Home > Gaming, Opinions (Gaming) > Gaming: Enslaved – Free

Gaming: Enslaved – Free

Click here for the previous Enslaved: Odyssey to the West post, or scroll to the end of this post for a list of all of them.

Seeing as this is the last post I'll make about the game I figured I'd go for one more new picture. I chose Pigsy because ultimately I really did like the character.

That’s it then, game complete. 530 gamerscore. Game over. One and a bit levels, one boss fight and lots and lots and lots of cutscenes.

A section near the end (which I won’t spoil) demonstrated what it is that annoys me about Ninja Theory’s love of cutscenes or other ways of stopping the player to make them look at things. Essentially you’re in a wide open area waiting for four things to activate and descend to your level, while enemies are charging in to attack you and trying to destroy the things you’re activating. Every time one descends the game stops you playing and zooms in for you to watch, and then it zooms over to a new location that enemies are starting to approach from. The things descending are huge and brightly coloured, while the enemies are burning through the walls with bright yellow fire, so there wouldn’t be any confusion about where things are supposed to be happening and there’s no need to stop the player all the time.

Storywise (again without spoiling anything), the thing I alluded to a few posts back that made me less fond of Trip was finally addressed, but then the characters followed it up by doing something just as stupid. I don’t get that, especially as there was an easy way around it that would have made for a better story anyway. The overall story wasn’t bad even if most of it is just along the lines of ‘we’re here and need to go there’ and the plentiful dialogue was mostly written pretty well, though in both cases there are a few stumbles. The story concluded well in a way that I didn’t predict and which tied in with the games title beyond the core mechanic that binds Monkey to Trip, so well done to Ninja Theory there.

My final thoughts on the game should be fairly easy to discern if you’ve read the previous posts. The game looks nice, doesn’t tell a bad story, has some decent facial animation, great voice acting and is ultimately fun, if never challenging in the combat or the climbing (which is practically automated and with little chance of failure). Ninja Theory let the story get in the way far too often though, stopping you playing for cutscenes, area scanning or simply making you look at something that you didn’t actually need shoved in your face. Moments like those should always be the last resort, but it felt like for Ninja Theory they were the default, that ultimately they wanted to tell and animate a story and actually giving the player something to do was practically a concession on their part, just keeping the player occupied between cutscene triggers.

I’ll finish with this: Upon completing the game’s final chapter you get an achievement for 25 gamerscore. There’s nothing more for you to play after that but there’s an epilogue cutscene, and upon watching that you get another achievement for having done so (in addition to the achievement(s) for completing it at that difficulty setting), another 25 gamerscore. Sure, you don’t have to even touch the controller, just sit and watch, but Ninja Theory consider that just as important as playing. That’s Enslaved Odyssey to the West.

Game of the Year status: After running through the ongoing list I felt Enslaved fit best at the number eight position. It makes some bad decisions like Donkey Kong Country Returns below it but never to the point of frustration or because they’re clinging to outdated ideas, but it also doesn’t nail the cinematic story-telling of Heavy Rain above it, which if anything is less of a game than Enslaved but is more honest about wanting to ape other media.

As promised at the post’s start here’s a list of every journal-type post I made while playing the game, from oldest to newest:

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