Enslaved: Odyssey to the West User Review
-Good art direction: well realized and stylized design. Convincingly post-apocalyptic.
-Great facial detail and gestures: the characters convey a wide array of emotions that can be read from their faces and body language alone.
-Superb animation: Monkey generally animates brisk who convincingly uses his body weight and monkey-like proportions to propel himself around stages.
-Not technically remarkable. there isn't much here, effect or detail wise, that you haven't seen already in prior, even older, games.
-Inconsistent performance: some frame rate issues, some heavy screen tearing, infrequent slowdown, closer up texture work is poor, clipping, and there is some minor texture draw-in.
-Strong story telling holds the game together and encourages the player to continue playing.
-Exhilarating sequences that add excitement and or variety to the standard play mechanic.
-Competent and cohesive varying gameplay elements: platforming, melee combat, and shooting.
-The game doesn't off much for lasting depth. The character building components aren't necessary and feel somewhat pasted into the game. The resourcefulness of Monkey and his strength would've lent itself better to incorporating a wider array of weaponry from utilizing elements from the environment as weapons (rocks, large beams, heavy derby etc.).
-Occasionally, the camera work will misdirect your attention away from objectives resulting in wasted time when trying to figure out where to go. This has also resulted in a few cheap deaths.
-Lack of enemy variety. Both visually and tactically.
-Performance issues can minimally, and, or, significantly impact the game experience.
-A general roughness in presentation.
-A game of this nature, being so cinematic, would've benefited from a seamless presentation by hiding or omitting loading screens altogether.
-Great voice-over work between Monkey and Trip. Some of the best voice talent in the gaming industry lent their efforts to this game. The quality here is better than most games on the market today.
-Music and sound effects are all excellent.
-I didn't feel Pig sounded as well as Trip and Monkey. Rarely audio would mis-synchronize or fail to play back effects altogether.
-The scripted jumping mechanic works well at preventing you from making un-intentional mistakes that would've resulted in many frustrating deaths.
-The heavy platforming component works well and nearly effortlessly, Monkey can near effortlessly get around in this manner (as you'd expect from a money-man). The camera work, in this regard, is usually great at setting a good viewpoint for where to jump to next.
-Monkey himself controls a bit sluggish and not as responsive as I'd have liked. This becomes especially apparent when infrequent performance issues crop up.
-Monkey gets caught up on subtle terrain undulations or wall overhangs that appear to have plenty of clearance.
-A few times I've had the game miss or not register attacks or inputs--glitches of sorts.
-The game is about 8 hours in length. It has very little to offer as a repayable title other than for experiencing the story again and collecting missed orbs and masks.
Enslaved is a unique offering that feels similarly presented as last year's superlative Uncharted 2; that is, the excellent story telling format directs the flow of the game intrinsically, and it does a very good job at keeping the player engaged by this element alone. The fresh story and well realized world strengthens it's identity in a current market that doesn't see too many games of this kind. Unfortunately, the game is riddled with technical contrivances that clearly hold the game back from it's full potential. The value of the package also suffers because the playable hours is underwhelming compared to most everything else on the market today. If only Ninja Theory would've spent more time optimizing and finely tuning the game could we have had an experience that was much easier to praise. In the end what we do have is a game that has a few noteworthy highs and sadly too many lows. Something like a school report card with an A and a B but with too many accompanying C's. The capacity was there for something really outstanding, but the end result was disappointingly less than it could've been.
This user review does not reflect the views of the PSX Extreme Staff.