inFocus

“Two Lives, Two Fates, One Legendary Journey.”


Publisher: Namco

+ Decent Puzzles, Final Battle, Trip is Never a Liability

Dev: Ninja Theory
Genre: Action RPG
Release: 10/05/10
ESRB: Teen - Simple Combat, Minor Upgrading, Not much of a Challenge even on Hard Difficulty
Platforms: PS3, X360


As the title suggests, you play as Monkey, an escaped slave who finds himself a slave yet again. After narrowly escaping the slave ship he was aboard, Monkey finds himself the captive of a young girl named Trip. Using mind controlling headgear, Trip forces Monkey to escort her back to her village. Trip’s homeworld is crawling with Mechs and she cannot possibly make it alone. So not only will the player control Monkey, but it is necessary to work cooperatively with Trip to safely get her home. Combining Monkey’s abilities and Trip’s skills to navigate the terrain is the core of the gameplay in Enslaved and will be prevalent throughout the entire game.


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Most of your time spent with Enslaved will be platforming with Monkey. Don’t worry, traversing the landscape may look difficult, but it is rather simple. It was extremely kind of Ninja Theory to make it nearly impossible to die while platforming. That’s right, Monkey can’t walk or fall off ledges, and he auto jumps to a spot and will always make it. The only way to fall is by holding on to a crumbling ledge for too long. If this happens to you, you should seriously consider changing your hobby. Thanks again Ninja Theory. As obscure as this may sound not falling off ledges is very helpful since most of the time while platforming a Mech or turret is relentlessly firing at Monkey. This is where Trip’s skills come into play.When the odds are too overwhelming for Monkey, Trip can send out a decoy which will draw the attention of Monkey’s attackers. This allows Monkey some time to pass by the area, find a switch, or sneak in for an attack. The decoy only lasts for a certain amount of time and must recharge before being used again. Not much thought was put into this since decoy can be abused by just having a little patience and allowing it time to recharge. This is just another example of how basic and simple this game is.


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For a platforming/puzzle style game Enslaved has a decent amount of combat. After platforming, puzzle solving, or both, Monkey must always take down some mechs. Once again, the simplistic style of Enslaved rears its’ ugly head. Monkey has two basic attacks to start and his staff can fire a plasma bolt. This makes for some exciting combos, x,y or x,x,y or x,x,x,y. To help Monkey out Trip can also upgrade his staff, health, shield, and combat skills. Don’t get too excited, these upgrades also share the lackluster attribute the rest of the game does. To purchase these upgrades Monkey must collect tech orbs. Worry not, the orbs are dropped by defeated enemies or just lying around to be picked up. Again simple and basic with not much effort or thought put in.

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As I mentioned earlier there is some puzzle solving in Enslaved. Some areas need to be scoped out by a robotic dragonfly which rests in Trip’s ear. The dragonfly will show the path, then show the first step in the puzzle. Most of the puzzles are lever/bridge style. Meaning a lever manipulates a bridge or bridges up or down so they must be moved in a certain sequence. The player must maneuver Monkey and Trip around the area to solve these types of puzzles. Nothing too complicated, but a bit of thought was involved none the less. This was my favorite part of Enslaved since it felt like the only time some thought or originality was put into this game.

I could go on and on about the basic shell of a game that Enslaved seems to be. From, the lack of any real boss battle (the dog and rhino are poor excuses), to the half hour long chapters, Enslaved is as generic and basic as they come. But there are two elements to Enslaved that keep it from being a total flop. The final chapter and battle are intense, and the game itself is just fun. Enslaved may be an easy run through for most gamers but if you are looking to pass the time between games definitely rent or pick this game up from the bargain bin. If you’re not expecting game of the year, you won’t be disappointed.


PRESENTATION / STORY GRAPHICS

Not much going on here story wise, or nothing that hasn’t been done before. If you played Prince of Persia than Enslaved is all to familiar.

Early on I was taken back by the level of detail and the style of the textures. Sadly, as you progress through the story later chapters become a technical nightmare and the texture quality drops significantly.

GAMEPLAY / CONTROLS REPLAY VALUE

Although Enslaved has very basic combat and platforming. Monkey and Trip respond and work well together. The real problem lies in the camera. Although it can be manipulated its default action is to zoom in not out, making movement sketchy

There really isn’t much to do outside of completing the story in Enslaved. There are masks or tech-orbs to collect but nothing else. These items can also be found on your first playthrough so Enslaved is easily just  a one and done.
OVERALL (NOT AN AVERAGE)

The entire time playing through Enslaved, I constantly had that been there, done that feeling. The similarities to Prince of Persia, whether it be in style or gameplay, are so prevalent that they are hard to ignore.  From platforming, to simple combat, and even using a dragonfly to show the way, Ninja Theory stole the mold that Ubisoft created. Unfortunately, they did nothing to improve upon it and Enslaved is just your run of the mill action title. Definitely colored glass.