PS3 Previews: Enslaved: Odyssey to the West Preview

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Enslaved: Odyssey to the West Preview

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Scheduled release date:

October 5, 2010

Publisher:

Namco Bandai

Developer:

Ninja Theory

Number Of Players:

1

Genre:

Action/Adventure

October is once again jam-packed with top-tier titles, and that includes Ninja Theory’s latest, Enslaved: Odyssey to the West. Although fans of Heavenly Sword had hoped for a sequel, Enslaved has been shaping up nicely and besides, the team is also hard at work on the new Devil May Cry. Concerning Namco’s colorful, engaging action/adventure, which releases in only a few weeks time, it could end up being one of the year’s best. If you’re not yet convinced of a purchase, the playable demo just hit the PlayStation Network, and it’s well worth a look if you’ve been intrigued by the media you’ve seen thus far. You will also catch a glimpse of even more intense gameplay upon completing the 15-minute demo and the end result should be this- excitement. The holiday competition is insanely stiff as always but if this sample is any indication, we’ll definitely be recommending a purchase.

The demo gives us a chance to play through the introduction sequence: The Escape. Monkey and Trip are on a giant slaver ship that is rapidly breaking apart; Monkey breaks free of his busted “slave pod” thing and throughout his harrowing escape, he spots the mystery woman who appears to have the same aim. You will then embark on a fast-paced mission that lets you try out the game’s platforming and combat. Monkey is a quick, powerful, and generally competent character who is capable of leaping and attacking with supreme accuracy. He finds his “stuff” early on, which means he’s able to deal with the mechs by utilizing a staff weapon. Square is a basic attack and Triangle executes a flashy heavy attack, and we’re also introduced to a few variations. For instance, tapping the Square button will cause Monkey to stun the enemy, while pressing Square and X at the same time will execute a Wide Attack that can hit multiple foes. Holding R2 blocks and dodging is as simple as pressing the left analog along with the X button.

Just a few things about the battle: you can’t move while blocking, and that may or may not prove to be problematic. Secondly, the camera seemed to go a little wonky at times, but I think that was because your first encounters with mechs are in very tight quarters inside the aircraft. We know there are lots of wide open natural areas in the game, so perhaps that won’t be much of an issue. Besides that, everything seems to work extremely well. The platforming is like a speedy version of Uncharted, as Monkey can leap to highlighted pieces of the environment with ease, and I also saw him finish off an unfortunate foe with slow-mo awesomeness. The demo continued to pick up with every passing minute, and there is one timed platforming element; if you fail, Monkey will plummet many hundreds of feet to his death. It’s awfully satisfying on many different levels.

I think what I like most about it is something I expected: the splendid voice acting, emotion, and story foundation we had in Heavenly Sword. Although it’s only a taste, the voiceover work by Andy Serkis (Monkey) and Lindsay Shaw (Trip) is great, and the animations for both are borderline spectacular. Serkis was King Bohan in Heavenly Sword and Gollum in “The Lord of the Rings” movie trilogy; you may recognize Shaw’s voice from “10 Things I Hate About You.” Then we’ve got Alex Garland (author of the novel, “The Beach” and the screenplay for “28 Days Later”) penning the script, which should be really entertaining. The atmosphere, premise, and performances are all guaranteed strong suits for Enslaved, and it seems as if the gameplay is more than effective. The demo is a must-play and we can’t wait to give the full adventure a try.

9/21/2010 Ben Dutka

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Comments (44 posts)

LimitedVertigo
Wednesday, September 22, 2010 @ 12:02:33 AM
Reply

The beginning of it reminded me a little of Unreal. I loved the whole prisoner on a doomed ship intro. The graphics and the vibrant colors amazed me. I wasn't thinking this game would be something I'd be into but after the demo I'm contemplating making it a Day1. Seems to have a rather interesting story and setting.

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Jawknee
Wednesday, September 22, 2010 @ 12:14:26 AM
Reply

The game showed promise but I cant stand that character design. I also didn't like the graphics. The color, as LV said, was nice but the rest of it just looked like more Unreal nastiness to me. Ha.

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LimitedVertigo
Wednesday, September 22, 2010 @ 12:57:14 AM

You're crazy...the graphics were pretty polished for the amount of epicness that was going on. Didn't really seem too "shiny".

Agree with this comment 4 up, 2 down Disagree with this comment

Temjin001
Wednesday, September 22, 2010 @ 1:30:43 AM

I thought the color was overly saturated. Though, my biggest beef is with the hiccuping frame-rate. It's pretty erratic and feels like a UE3 game for sure, I even detected texture pop-in. It's still good looking overall despite my minor contrivances. It's definitely not as refined or stable as Uncharted 2, however.

I just hope the combat has enough thickness. During the demo, and I know it's a tutorial, my mind was sort of on idle the whole time. It delivers big on the cinematic/presentation but it's too early to tell if this game will lean more heavily on the experience/story telling, or offer some thick meaty highly re playable game design components.

Either way, I think I've seen enough for it to be on my play list.

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Jawknee
Wednesday, September 22, 2010 @ 3:42:47 AM

Yea it wasn't shiny like most Unreal games. But it still had that same dirty, glitchy look and feel to it. And now that Tem mentions it, it was a tad saturated. Gotta say though, the plane sequence was pretty cool.

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Godslim
Wednesday, September 22, 2010 @ 5:58:44 AM

yeh i mean the graphics could have been better but it was the unreal engine so never expect much in the graphics department.....but i think it shows promise i actually enjoyed it and i think the story could be pretty cool

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jlch777
Wednesday, September 22, 2010 @ 11:18:10 AM

there is a lot of screen tearing in the cut scenes but overall the games looks good.

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BikerSaint
Wednesday, September 22, 2010 @ 12:18:51 AM
Reply

Just tried the demo, but I was only able to get as far as starting the 2nd mech battle, when the damned game froze up on me & I couldn't do anything else except to quit the demo outright.

But from what I was able to play so far, I think the game's going to be great.

It's fast paced, has got plenty of nice platforming climbing, and just like LV just said, the color palette that's inside the ship itself, alone was rich in color.
I'm sure that once they get off the ship & onto the world, the colors will be even better.

Anyway, I can't wait to re=play the demo again just to see how much more goodness I can feed off of it.

Last edited by BikerSaint on 9/22/2010 12:20:19 AM

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Highlander
Wednesday, September 22, 2010 @ 12:32:43 AM

Could it have frozen due to HDD corruption? If it keeps doing that, you might want to try the procedure to fix HDD corruption.

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big6
Wednesday, September 22, 2010 @ 10:03:09 AM

I think it's just the demo code that caused the freezing. It froze on me, too.

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BikerSaint
Wednesday, September 22, 2010 @ 8:39:42 PM

Damnmit, I just went to replay it & again it froze up in exactly the same spot as brfore, just as I was about to press R2 to block the 2nd mech's attack.

I'm hoping it was just some sort hiccup while DL'ing it, so I've deleted the demo and I'm about to DL it again to see if it will work all the way through this time.

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frylock25
Wednesday, September 22, 2010 @ 12:19:24 AM
Reply

after watching qore i was a bit more excited for this game. after reading this i look forward to playing the demo now. i have it already downloaded to my ps3 just havent had time to play it yet. hope this is as good as it seems it may be.

matter of fact i think i will go try it right now

Last edited by frylock25 on 9/22/2010 12:19:56 AM

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Temjin001
Wednesday, September 22, 2010 @ 12:27:21 AM
Reply

Actually, you can move while blocking. Hold in the direction you want to roll while blocking and press the X button.

Last edited by Temjin001 on 9/22/2010 12:28:05 AM

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LimitedVertigo
Wednesday, September 22, 2010 @ 12:56:37 AM

+1

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Ben Dutka PSXE [Administrator]
Wednesday, September 22, 2010 @ 1:03:17 AM

No, I mean you can't actually move/strafe about with the shield out.

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Temjin001
Wednesday, September 22, 2010 @ 1:58:29 AM

ah, I see now you already pointed out the evade stuff. I gotta stop skim reading I miss the details =)

I've done worse, though. While I was at Target I accidentally turned my shopping cart into the Wii game isle... "hehe WHooops! let's swerve back around"

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BikerSaint
Wednesday, September 22, 2010 @ 1:05:09 AM
Reply

Highlander,
Thanks for the info, that's only about the 4th time I even had anything freeze up on me, and it was the 1st Uncharted that did it the other three times

Can you tell this tech-dummy where(or how) that procedure is just because I'm always afraid that I'll wind up screwing something up(and I usually do that very well too, I might add).

BTW, I know I have to defrag my PC now & then, & I figure that since the PS3 also uses a hard-drive, it would need it occasionally too.
But I've never seen it listed to do so(or how) anywhere for the PS3.
So what's the deal on it?

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jaybiv
Wednesday, September 22, 2010 @ 2:22:28 AM
Reply

the demo lost me. loved the trailer, but the intro felt too much like u2. then the trailer at the end started to bring me back. the graphics are sick. not sure if the wobbly camera and faux u2-isms will get my money before a price drop.

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___________
Wednesday, September 22, 2010 @ 3:39:35 AM
Reply

downloaded the demo yesterday and i was really impressed with it!
i always had really high hopes for it, since they did heavenly sword still one of my favorite games.
but this is the only game this gen that has actually exceed my expectations!
my god, the demo makes uncharted 2 look so last year!
only complaint was while im running the camera keeps moving in cut scenes, so im running in the middle of a platform than a cut scene triggers and finishes and now ive gone from the middle of the platform to the edge and are about to fall off even though im still pressing forward on the stick.
feels really twitchy, just the slightest tap and you jerk around.
and of course the length, best demo i have ever downloaded but still not worth the 1.5GBs i wasted!
why do demos have to be so freaking short?
if your going to make us waste 1.5GBs of our monthly usage, at least make it worth the while, no demo should be shorter than 15 minutes!
I died twice, and stuffed a few of the jumps up so i had to waste time going back, and the demo still only took me 5 minutes to finish!
fantastic demo, but way, way, WAY too short!

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DeathOfChaos
Wednesday, September 22, 2010 @ 5:29:31 AM
Reply

The demo was really fun, though I have one graphical complaint: why does hair move unnecessarily? It happened in Heavenly Sword, too. It's happened in other games, too, like Soul Calibur IV and Enchanted Arms that I can think of right now, though they aren't from Ninja Theory obviously, lol. Like at one point, Monkey is talking. Then the camera switches to her and all of a sudden, the hair resting on her shoulder whips behind her for no reason, she didn't even move. Monkey talks again, camera switches back to her and ut whups over her other shoulder for no reason. Why do some games do that? lol. I don't have anything against the game for it, but it's just something I thought was interestingly funny. Anyone else notice this strange movement?

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Shams
Wednesday, September 22, 2010 @ 8:58:37 AM

Unless they're indoors, maybe it's simulated wind?

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DeathOfChaos
Wednesday, September 22, 2010 @ 12:40:49 PM

They weren't quite indoors, but they were in a place where a breeze couldn't blow that hard, lol. It's just a funny glitch that I've come to associate with Ninja Theory. Their character models are always done so well.

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Vivi_Gamer
Wednesday, September 22, 2010 @ 5:55:30 AM
Reply

I really enjoyed the demo, It just looks like alot of fun, i like the fact that it's set in a post apocalyptic world (Like to modern story settings) BUT its actually fully of life and colourful. While the game has combat elements it seems more towards a platforming game, Even the combat is primarly meleewhich is nice, because i'm gettings sick of every game nowadays being gun friendly.

I think it looks like a fun adventure and have already pre-ordered it, can't wait to get my handt it in the next few weeks.

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Wissam
Wednesday, September 22, 2010 @ 6:20:54 AM
Reply

So overall the demo was good. according to the above comments.they said the demo has a frame rate issues can someone tells me how worse was it. I have a bad internet connection. downloading
any demos takes a long time for me if you are asking why.

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JackC8
Wednesday, September 22, 2010 @ 7:31:40 AM
Reply

I'll have to download the demo today. Everything I've seen of this game so far looks great, I'm thinking I'll have to pick it up and try to squeeze it in before GT5 comes out.

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GuardianMode
Wednesday, September 22, 2010 @ 10:08:23 AM
Reply

Played the demo. Is it a day one purchase?...No. A rental..Yes. A bargin bin buy...absolutely! I played it and came away with the feeling of "Meh!" When it drops to 20 USD I will pick it up.

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WorldEndsWithMe
Wednesday, September 22, 2010 @ 1:25:37 PM

I'm with you son.

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big6
Wednesday, September 22, 2010 @ 10:10:30 AM
Reply

I enjoyed the demo. Some thoughts:

Likes:
-- vibrant colour
-- great voice-acting
-- story looks to be interesting

Dislikes:
-- slight hiccups in framerate. They really should have just modified the Heavenly Sword engine for this game (if only for the PS3 version)
-- although very similar to Uncharted 2, the controls aren't quite as fluid. Trying to position monkey in a specific spot might prove tricky at times.
-- I'm not sold on the characters just yet. Right now, both characters seems a bit annoying. I hope that changes soon.

So, it's basically Heavenly Sword meets Uncharted 2. It has a lot of promise. I hope it delivers!

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Temjin001
Wednesday, September 22, 2010 @ 10:15:38 AM

but big6, HS was a PS3-only game. Enslaved is a multi-plat. Perhaps it was easier for them to utilize the flexibility of the UE3 tools than to re-engineer a custom PS3 engine for 360.

Anyhow, I think, overall, Enslaved looks better than HS anyway.

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Ben Dutka PSXE [Administrator]
Wednesday, September 22, 2010 @ 10:20:12 AM

I love both characters. They both seem very real to me.

As for the frame rate, please remember that LOTS of demos have that same issue, but it never seems to pop up in the final cut.

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chedison
Wednesday, September 22, 2010 @ 11:12:50 AM
Reply

The thing I loved most about the demo, even though there wasn't much to see yet, was Trip's character. I couldn't help but fall in love with her. There was a realness to her and a beauty to her that I really liked. It was hard not to be pissed at her for her actions against Monkey but I think her character will be the shining point in the game and story.

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Ben Dutka PSXE [Administrator]
Wednesday, September 22, 2010 @ 12:44:00 PM

Yeah, me too. I liked Monkey a lot, too. Ninja Theory does an excellent job of implementing realistic emotions and human traits.

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WorldEndsWithMe
Wednesday, September 22, 2010 @ 1:19:44 PM
Reply

The end result was no excitement. Relatively pleased, but not enough to blow $60.

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Ben Dutka PSXE [Administrator]
Wednesday, September 22, 2010 @ 3:23:37 PM

Heh...you're just dead set against this one, aren't you?

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WorldEndsWithMe
Wednesday, September 22, 2010 @ 4:52:35 PM

No, as I said before I'd like to own it. Feels like it's worth about 30 bucks.

We agree on most things, but c'mon man this demo wasn't as good as you said it was.

Last edited by WorldEndsWithMe on 9/22/2010 4:57:00 PM

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Ben Dutka PSXE [Administrator]
Thursday, September 23, 2010 @ 12:10:23 AM

You seem to be in the minority on that...

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Bandit King
Thursday, September 23, 2010 @ 1:10:59 PM

I'm with him on this one, based on the demo the games is nothing special. A good $30 or below purchase yes but not a day one purchase for me. My main complaints were how stale the combat felt even in the limited time you get also the platforming requires no skill at all just hold the stick and push X. Also given the H2H's I have looked at the 360 version is once again graphically superior (unoptimized PS3 UE3). This game does not even match their previous effort Heavenly Sword from a graphical standpoint, proving to me that Sony had more to do with that game looking as it did then Ninja Theory.

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dante_zero
Wednesday, September 22, 2010 @ 2:51:50 PM
Reply

i gotta say i'm still not convinced at the moment. rental at best for me personally just cause i like action games. lol

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WorldEndsWithMe
Wednesday, September 22, 2010 @ 4:58:51 PM
Reply

I think NT is gonna have trouble selling this to the 360 crowd. I'm interested in the sales. And if they kill DMC like everyone but me seems to think they are doing, maybe they will come back and do Heavenly Sword 2 after that as a surefire hit.

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Bandit King
Thursday, September 23, 2010 @ 1:15:50 PM

I think this game will be a hard sell on both platforms, especially since this game is nowhere near as good as CastleVania: LOS. I guess I'm more of a Heavenly Sword fan then a Ninja Theory fan. As far as DMC goes they are going to screw that one up so bad Capcom might have to rename the series after its release.

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hadouken
Wednesday, September 22, 2010 @ 7:47:56 PM
Reply

I really liked the demo. It reminds me of Uncharted and Ninja Gaiden put together. As for the graphics, graphics don't make the game gameplay does.

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PorkChopGamer
Thursday, September 23, 2010 @ 8:05:11 AM
Reply

The demo was awesome. Had already planned to get it because NT was involved. They were the first company to really showcase PS3's power and I'll always respect them for that. As for the demo, like HS, the characters and acting were fantastic. The gameplay is on the szme level. I definitly love the cinematic nature of it. Seeing the building you are about to crash into coming towards you while you try to scramble to safety was amazing. I kinda understand the U2 comparisons, but U2 doesn't have the monopoly on platforming. Even the vertical climbing in Enslaved and U2 was done in the sinking ship scene in Tomb Raider Underworld in 2008. Crude by comparison, but still, it was similar. I really hope this game sells well. With it being released the same day as the equally awesome, but more familiar, Castlevania: Lord of Shadows, and 360 fanboy still crazy about Reach ( deservedly, because Reach is great), I think this may fall by the wayside. As for me, I'm plunking down my $60 day one.

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JackC8
Thursday, September 23, 2010 @ 8:14:47 AM
Reply

Played the demo last night and had an absolute blast! That was freakin' epic :) My only complaint might be the camera - when it switches from third-person to fixed. But that was a stylistic choice, and necessary considering the platforming, and I'm sure it wouldn't take long to get used to it. It was a bit hard to get your character to stand where you wanted him in order to jump up onto a pipe as well.

I really liked the characters, very personality-driven. Now I've just gotta dig up another sixty bucks because I REALLY want this game LOL.

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chaosrunner
Thursday, September 23, 2010 @ 1:54:02 PM
Reply

I like the way they've woven the new story around the framework of Journey to the West, although I can already see some of the departures they've taken, just in the brief snippet of story in the demo. It's a lot easier, for example, to find sympathy for the game's Monkey than it is with the original Monkey. I think it'll be easy to appreciate the game without a knowledge of the original story, but I think knowing the original story will add another layer of appreciation to the game.

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