Apr 14 2016

Late Enslaved: Odyssey to the West Review

Wow. What a rollercoaster ride this has been for my emotions. Set 150 years in the future, most of humanity has been wiped out after a global war, yet the remnants of society and war remain, including homicidal robots.

Enslaved, released originally for PS3 and XBOX 360 in late 2010, porting over to the pc as a premium edition with all DLC in 2013, is a post-apocalypitic take of the famous novel Journey to the West.

You play as Monkey, a character of strong physical build who has been captured by the slavers. Whilst you manage to escape their flying fortress with a strange woman called Trip, she enlists the help of Monkey against his will by having placed a headband on him that threatens to instantly kills him, if he disobeys Trip’s orders. The two find themselves on a journey to return Trip back to her home, which involves having to cross a barren city landscape, fraught with the dangers of patrolling mechs and crumbling obstacles.

The game is played in a third person perspective, as you control Monkey climbing linear paths of destroyed buildings. Slight detours are hidden away, that contain some form of collectible, most which allow Monkey to upgrade his skills down the line. Maps open out into more explorable areas usually when mechs are present, which the player has to solve the puzzle to find the best solution of combining stealth and combat to takedown the menacing mechs. Combat is initiated by running into a mech’s line of sight or hitting it with your staff. The staff is your primary weapon with many functions, allowing for light and heavy attacks, blocking and countering attacks, and stunning enemies. Upgrades will unlock additional combat skills later in the game, and allow for taking on tougher enemies that require good reflexes for attacking and dodging at the correct time. With long range enemies, these can be shot at with the staff using either stun or explosive charges, but ammo is scarce to come across and so are reserved only for exceptional circumstances.

Trip provides help in advancing the stages by using her programming skills to show the layout of the area with her drone and by hacking terminals to remove obstacles. Trip also provides the companionship in the story, as having the opposite of Monkeys traits, the two have to learn to work alongside each other to progress onwards. The relationship that inevitably forms between the two is played out very well throughout the game, with the twists and turns of the story reflected in the moment of need for each other in the game. The game also introduces Pigsy (which you might be able to guess, resembles an animal in some form) later in the game, who adds another humorous layer to what has been a sincere, funny, action packed, motion captured game. I would like to direct special attention to both Andy Serkis (Golem – Lord of the Rings, Caesar – War for the Planet of the Apes) and Lindsey Shaw for both their brilliant motion capture and voice acting.

As this is a reimagination of the story Journey to the West, I like the connection this game has with the Dragon Ball anime. There are many similarities, but the best one has to be the flying Nimbus. Monkey is able to fly on his own portable, electronic cloud that is a joy to control on screen as it hovers over water and land, plus allowing Monkey to travel at exceptional speed. The music throughout the game is well composed, and really sets the atmosphere of each chapter.

The graphics in this game still stand up to today’s standards very well. Whilst the levels have plenty of locations that buffers the next stage, textures and view distances are impressive, with the colourful art style placing plenty of detail in the junk and artefacts that lie around the maps. The mechs look brilliant and definitely appear scary with their humanoid limbs but fast to strike motions and gallops. Boss fights are well fought out, and for those that like collectibles, this game has plenty of those, with many achievements also available to unlock.


The DLC is a little bit of a let down, with skins for Monkey and Trip, that unlock additional perks for the characters only accessible after a first playthrough of the game. Granted, the game is going to require at least two playthroughs to acquire all collectibles and skills anyway and the game is not the longest RPG in length, about 6-8 hours to complete; But I, myself, am not one really to replay recently completed games as to prevent boredom of any of the game’s aspects and to be able to come back to pleasant memories of the game later on. Pisgy’s Perfect 10 DLC, offers an additional story in the universe, and allows the player to play out the gameplay from Pigsy’s perspective, using the tools that are available to him such as his bombs, rifle and grappling hook wrist. Again, more hilarious one liners are to be expected from this perverted little character, and Truffles is the cutest robot ever. Beats Beemo from Adventure Time, hands down.

The game on first release, was apparently a sleeper, and though it received high praise from critics, went under everyone’s radar at the time. The gameplay is similar in style to that of Remember Me, it even borrows elements from Mirrors Edge and considering that this can be picked up these days very cheap, I very much recommend for everyone to play this great title.

Permanent link to this article: https://www.thelategamer.com/video-game-review/pc/late-enslaved-odyssey-to-the-west-review/

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