out the odd puzzle (like how to get a large windmill working again.

Possibly my biggest issue with the game is that when you die you generally end up going back quite a distance and have to watch a cut sequence you've already seen (there is no option to skip). This is fine the first time, but if you make a silly mistake time and time again, and have to keep rewatching the same cut sequence, it becomes a little annoying.

While you play as Monkey, Trip has a number of abilities that prove useful. She is able to upgrade your abilities (if you have collected enough orbs) and she can distract the enemy by creating a decoy which will draw their fire for a short period of time - allowing you to get closer to them before beginning your attack.

Overall this is an enjoyable - although not overly challenging - game. The graphics and game play are impressive and the story keeps you coming back for more. Sadly there's very little in the way of replay value that will make you come back to it once you've completed the game.


Darren Rea

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