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Enslaved Preview

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Scheduled release date:

Q4 2010

Ninja Theory was responsible for one of the first great PlayStation 3 exclusives; Heavenly Sword showed us what the next generation of cinematic-based storytelling could be like and also provided us with a flame-haired vixen of the blade. To this day, we at PSXE say we’ve never seen such slick blending of animated mouths to the words spoken and if you’ve played HS, you likely agree. Fantastic acting and decent writing combined with a game that also featured a solid – although relatively simple – combat mechanic and we’re really hoping the team’s “top secret” project is a sequel. It probably isn’t, but we’re allowed to dream, right? In the meantime, let’s take a look at their other game: it’s Enslaved and it should be on store shelves towards the end of the year. While Heavenly Sword was an exclusive title, Enslaved will be available to both PS3 and Xbox 360 owners. And correct me if I’m wrong, but couldn’t Trip be Nariko’s sister…?

But let us start at the beginning. The game places us 150 years in the future and it’s hardly an environment where technological superiority has benefited humans. In fact, after a series of catastrophic conflicts, humans find themselves on the brink of extinction as both biological warfare and mechanical drones have taken over. But instead of the standard post-apocalyptic setting, you needn’t expect the cold, stark, barren atmosphere one might find in an adventure like Fallout 3. Instead, we’re faced with lush, vibrant locales because as the great cities crumbled, nature obviously wouldn’t be denied. This immediately makes the game more appealing in my eyes, as I’ve always been partial to beautiful, natural environments (it’s one of the reasons I was so happy to get to Gran Pulse in Final Fantasy XIII). But anyway, humans have only managed to survive in small tribal communities scattered throughout the world; in total, only about 50,000 people remain in the US.

They remain at war with the Slavers, who can drop out of nowhere, slap a helmet on their head that controls them through pain, and disappear. And actually, this is how the two main characters come together- Trip once survived in a small community that used old technology to get by and as a result, she’s pretty handy. Therefore, when she encountered Monkey, who found himself trapped by the aforementioned headgear, Trip was able to rewire it and…well, Monkey is still “enslaved,” but only by a much nicer master. Now, because Monkey is very powerful but ain’t none too bright, he can benefit from Trip’s intelligence and the two will work together throughout their harrowing adventure. You will actually control only Monkey although Trip will always be by your side, so it’s not like Trip is controlling Monkey’s very movements. In short, it reminds me of a cooperative mechanic we found in the likes of Resident Evil 5 and Prince of Persia. But if Trip goes down, the game is over; in PoP, Elika couldn’t die, so this is a new obstacle.

If you’d like to protect Trip, you can tell her to stay put and clear out a particularly dangerous area but always remember that Trip can be very useful. She can provide you with valuable information and details on both your enemies and your surroundings, and if you want to risk it, she can act as a decoy and take some of the pressure off Monkey. According to time IGN recently spent with the game, the combat will be challenging and Ninja Theory reinforced that fact by stating that battling “is supposed to be quite hard.” Monkey gets a staff with which to beat on enemies and if he finds certain ammunition, that staff can be turned into a long-range weapon. Light and heavy attacks will be at your disposal, along with a variety of special abilities and a few QTEs will be implemented for certain moves. We’re not entirely sure if Trip can deal direct damage to foes or if she merely acts as an outside supporter but either way, she’ll always be there and she must be protected. Based on the screenshots, we’re definitely liking the look of this one; it could be a real feast for the eyes.

Lastly, Ninja Theory will once again place a big emphasis on the story and they’ve hired Alex Garland, who wrote “28 Days Later” and “Sunshine," to handle the script. Andy Serkis, who played Gollum in The Lord of the Rings movies and also voiced King Bohan in Heavenly Sword, will do motion capture for Monkey. Our expectations are indeed very high for Enslaved, especially now that we’ve learned more about the gameplay, premise, and environment. Now, about that other game…

4/1/2010 Ben Dutka

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Comments (32 posts)

ExhumeART
Thursday, April 01, 2010 @ 10:21:40 PM
Reply

Definitely going to watch this

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Qubex
Thursday, April 01, 2010 @ 10:22:46 PM
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Wow, this is great news and definitely something I will keep an eye out for; as long as I can still play my games in the future :)

I was under the impression Ninja Theory had ceased to exist; well very happy they are still around. Heavenly Sword is a great piece of work, if a little hard for me. I am expecting the same high production values to be included in this outing...

It would be interesting to note if Ninja Theory has taken any "leads" from Santa Monica; I wonder how their production quality will stand up against GoWIII?

Q!

"play.experience.enjoy"

Last edited by Qubex on 4/1/2010 10:23:31 PM

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mike rlz
Thursday, April 01, 2010 @ 10:28:57 PM
Reply

zzz until i read 28 days later

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WorldEndsWithMe
Thursday, April 01, 2010 @ 10:37:44 PM
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This is going to have to impress me big time, sounds as cliche as it gets and not in a good way. Poor Ninja Theory, multiplats are for kids.

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Naztycuts
Thursday, April 01, 2010 @ 11:03:38 PM
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Im not trying to be rude but the game sounds boring. I will have to see what the gameplay looks like, I am grateful it isn't a fps, but after RE5 I never want to play with an AI partner again. No chance for online co-op? We have the technology...

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BikerSaint
Thursday, April 01, 2010 @ 11:14:00 PM
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Well, I'll be (a) Monkey's Uncle....
This game's starting to look pretty good!

And I like the look of how nature has reclaimed it's own there too. Hmmmm, I wonder if they got that idea from the History Channel showing how Planet Earth would look over various stages of time, after Mother Nature reclaimed the cities once all human life went extinct.

Anyways, here's another good view on this game, coming right from one of it's own developers.....
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UB-LqQWexHc

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michiganfan1983
Thursday, April 01, 2010 @ 11:47:08 PM
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Ninja Theory must have a thing for hot red heads, it's just to bad for me that I have a few red headed women in my family, so most of them are ruined for me. Anyway back to the game, this sounds interesting but I would like to see game footage before I decide if I will want to buy it. All of the art I have seen on this game has been just that ... art not game screenshots but concept art. Let's see some footage NT.

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Scarecrow
Friday, April 02, 2010 @ 1:07:32 AM

Their lead artist "Talexi" does have a thing for red-heads (as stated by one of the employees in their forums)

Nariko's hair is way sexier, redder, and more intense

Trip is like a joke imitation imo

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michiganfan1983
Friday, April 02, 2010 @ 8:10:05 AM

Yea I would have to agree that Nariko's hair is way hotter.

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Scarecrow
Friday, April 02, 2010 @ 1:08:34 AM
Reply

Well we'll see
I still feel like the game will hit many walls (being developed on 2 consoles)

Hopefully this is more of a Batma: Arkham Asylum situation and less of a Bayonetta situation

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kraygen
Friday, April 02, 2010 @ 1:13:39 AM
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Sorry but AI partners always suck, mostly because they not only don't help you, but more often than not they hinder you and help get you killed.

Heavenly Sword was fun, but as ben said the gameplay was simple and it bored me rather quickly. This game will have to show me something pretty impressive to nab a noticeable glance from me.

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Ben Dutka PSXE [Administrator]
Friday, April 02, 2010 @ 10:39:45 AM

In no way did Sheva or Elika "suck" in either RE5 or PoP. Both did exactly as they were supposed to at all times, with a few very minor exceptions on Sheva's part. Granted, Elika was more of an invisible character in that she couldn't die or get hurt, but the partnering concept HAS been done very well in the past.

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TEG3SH
Friday, April 02, 2010 @ 11:45:58 AM

@kraygen Heavenly sword was awesome, ninja theory is awesome, Gollem Aka Andy serkis is awesome,28 days later is awesome and red headed are super sexy (not gingers of course) , cant wait.

It kinda reminded me of ICO . so this game hopefully will be Hella good

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kraygen
Friday, April 02, 2010 @ 2:00:19 PM

I never played pop, but I couldn't stand the controls for RE5. So I can't say on that one either, but I still say the majority of them are terrible.

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WorldEndsWithMe
Friday, April 02, 2010 @ 4:03:38 PM

Sheva sucked.

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___________
Friday, April 02, 2010 @ 1:19:46 AM
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oh no not another post apocalyptic game, havent we milked that enough?
im really starting to get bored of game enviroments these days, its either military ala MW2, FBC2, OFDR or its post apocalyptic ala fallout 3, prototype and such.
come on people, can we have a little variety?
the only reason why i enjoyed heavy rain so much was because it was so different, it was a breath of fresh air.
for once i can actually say ive never played this before.
jesus christ im starting to think development studios are run by sheep!

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Kai200X
Friday, April 02, 2010 @ 4:22:39 AM
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Not very impressed, but I'll have to wait and see some more stuff. I guess that's what multiplatforms will do to you.

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FullmetalX10
Friday, April 02, 2010 @ 6:35:42 AM
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Meh, as soon as I read your game is over when Nariko clone(on the outside) dies, I thought big minus.
Well, maybe when this game sells well, You'll all get to see a Heavenly Sword II, just hope it won't go multiplat.

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TEG3SH
Friday, April 02, 2010 @ 11:47:05 AM

@fullmetal

Heavenly sword will never be multi-plat . sony has the rights , so ease ur mind :)

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Lotusflow3r
Friday, April 02, 2010 @ 7:23:01 AM
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Sounds interesting.

My interest in Multiplats was dying lately.

Just nothing with depth anymore much.

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Arvis
Friday, April 02, 2010 @ 10:14:10 AM

RESONANCE OF FATE, DANG IT!

-Arvis

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JackC8
Friday, April 02, 2010 @ 7:27:01 AM
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I get to play as an idiot named Monkey? And the whole thing is one giant escort mission? Um...okay.

Not exactly at the top of my watch list to be perfectly honest.

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Lotusflow3r
Friday, April 02, 2010 @ 8:48:39 AM

One word...ICO

Do not judge until seen.

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JackC8
Friday, April 02, 2010 @ 10:54:18 AM

Sorry, I didn't realize that saying a game wasn't at the top of my watch list was being judgmental. I didn't even know this was made by the same people who made ICO, silly me.

You made a good point in your previous post about how games can be judged by how many platforms they're available on. Nobody could ever accuse you of being judgmental.

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Arvis
Friday, April 02, 2010 @ 11:21:43 AM

Wow, I've never seen so many wrong assumptions in one post.

All Lotus was saying is that Ico was one giant escort mission, and yet it was brilliant. One of the Top 10 games on the PS2, all time. So he was encouraging you to hold off judgment on this new "giant escort mission" until we know more about it.

Why is everyone so defensive on the internet?

-Arvis

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WorldEndsWithMe
Friday, April 02, 2010 @ 4:03:26 PM

cuz everyone seems like a d*ck on the internet

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Arvis
Friday, April 02, 2010 @ 10:14:38 AM
Reply

I like the design for Trip. They did a good job of making her look like more than just another hot video game chick.

-Arvis

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ValdiPS3
Friday, April 02, 2010 @ 10:48:09 AM
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well I am not entirely excited about this game, they said recently that make Heavenly Sword for the PS3 was not profitable and therefore will make multiplatform games, I do not understand it, so I know the ps3 is the one who does not suffer from piracy, if they choose to do for PC and x-broke they may even sell 1 million copies, more will lose some 500 thousand in piracy, the 360 is popular here in Brazil due to piracy, a pirate game here costs $ 5, my see, the ps3 is the console that would earn more money by being deprived of the parallel market.

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Karosso
Friday, April 02, 2010 @ 4:16:08 PM

Fala Valdi!
Como vao as coisas ai no Braza? Bom ver alguem do nosso pais marcando presenca :)
I'm also not so sure about the game, will wait for PSX review to decide on buying it but, the developers have done no wrong before so it wouldn't be fair to punish them just because they went multiplat.

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Thinker
Friday, April 02, 2010 @ 3:41:21 PM
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I love the look of the environments. I hope the game is good - I really enjoyed Heavenly Sword.

As it's a multiplatform game, I doubt the graphics will be any sort of eye-openers though.

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Karosso
Friday, April 02, 2010 @ 4:17:50 PM

Who knows? they might use the same game engine as HS and that still looks good even after U2 and GoW3 came out so, it could still look good enough...

Last edited by Karosso on 4/2/2010 4:18:08 PM

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ValdiPS3
Friday, April 02, 2010 @ 6:09:31 PM

fala Karosso,aqui ta indo né,ainda somos do terceiro se é que me entende,e ai?como e ser brasileiro nos eua?deve ser legal,pelo menos no lado de vista de se adquirir tecnologia,porque aqui é complicado.

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