The main enemies you’ll face in the game are mechs which were are a remnant of the conflict that wiped out humanity. The mechs are mostly a passive defense and only become active when they detect human life (making them like giant walking landmines) There’s a decent variety of mechs in the game, but once you get towards the end of the game you do wish they had tossed in a few more to keep things interesting as Ninja Theory resorts to the “just add more enemies to increase the difficulty” line of thinking towards the end of the game.
Monkey has two weapons at his disposal, his fists and a large expandable rod that he can pummel mechs with. Using these combinations, you get a wide attack which you can use to push enemies back and then strong and weak attacks.
In the later stages of the game you’ll gain the ability to shoot stunning blasts and plasma out of the staff which adds a ranged attack to your arsenal. As you progress through the game you collect tech orbs, which you can use to buy upgrades to your weapons, increase your health, and learn new combat moves. The combat is fairly satisfying and feels just right. There are some decent combos in the game and there are certain situations where Monkey will literally rip a mech in half with this staff. You will fight the camera a bit (a hallmark of the third person genre), and there are a couple of times when you can go into one of the pre-rendered sequences and then have the camera pointing the other way while you get pummeled by a mech.
It’s not just you and the ‘bots though as you have to keep Trip safe from them, which means keeping an eye on her when you go into combat. Monkey can distract the mechs by yelling at them, which will keep them off Trip for a while. The help doesn’t just go one way though as Trip can throw up a holographic distraction, which can pull long range fire off of Monkey so he can approach and take a turret out. It’s a nice layer to what would otherwise be a fairly ordinary combat system and it does give some of the combat situations a bit of a puzzle feel.
If you’re not an achievement junkie or OCD collector, there’s not a lot of replay value to Enslaved. It is one of those games you would save for a rainy weekend play through or to show off what the medium can to non-gamers but I can already see a fine coat of dust starting to gather on my copy.
Enslaved is one of those rare games that more than the sum of its parts (much like Heavenly Sword), and it’s one of those games that people should play because the writing and characters are perfect examples of what this industry can do. It’s just a shame that’s it’s held back by some over aggressive hand holding distracts you from the experience. I realize that this might appeal to casual gamers as the game doesn’t allow you to fail in some of these sections (except the one time when it does) but these portions of the game are going to bore those who have played other staples of the genre.
Companies: Namco Bandai
* The product in this article was sent to us by the developer/company for review.
A great story, fantastic characters, and fantastic production values are brought down some questionable game design decisions.
Page 2 of 2