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PC Game Review

Enslaved: Odyssey to the West


Format: PC
Publisher: Namco Bandai Games
Developer: Ninja Theory
RRP: £14.99
Click here to buy
Age Restrictions: 16+
Release Date: 25 October 2013

Mankind lives amongst the war ravaged ruins of the last Great War, contending with both the elements and the armies of leftover war robots intent on mankind’s destruction. Monkey is a powerful warrior who is forced to help Trip return home, after she places a slave device on him. Across the desolate and dangerous land he must use all his fighting powers to keep her alive...

Enslaved: Odyssey to the West is a PC action platformer game from Namco Bandai Games, a retelling of Wu Cheng'en’s Journey to the West.

Review imageThe game opens as a tropefest - our hero is tall, and marble muscled, our heroine all firm boobs and buttocks - situated in a ravaged New York. Stay with it and the game does come into its own. It would be easy to dismiss this as just another action game, except for the fact that it drips quality.

For a start our hero is voiced by none other than Andy Serkis and Trip by television and film actress Lindsey Shaw. The script is written by Alex Garland, who wrote the screenplay for such minor films as 28 Day’s Later (2002), Sunshine (2007) and the underrated Dredd (2011). Once you get past the usual tosh at the beginning of the game it starts to reward you fourfold for your patience.

Review imageThe game boasts a beautiful score by multi-award winning British Indian musician Nitin Sawhney, who was nominated for Ivor Novello Award for his music here.

The game's graphics compliment the story and music, being of an equally high quality, with brightly vibrant landscapes reminiscent of a Final Fantasy game, full of colour and detail.

The reason that Trip needs Money is that she has few fighting abilities and so must be protected during combat. She can fire off an EMP pulse disabling any mechanical killers which Monkey is currently engaged with. These enemies spend much of their time inert until the pair approach, which gives the game its much needed tactics and tension.

Review imageWhat is not so great about the game is the gameplay itself. There is a certain lack of challenge when your next jump is always signposted, a problem also encountered with Remember Me, as it forces the player into a linear path, making much of the surrounding areas just eye candy. The game also doesn’t work well using the PC keyboard, I found combat frustrating, and just turning Monkey in the right direction during a fight would see me hammering the keyboard. Distance fighting seemed more accurate, but melee is a nightmare.

This is a real shame as otherwise the game has much going for it. The story is well paced and it looks and sounds wonderful.


Charles Packer

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